Southern Girl Realness: Dating Etiquette

I don’t claim to know everything about dating and marriage. No one does. However, as a married woman, I think there is some validity to my opinion when it comes to these subject matters. My opinions might be a little archaic and very southern, but as a Georgia girl, I speak my truth. Too often these days people hear the saying, “Marriage is dying.” It seems like the idea of marriage is one that isn’t largely respected in this day and age. Being a baby momma is more common (especially in the African-American community…don’t get me started on that 72% out-of-wedlock birthrate), and far too many couples are settling for the pseudo idea of what marriage is instead of actually getting married. That’s a problem! One of the reasons why I think people have a negative image of marriage is because people aren’t courting properly anymore. A good courtship is a great foundation for a marriage, and like anything else in life, if you don’t have a great foundation, you’re bound to fail. As defined:

Courtship is the period in a couple’s relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind. During courtship, a couple gets to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other such agreement. A courtship may be an informal and private matter between two people or may be a public affair, or a formal arrangement with family approval. Traditionally, in the case of a formal engagement, it has been perceived that it is the role of a male to actively “court” or ‘woo’ a female, thus encouraging her to understand him and her receptiveness to a proposal of marriage.”

Courting these days is a joke, unfortunately. Men don’t know how to be men, and women don’t know how to conduct themselves as ladies. Yes, both parties are to blame. Sorry, but proper courting doesn’t mean, “laying it low and spreading it wide” on the first date. Is also doesn’t mean communication is exclusive to texting. Furthermore, it doesn’t mean courting many people at one time (that can be confusing and lead to more emotional pain that you care to have). Another problem that I think is happening is people don’t stick to their expectations, and they settle too much, especially women. When my husband courted me, I presented myself in a way that I wanted him to treat me. In other words, if I wanted to be treated like a lady, I had to act like one at all times. I also had expectations, and I held onto them. If he met them, that was great for me. If not, I was moving on. During our courtship, we got to know each other mentally, emotionally, and spiritually before physically. We went out on dates, we communicated face-to-face as much as possible, and we questioned each other. Yes, questioned. Questioning is a great way to get to know someone; for, you can’t find something out if you don’t ask. Now I’m not saying inquire about ridiculous, immature information. However, it is important to ask your partner about their goals in life, whether marriage is something he/she wants, etc. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If your “marriage action plan” isn’t working, maybe it’s time to revamp it and try an “oldie but goodie.” Additionally, I’m going to leave you with a list someone sent me. I thought it was really fitting and much needed in today’s society. I have no idea who the author is, but the author is on point with this.