Just like fashion or vacation spots or models of cars, styles of courting fall in and out of favor.
Our grandparents would have been appalled not to have a beau come to the door, meet the parents, and pay for dinner. Woodstock generation parents might have favored free love in a communal setting. And our children might find the very idea of any kind of one-on-one courting ritual terrifying, since their generation seems to prefer group dates with lots of texting, and the occasional hook up.
Ironically, those of us who read novels have been exposed to centuries of courting styles. And truth be told, there is always one we wish still flourished in our time — and a good many we sigh in relief that have not. (Think: arranged marriages.)
So what does good courting look like to you? Long walks in the park with a handsome, witty companion? Candlelight dinners with a thoughtful soul who can’t resist gazing into your eyes? Camping trips with a rugged adventurer who brings you bouquets of wildflowers? Long phone calls until dawn? Dancing by the light of the moon—or maybe in Lederhosen?
The TV celebrity Steve Harvey would argue that we get the courting we deserve . . . and to a point, I suspect he is right.
The irony of it might be that what we deserve is also what we secretly want. So how about you?
Do you dream of courting accompanied by chocolate and jewelry? Or do you prefer a date comprised of a good rom-con and an In-N-Out Burger?
What is your ideal courting style? And did a novel fuel your choice?