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?


  1. I love this post! No courtship isn't dead. The question now is can long distance work?

  2. Thank you for reading! Good question about long distance. For me, that depends on the distance. In this case, Mr. C is reasonable driving distance, so that works for me, since he's keeping my interest more than anyone local. I know folks who have made longer distances work, even if it requires a plane ride to see one another. I guess it depends on the situation. What do you think?

  3. I'm holding out hope. I think the blade cuts both ways; finding a woman who wants to be courted is proving difficult. The search continues.