flirt (flərt) verb: flirt; 3rd person present: flirts; past tense: flirted; past participle: flirted; gerund or present participle: flirting
1. behave as though attracted to or trying to attract someone, but for amusement rather than with serious intentions.
"it amused him to flirt with her"
synonyms: trifle with, toy with, tease, lead on
"it amused him to flirt with her" experiment with or show a superficial interest in (an idea, activity, or movement) without committing oneself to it seriously.
"a painter who had flirted briefly with Cubism"
synonyms: dabble in, toy with, trifle with, amuse oneself with, play with, tinker with, dip into, scratch the surface of
"he flirted with the methods of the neo-Impressionists"
What do you call the courtship ritual of using flirtatious behavior when it has serious intentions of attracting the object of affection for long-term romantic partnership?
Regarding the use of courtship in place of flirting:
If I want to distinguish between, for instance, *conversation to get to know her and *being supportive when something bad happens and *those little mannerisms and quirks of communication I use to show I like her romantically, then I'll want a good synonym for 'serious-minded flirting'. It includes teasing, doting, gushing, sexual innuendo, compliments, gratitude . . . a lot of things, but it's not broad enough to be courting.
And I don't want to call it flirting because that's misleading, since flirting literally means, and implies, that I'm not serious.
It just seems there should be a huge difference between leading someone on and being sincere. The action is the same, but the intention is opposite. It's different enough it needs a different word so as not to be misconstrued by incorrect usage.
And seduce doesn't really help since it's strictly about sexual activity, and the etymology and usage implies negative connotations. Enticing someone to abandon their duty is not what I'm looking for: it's already a good synonym for irresponsible flirting.