A couple of days ago I posted a piece about Dating vs. Hooking Up and what that was like. Now, I want to focus on the art of courtship. I’m from the south. Yeah, Tennessee! A small town in fact. I was raised with all kind of rules and regulations about the things that southern ladies don’t do. But, somewhere along the line, we have seemingly lost our ways in continuing this tradition. Why and how did this happen?
Some may blame it on reality TV, social media or the news, but is that really accurate? Can’t we still teach our young lady and men etiquette by utilizing the technology we have today? Can’t we educate them on the importance of courting before doing the “hook-up”? How about creating hashtags called #courting, #wooyou, #nohookups or is that a pipe dream? Everytime someone did one of these things, you would hashtag it on social media. It could create a firestorm of getting back to the basics of dating. What’s the rush? Why not want to take your time and get to know people before rushing into something to only find out that the person is not the one for you? Wouldn’t it be simplier to just take a stroll hand in hand down by the harbor instead of going to Morton’s? How about ice cream after a friendly game of basketball? Have men and women lost their ability to be simple and take time courting each other before going out to expensive restaurants with dessert (aka sex) at home?
A couple of days ago, I got into a very friendly and informative back and forth discussion with a gentleman about the problems with black men and black women when it comes to dating. Some things are universal regardless of race. Both men and women want decent people that they enjoy spending time with that are loyal, honest, respectful, etc. You can add more to your list. But, what we discovered in our own conversations that there are a lot of things that men and women both do in the dating process that has created a culture of hook-ups and not courting. Men have lost the art of courting and women don’t know how to be courted.
Courting as a verb is defined as “to seek the affections of; woo”. So, what does it mean to woo someone? Woo is defined as “to seek the favor, affection, or love of, especially with a view to marriage.” Now, that we are all clear on the definitions, can someone please tell me how we lost the art of courting someone and began hooking up? How is a hook up ever going to lead to marriage? If marriage is not your final destination, what is so good about a hook-up? Isn’t that one tracked mentality destroying us as women and men?
When Steve Harvey’s book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” hit shelves in January 2009, women were suddenly awakened to all the things they were doing wrong and how men react. Now, I’m not judging the opinions of Steve’s assertions or suggestions, but some of the fundamental lessons were taught to me by my mother and grandmother before I even knew who Steve was. All of this information wasn’t new. But, now that a man was reaffirming these lessons, it must be true. What happened to using common sense ladies? All men or women weren’t created equally, but did we somehow lose the ability to think for ourselves?
I will keep saying it: courting takes time. Slow things down. Be simple and stop hooking up. Let’s go back to respecting each other and having morals when it comes to dating. Let’s be respectful, honest and of good character. Courting is a symbiotic relationship between two people and it doesn’t mean that the man has to spend all of his money dating you to figure out whether or not you’re good enough. Cheap dates, walks and exercise are great ways to tell if the person is someone you would like to even see on a regular basis. Find ways to court without the drama of hooking up. We’re too old to be “hooking up” anyway.
Oh and for all you men out here who think you know what the majority of women want, here’s the truth: