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Dating, Love, Relationships, Romance, Sex, Uncategorized

Eulogy to Courtship

Dearly Beloved, we gather here to say our goodbyes.  To courtship, chivalry and dating as our prior generations (and Hollywood) knew it to exist.  When Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought for equal rights, I doubt this is what they had in mind.  How, exactly, did wanting the right to work and to vote mean that women vetoed the right to be treated with honor, courtesy and respect?   Not to mention a little old-fashioned romance.

While the rest of the world appears to be moving forward in leaps and bounds, with never-ending advancements in fields like communication technology and medical sciences, the dating world seems to have regressed back to caveman days; where men see a woman they like, hit her over the head with a club and drag her back to their cave to have their way.  Only now, they meet in a bar, he disorients her with tequila and vodka, which is clearly more subtle than clubbing her, and calls her  a cab to send her back to her own cave when he’s done.  (“Cab’s are hea!”)  We seem to have mastered the art of the one night stand or even the no-strings-attached relationship but we have somehow forgotten how to develop any sort of meaningful, lasting and deep understanding of each other.  And we have forgotten how to even begin to get there.

There was a time where men picked women up at their front door for a first date.  Even the second and third dates.  They showed up with flowers and they didn’t dare kiss a woman goodnight on her lips after the first date.  They definitely didn’t try to get into her skirt.  Now it seems like every date has become a race to the bedroom.

Is there no longer anyone out there who yearns for those long, passionate kisses goodnight…just for the sake of kissing?  For that feeling that the world has stopped spinning and the only thing that exists is that moment.  For that feeling that something simple could turn into something amazing with the right cultivation.  Why has hand holding, flowers and taking our time become so overrated?  What happened to the days where love songs were about love and not about sex?  Our grandparents had the Rat Pack.  We just have rats.

Now, single women buy themselves flowers to adorn their kitchen tables… from the supermarket when they’re purchasing their milk and microwave dinners.  There’s nothing wrong with single women providing for themselves the same perks that they would get from a partner; things like flowers and even jewelry.  Or going on vacation to an exotic island with “the girls”.  Just because a woman isn’t married doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve happiness, right?  But when a man takes interest and decides to act on it, maybe I’m old-fashioned, but the flowers adorning the dining room table should be coming from him, as a thank you for a great time on a first date and an invite for the second.

Instead of sending the follow-up flowers or even making a traditional phone call, men send text messages to ask a woman out.  And after the first two or three dates, they’re expecting those text messages to become a little bit more racy…possibly including photos one can only hope won’t be leaked online.  The last time a date offered a candlelight, home cooked meal?  Day before never.

As women, if we want more, don’t we have a responsibility to stand up and say so?  If we take what we can get than that’s all we are ever going to get.  There is no reason for men to work harder if we just roll over for a text and the Three Courses for $16.99 menu at Friday’s.  We’ve earned the right to vote and to work.  And most of us work just as hard, if not harder, than our male counterparts.  And we get paid less while doing it.  And still, we’re expected to maintain a home just as the traditional housewives did back in the fifties.  If anything, we deserve the flowers, the candlelit dinners and all of the romance more than our ancestors ever did.

“Fly me to the moon Let me swing among the stars Let me see what life is like On Jupiter and Mars In other words Hold my hand” ~ Fly Me to the Moon, Frank Sinatra


About Murphy's Law

You know that cliche that whatever can go wrong will go wrong? Can you think of anywhere else this holds more true than in the dating world? Ever had to change your phone number because someone sent you 150 texts in one day? Or go on a first date with someone you met online, only to find out that there's a reason he was holding his niece in front of half of his face in all of his pictures? Or take you to dinner only to have his ex-girlfriend as your waitress? Yes, the dating world is scary. But the good news is, you're not alone!


16 thoughts on “Eulogy to Courtship

  1. I think that this is being categorical. I’m a male about 21 years old who is in the prime of his college career and by all means would to the average on looker look like he would go out and “hit the girls over the head with a club” and drag them back. However, I take a firm stance against this sort of behavior and so do the majority of my friends. We all believe that the best and most meaningful relationships come from the slow understanding and caring that develops over a natural time of courting. It makes me sad that there are women out there who think that there are no gentlemen left in the world who will, no WANT, to court women as they should be – romantically and lovingly. I have a loving girlfriend and our relationship started with an invitation to come with me to my morning tennis over the summer. What actually happened was that I cooked her breakfast when she arrived and took her for a walk in the park for conversation and a hug goodbye at the end of the day. Spontaneity and a casual forum for conversing and getting to know each other followed up by a flower in the mail. I never text a lady until we’re very comfortable with each other. I always use the phone for things that can’t be done in person and never say anything over the phone that should be said in person. We courted for a few weeks before we ever even kissed and to me that kiss was more enjoyable and fulfilling than any first date kiss could be. we’ve been in a happy relationship ever since!

    That being said, I understand your post here and at times it does seem like there are more jerks in the world than nice people. So I guess what I’m getting at here is that you shouldn’t give up on it. There are guys out there that can give a women what they want, treat them with respect, etiquette, love and courtesy and at the end of the day be able to turn her on when appropriate. I know that you’re not giving up on it entirely but at the same time, I thought that the whole post as well as the title “Eulogy” was a little morbid. So I hope that my post can give you a little hope for the future and maybe lighten your outlook. I always appreciate an optimistic outlook when I’m feeling pessimistic.

    Posted by Mike | February 26, 2012, 3:41 PM
  2. OK, I am gonna give it a shot.

    I watched as women went from enjoying flowers to “Yuck. Why do YOU think I want flowers from YOU? YOU are getting too serious too quick.”

    At first, I thought it was just me. Then I realized, “American culture has changed for the worse.”

    What you are asking for is simple. But, it is not realistic. Not every man gave flowers in the 1950’s. And not every woman is romantic.

    But, how can we expect men to treat women with respect when most women do not respect themselves. Men have come to believe that they can “get the milk for free,” because women give them “the milk for free.”

    Romance and chivalry were about the way a woman wants to be seduced.

    American culture has replaced that with an artificial script. And now, it is expected that all women “are easy.”

    Men are overloaded with sex. And hyper-sexualized men do NOT think. They react. Hyper-sexualized women do NOT think, they react. Both are reacting stereotypically, and both are making life long mistakes in a few seconds, because they have been programmed to make mistakes.

    We should be programmed to make good choices.



    Posted by Wayne | February 6, 2012, 12:41 PM
    • Well, Wayne, I enjoy sex AND I have a lot of respect for myself. I don’t think the two necessarily go hand in hand. Just because a woman puts out doesn’t mean she has no self respect. We have needs too! As for romance and chivalry being about seducing a woman, I have to disagree. Romance and chivalry are about respect. And not just for women, it should work both ways. If romance was about seduction then, once the guy gets the girl, it would end there. But in the cases of successful relationships that I know of, romance has to continue throughout the relationship. It’s what keeps things alive. We take people for granted and look to do the bare minimum amount of work required. If everyone just put as much effort into their relationships as they did into picking their Fantasy Football teams, imagine how amazing the world would be.

      Posted by Murphy's Law | February 6, 2012, 5:12 PM
  3. As a man I’m a bit offended, but I think that’s what you were going for. It must be crappy to work for less, although statistically I think women with kids who take time off to raise them are the ones who get shafted the most and drag down the average but whatever, either way… It also must be crappy to be expected to be the better cook in the relationship, although many men do the cooking these days.

    There’s a lot of expectations on both sides, and that’s the part I think I found the most offensive about this post, I think your expectations of men are unrealistic at times. You ask where romance has gone, but I think if the world was filled with sensitive, romantic guys you’d be asking “where have all the cowboys gone?” It’s hard to be a man too. We’re expected to be modern men, refined, even metrosexual, yet at the same time we can’t be pussies. It’s a tight rope.

    We can’t all be Sinatra, hell I doubt even Sinatra was Sinatra. You may be feeling nostalgia for an era that really wasn’t really all we collectively “remember” it to be.

    Posted by Nobody really | January 30, 2012, 9:30 PM
    • I want to start by saying that I’m impressed at the amount of guys who actually read my “chic lit”. Thank you for that and I hope you will keep reading! That being said, while my intentions were not to offend anyone, they were to perhaps remind men that everything worth having is worth working for. Perhaps many women will put out for a pint at the bar, and yes, I have on occasion been one of them, that doesn’t mean that we don’t want and deserve more. I don’t want to be treated the same by the guy buying me shots at the bar as I am by the guy who is considering planning a life with me. One deserves (and requires) a lot more effort. It is absolutely hard to be a man sometimes, too, I don’t doubt that. Aside from my “monthly visitor”, I am very thankful to be a woman. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t expected to be as different as you men are. We are expected to be professional at work, demure in public and dirty little porn stars in the bedroom. Sometimes it feels like we are expected to be Betty Crocker and Jenna Jameson all rolled into one. It’s exhausting!

      It’s easy to make excuses. But what I find interesting is this: the men are commenting about being offended and generalizing all men as cavemen, etc. While the women have “liked” the post. It seems to me that I’m not the only woman feeling this way. In fact, this post was shared by a reader on their own Facebook page with the comment “Hell Yea!” Perhaps the male readers should consider this and step up their games a little. Maybe you’re right. Maybe that era didn’t really exist. But that doesn’t mean it can’t in the future. That doesn’t mean it isn’t something worth working towards. I finally got my flowers yesterday. 100% surprised, left with a very sweet note on my door…while I was home. The person who brought them didn’t want to disturb me on my “me” day but wanted me to have them because I deserved them. They weren’t anything fancy, just your average grocery store florist bouquet. But it was an incredibly thoughtful gesture and it absolutely touched me in a way I haven’t felt in a long time. That, gentleman, is what it’s about. Whether it’s flowers, a homemade card, a knick-knack you saw and it made you think of us…those just because gifts are the best gifts. And it’s just so easy to do!

      If you’re one of those few men out there who are romantic and thoughtful, more power to you. Spread the word to your friends to step it up then! As for not being a “pussy”, I’m willing to guess it’s more the other men who will judge you as such, not the women. Most women would be appreciative of such gestures (unless they’re just not that into you). And you’ll be getting a lot more “pussy” than those other “cowboys” ever will. Nice guys don’t finish last. Not with the women who matter, anyway. And it is possible to be a “man’s man”, to be tough and build things and grunt when you work out and whatever else men are supposed to do and to still be romantic and thoughtful and make a woman swoon.

      Posted by Murphy's Law | January 30, 2012, 10:08 PM
  4. antagonistic?? My comments are by no means hostile…perhaps they’re taken that way, but believe me, they’re not intended that way….since you seem to know who I am, you probably should know otherwise…I agree, you may be looking for a needle in a haystack (I know, I’m a guy and know how (many) men are), but others are finding decent men …perhaps my humor rubs you the wrong the way…but, I suppose when you learn why you’re having difficulty and you find what you’re looking for, you won’t need this blog anymore…

    Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2012, 7:40 PM
    • I don’t know who you are, just your email address which includes a first name.

      And yes, there are decent men out there. Some of my friends are married to absolutely wonderful men and I couldn’t be happier for them. I have dated some wonderful men myself that, unfortunately, we just didn’t mesh as anything long term. But they are wonderful people and are still a big part of my life. It’s not that I’m having difficulty finding what I’m looking for because of me. Trust me. I don’t have a type. I’m pretty willing to give people a chance. I have dated fat, skinny, tall, short, smart, not-so-smart, older, younger, blah, blah, blah. I have dated nerds, “tough guys” (who usually aren’t) and the list goes on and on. And the one thing I have noticed about all of them is that these courting behaviors seem to be disappearing from our dating lives. Especially on Long Island. And yes, I have said for a long time I need to move to find the right man. But I have lived other places as well and it isn’t all that much different. As people, we have gotten used to instant gratification. Internet that doesn’t need to dial up, cell phones that get our email, our Facebooks, our Twitter, even my messages from here get sent to my phone. We just don’t know how to work for something anymore.

      Also, I think you should notice that nowhere in this post did I mention myself. I actually did have flowers left at my door yesterday. Before the gift giver ever read this week’s post. But this is something I have noticed from stories of friends, experiences of my own and just keeping my eyes and ears open when I’m out and about. Again, there certainly are wonderful men in the world. And just because they aren’t romantic doesn’t mean they aren’t wonderful. My last serious relationship lasted a year and a half and he is one of the most amazing, kind people I have ever met in my life. We are still very good friends. And in that year and a half, I only got flowers or gifts twice; my birthday and Valentines Day. He didn’t cook for me once. It’s just not who he is. And no, it isn’t why we broke up. But those things would be nice and they should happen more often than they do. And not just for men, either. I buy flowers for people I love. And when I see something that makes me think of them, I get it for them just to see them smile. It can and should work both ways.

      I am having difficulty finding the right person because I refuse to settle. I would rather have nothing than compromise. And I do believe that I will find that perfect person one day. And he or she isn’t going to be a perfect person. But they will be perfect for me.

      Posted by Murphy's Law | January 30, 2012, 10:20 PM
      • I think part of the reason the chivalrous behaviors are disappearing is often not because men don’t want to do them or don’t think you deserve them, but because we don’t even think of doing them. Most men can’t even imagine being disappointed that a girl they’re dating doesn’t give them flowers enough, we’re just happy to be with her. I think that’s the disconnect, and I think if you could explain the meaning behind why things like flowers are gifts are so important it might go a long way to bridging it.

        Posted by Nobody really | January 30, 2012, 11:34 PM
      • Because it makes us feel appreciated and reminds us that even when you aren’t with us, we are on your mind. I imagine that flowers and just-because-gifts are to women what getting to watch Contraband instead of The Vow is to men. Or coming home after a long day to find your woman in nothing but heels and one of your ties. Its just something that makes us feel special. And everyone needs to feel that way sometimes “People, more than things, need to be restored, renewed, redeemed” ~ Audrey Hepburn

        Posted by Murphy's Law | January 30, 2012, 11:50 PM
      • Well Contraband instead of The Vow (or vice versa) I think could be universalized to both genders, but your example of coming home and finding your girlfriend dressed provocatively and ready for loving spurred on a lot of thoughts for me (even above and beyond the initial dirty thoughts, hey I’m a guy). I began thinking “well what if a woman came home and found her man in some sexy underwear or cooking dinner in nothing but an apron… and I began thinking about how funny this imagery was. I honestly don’t think it would do much for her (well, the cooking dinner part might).

        So here’s what I think. We have different sets of needs and different ways of feeling like we’re important and loved. As an analogy I thought of the relationship between employer and employee. How does an employee know they’re an important part of the company? Well continuing to be paid regularly by this company is a good indicator, but being given a raise is an even better one. These are very standard, straightforward forms of reward.

        But how does an employer know they’re liked by their subordinates? Here it’s not so straightforward. Hell even just being nice to your boss doesn’t mean you like them, it at a minimum means you like your job or just like getting paid. So you need to go out of your way sometimes to show your boss you like them.

        To me this is similar to relationships between men and women, but instead of salary it’s sex. Sex is arguably the central element to a relationship, and it’s certainly the central element for men. If there was no sex, I’m sure a lot fewer men would be in relationships, certainly fewer would get married. For women it’s very different, I’m not sure very many women at all would stop wanting to get married if sex didn’t exist. Also to a woman sex doesn’t mean “I love you” it just means “I love sex” kind of like how collecting a paycheck doesn’t show that you love your boss.

        Posted by Nobody really | January 31, 2012, 12:06 PM
      • Well, “Nobody”, I was with you on the different set of needs part but you lost me at the analogy of intimate relationships being like employee/employer relationships. In that example, one person is a subordinate to the other. In an intimate relationship, the partners should be just that…partners. Equals. And yes, our needs are different but we should be working equally as hard to meet those needs.

        Posted by Murphy's Law | January 31, 2012, 6:57 PM
      • Yes, perhaps the analogy was a little flawed. The main point I wanted to make was that for men flowers aren’t important, what men want is sex which is already an inherent feature of the relationship.

        Men basically want sex all the time and women usually less so. Everybody knows this and they adjust their behavior accordingly. Women know that men want an endless supply of sex so when men come begging for it, it doesn’t make women feel all that special. It also gives women an enormous amount of power.

        If women wanted sex more than men then it would be men who felt like they were in a position to demand flowers and gifts, it would be men who would be telling women to step up their games, and it would be men writing articles asking whether they really even need women anymore.

        Posted by Nobody Really | February 3, 2012, 6:22 AM
      • Well you’ve just given me the topic for my next post. Thanks!

        Posted by Murphy's Law | February 3, 2012, 9:36 AM
  5. Do you want some cheese with that whine?? Jeez, I think it’s sad you’ve reduced men to caveman status based on a few guys you probably met in a bar. If that perfect guy hasn’t shown up, maybe you need to look inside yourself and find out why you keep attracting the same type of caveman in your life.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2012, 7:01 AM
    • Oh “anonymous” (although I know your name from your email address), how I’ve missed your antagonistic comments! That’s the thing about women versus men: when men stand up for something, it’s considered being “manly” and it’s accepted and even expected. But when women do it, we are “whining” or “bitches”. If only this were the year 2012. Oh wait… I think it’s interesting that you believe the basis for my post is “a few guys you probably met in a bar.” I have certainly met men in bars but I have met them in many other locations as well. And there doesn’t seem to be all that much of a difference between the ones hanging out at the local pub, the ones met in a supermarket or on line for coffee or even met through friends or family. And it’s not just about the men that I attract, it’s about many of the experiences other women I know have been through. Is it a generalization? Sure is. Does that mean it applies to EVERY man alive. Of course not. But, from what myself and those I know have come across in the lovely dating world recently, the romantic and chivalrous men are the exception, not the norm. Clearly, you read the blog as you have commented before. So you should know that I do an awful lot of “looking inside [my]self”. And I do it out loud for the world to see. I am not perfect by any means. But, as the MANY blogs similar to mine will show, as well as the number of women who have “liked” this post on the site itself as well as on Twitter and Facebook, I think it’s not just me.

      Posted by Murphy's Law | January 30, 2012, 5:30 PM


  1. Pingback: The Battle of the Sexes « The Law According to Murphy - February 12, 2012

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