Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Old School Courting versus New School Talking
So as we come off of the good food and family time known as the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought a tradition blog would fit quite snugly into the mood. After dinner, I spoke to my grandmother about the state of the world. And she said something profound: just because its old school just means you'll get greater results today with a little tweaking. It got me thinking about relationships, particularly old school courting versus new school talking. So let's examine shall we? As usual I'll give you a couple of points to think about as your proceed through your regular scheduled programming:
1) Traditional courting had its worth. There was a method to the madness of taking a woman out, dating for months without attachment, then making a relationship ONLY if a true connection was felt. For example, taking a partner out on dates outside of each others comfort zones places both people in an equal state of awkwardness. The "watching a movie" phenomenon sets us negative views of each other and social dominance in the hands of whoever's house it is. It also makes the situation entirely too intimate. Both people are portrayed in a slightly negative light and it is not a healthy mindset in which to grow respect and eventually love. Dating for a couple of months without attachment allows the relationship to proceed at a normal rate of maturity. Letting someone into your life in a high role too fast makes you more obligated to stay with them when you shouldn't just to not disrupt the peace and structure of your life.
In this set up, you can date other people (one or two, don't go overboard) and get a feel for what you truly desire in a relationship, all while being honest to every party involved. Lastly, when you did decide to enter a relationship with the individual, all other strings need to be cut (do I need to say that again?) to allow proper breathing room for the new budding relationship you are now apart of.
2) Know the rules of your actions. Alot of people don't know some rules of the game they are playing, including me. So let me address a few game changers I have heard or experienced in the past. If these hurt a little, it's OK. We're growing.
"I pay for everything. Why do they not want to be with me?" - Money and love are not the same thing. In fact the person you are spending on is probably a) using you b) afraid you are trying to buy them off, or c) just do not respect the game you are playing. No one that is not married should be spending their rent checks on their significant others. And I sincerely hope you are with someone who would not ask you to.
"We had sex the first night we met. Can I build a relationship?" - My best friend and I call them "ho moments" and most of us, men and women, have them. But there are consequences. More often than not, a negative picture gets painted concerning your overall character (yes men you too) and a painted picture is HARD to wash off a canvas. Your partner may not feel as bad about leaving or cheating on you. So be ready for some type of backlash down the road or just take a ho moment like a champ and do it right with the next partner.
"We cheated to be together. Can our relationship make it?" - NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!! Call it karma, call it God,call it Murphy's Law. You can't do wrong and get right.
"My partner cheated on me. Can we get back the relationship we had before?" - The answer is NO there as well I'm afraid. But understanding the circumstances of their cheating makes a difference on whether or not the relationship can make it. If you honestly feel like your partner made a poor judgment and you do not see a flawed character profile, you CAN build a healthy new relationship from the ashes of the old. But let me say this: most of us are far too young to deal with the drama of re-patching a relationship. Its like repairing a TV when you have the money in your pocket to get a new one. The new one will give you more peace of mind.
Now there are many other game changers but that's for another blog so let's keep flowing through this one. Now, once you've established a traditional relationship mindset, don't forget the following:
1) Take a break from being futuristic. In no other time have we had access to people, places and things we haven't seen in 10 years. I'm friends with two of my exes on facebook and I haven't seen them since we broke up. With all the potential drama in our technology driven lives, it's always good to just get away. Turn off your phones for a night and have a rooftop dinner or go to a cabin. Good old fashioned couple time is always a type of cement for a relationship.
2) Assess the true value of your relationship. A good woman or man is going to be a little more work but ALOT more rewarding. Don't get sucked into a relationship just because it's an easy arrangement where you do not have to do anything. Temporary situations can become permanent faster than you ever thought imaginable. Be smart. Ask yourself if you see yourself ending up with the person you're with. If you can't, why waste time like that? That's the equivalent of saying: " I want to be a teacher but umm I think I'm going to go to medical school, even though I hate science." Does that make sense? Well your situation shouldn't either.
3) Be courteous. It does not take away from being an independent man or woman to do nice things for your partner. I do not mean spending heaps of money (refer to earlier). If you know your partner's favorite candy, pick it up for them because they had a long day. If you're busy take some time out your schedule to just call and have a long talk with them. Learn a new recipe in their favorite cuisine style and let them try it. People have forgotten how far little gestures go. Its a sweet way to remind someone you are in their corner in a self absorbed society.
At the end of the day, though they may seem antiquated, old school relationship rules are great guidelines you can patchwork into new ways of dating. Food for thought.