Elphinstone Urquart asked the same question and got used to getting the same answer.
Minerva McGonagall got asked the same questiion and learned to love and respect a man.
One cannot pick fruit until one has planted and watered the tree, every day and every night, faithful and constant, as my ayah used to remind me. Only then, after years of patience, does the fruit come: plump and soft and quickly ripe; the farmer's reward for perseverance.
Being a collection of letters from Elphinstone Urquart to Minerva McGonagall, from 1956 to 1982.
(Or, a courtship in motion.)