Thursday, April 22, 2010

Is Courtship Dead?

Courting, according to Webster's Dictionary, means "to seek the affections of; especially: to seek to win a pledge of marriage from" and "to engage in social activities leading to engagement and marriage."

It seems simple, right? A guy who is serious about dating you will court you--in effect, he's showing he's serious about you by taking you on dates *outside of the house,* to public places, as you get to know one another.

As Steve Harvey once said on Oprah in an interview about his book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, a "man with a plan" wants to court you. He knows from early on--maybe even your first meeting or phone conversation--what his intentions are for you. If he sees the possibility of getting serious with you, he courts you. Plain and simple.

I will admit that I thought courtship was nearly dead. But I still held out a little, eensy, weensy, teeny bit of hope.

After guys trying to lay up in my house before we really know one another, feeling themselves up on dinner dates, and acting crazy and deranged, I almost thought I'd never meet a man who was (A) normal (no stalking or signs of craziness); (B) wasn't married/engaged/already taken; and (C) actually believed in courtship...especially not after the guy from a few weeks ago, who we'll call Cheapskie, who told me that going out for ice cream (yes, ice cream, people, ICE CREAM) was "a luxury" that he wasn't willing to spend money on me for and instead invited me to his home for ice cream from his freezer -- as a first date, mind you-- when I barely knew him. Um, how about NO!? I declined.

Still, while I hadn't given up on men completely, I generally do me--work hard at my 9-5 and play hard with my girlfriends after hours, whether it's dinner or drinks after work or a night out at a nice lounge. I figured one day, maybe just maybe, I'd meet someone who was more interested in getting to know me and courting me than in simply laying up in my home or his.

It was on one of these nights out with a girlfriend that I met Mr. Courtship. My friend and I noticed him when he came into the lounge--he's cute, tall and broad like a football player--but he didn't notice us at the time. Later, as my girlfriend chatted with a guy she'd just met, I walked around the lounge by myself, checking out the scenery. That's when Mr. C approached. We exchanged numbers.

That night, Mr. C called to make sure I got home safe, and the next day, he asked me out on a date. We ended up hanging out that night until 6 a.m. the next morning--dinner, drinks, a party, and then just sitting in the car talking until the sun came up. He talked about believing in courtship. I smiled.

Mr. C lives about three hours away, but every day since we met, we've talked on the phone a few times per day. The next weekend, he came back to visit me. He cooked (it was delicious!). I swooned. And he shows an interest in my life and the people and things I care most about.

Seems like that shouldn't be so hard to find in the dating world, don't you think? Um.... notsomuch. But I think maybe I've figured it out. Mr. C, at least from what I can tell so far, is ready to be settled and is not playing any games. If I'd met him five or 10 years ago, that might not have been the case, as he would've been in a different "season" of his life. And maybe that's been my problem overall: Meeting men when they're still in "player season" rather than "settle-down season."

For a while, I thought online dating--my site of choice was eHarmony--was the key to finding men who were serious about dating and over the games.

Unfortunately, I learned that online dating is also a good way to find socially inept weirdos...such as the guy (you know him as Weed Smoker) who approached me in 'real life' at a lounge--on the same night I met Mr. C--and told me he met me online and that we'd lost touch. Sigh.

When I quickly recalled who he was--and that ONE (and only one) phone convo we had in which I realized he was crazy, I pretended not to be the person he thought I was. I don't think he bought it. I quickly got away as he started discussing how much he liked my toes (double sigh) and then he followed me around for the rest of the night. #FAIL

TALK BACK: Do you think courtship is a lost art? Why or why not?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Man You Probably Haven't Considered: The UPS Guy

By: Guest Blogger NINA LOVEHALL
If you are looking for a solid man--one with a stable job, who isn't lazy, who has a sense of time and duty, keeps himself nice and neat, and knows how to deal with people, I say look no further than your UPS guy.

Yup, I said it. And for you professional women who might feel like this brown collar man may not bring home enough bacon for you, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal may make you think twice about shrugging him off when he compliments you while you sign for your package on that electronic clipboard thingy.

WSJ reports that the average driver can pull in $74K a year, and with baby boomers retiring, the company is currently seeking new blood to the tune of 20,000 new drivers to fill those positions. And according to this article, with the intense training, these folks earn their living.

I'm not going to front. I've seen some hot UPS guys in my day, and you can't get mad when you see one in the summer rocking those shorts with some strong calf muscles, jumping on and off that truck handling business.

While no one wants to seriously leave matchmaking up to the HR department of UPS, you can certainly let them do the screening process for you. I'm sure UPS does drug testing, and with it's grueling training sessions that include delivering packages under slippery conditions, and delivering five packages within a fake town in 19 minutes--it takes a person that has determination, who can think fast, and who won't get easily deterred from a goal, to even get the job.

Who doesn't want a man like that?

Have you or would you consider dating a UPS guy?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Three Red Flags You're Dating a Crazy, Deranged MoFo

Have you ever met a guy who was just a little too into you just a little too fast?

Like you just met him but he's trying to move in with you already?

Or he snaps at you for not returning his calls within an hour or two, yet you just met him last week?

Or he tells you that he could see himself marrying you, yet you've been dating just a few days?

Believe it or not, all of the above have happened to me or my friends. And all of these examples, in my eyes, are warning signs that the guy could be, as Martin said in You So Crazy, a "crazy, deranged motherf%&$er." Run, girl, run!

Case in point: My good friend, we'll call her Samantha, called me yesterday to update me on a guy--we'll call him Pressurizer--who she met last week when we were out for after-work drinks. She'd been talking to him on the phone daily for four days since they exchanged numbers. And on Day 4, he hit her with this over the phone: "So, where is this going? Are you even interested in me?"

Samantha, a bit taken aback, asked Pressurizer to elaborate, thinking he couldn't possibly be pressing her with such questions not even a week after they first met. They'd talked frequently and had a date planned for this weekend, so why is he trippin? Pressurizer told her he really likes her and he laid his expectations on the line. It came down to this: It's fine if they don't see each other face to face every day for now, but if they get into a relationship, he told her, he'd require they see each other daily.

Now, let me remind you: This conversation took place *four days* after Samantha and Pressurizer met. Not four months. Not four years. And he's already having a fit about not seeing her daily--to the tune of a two-hour conversation to discuss his "concerns"? Where they do that at?

Samantha is now thinking she will probably cancel her weekend date with Pressurizer because he put so much pressure on her so quick. I can't say I blame her. In hindsight, Samantha says, the fact that he called her for the first time at 9:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning the day after they met probably was the first warning sign he was a little too eager.

Guys, take note: Genuine interest is good. Scary/stalkerish/overeager tendencies are bad. Very bad. Here are three red flags we women generally take note of:

1. Possessiveness.  I once had a guy I'd just met--who had gone out of town for the weekend-- tell me that if he were in town, I wouldn't be spending time with my friends because all of my time would be spent with him. Mind you, I'd known him for about one week. I cut him off immediately. While some women may find possessiveness flattering, many women find it to be scary and a warning sign to run far, far away.

2. Unrealistic expectations. No, it is not realistic for you to expect a woman you've just met to clear her schedule every day all day for you. And it's not realistic to expect to talk to her five to ten times a day. She had a life before she met you, and yes, she's happy to include you in it, but slow your roll, dude.

3. Short temper. Sure, we've all had a 'waiting by the phone' moment, hoping that that special someone would call soon. But copping an attitude with your love interest about not calling you back soon enough is a surefire way to push the person away if you just met. Big no-no.

TALK BACK: There are many red flags that signal danger in the dating world. What do you look out for? What warning signs signal to you that a guy might be crazy or deranged?