Backward is the way forward

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, naturally I think about my parents and their “love” journey – from dating to being married for over 40 years! Their love story serves as a constant reminder to me to slow down and really focus on what’s important when it comes to dating and love, which is something I always tell my clients.

Think back to when our parents were dating – when chivalry and manners were key and “options” were fewer. Remember the importance and excitement of courtship that our parents and other couples have been practicing for centuries. In today’s fast paced society where we are leading such busy and technologically connected lives, it’s important to slow down and remember to enjoy the ride.

I’d like to take you on a brief stroll back through the history of romance and encourage you to remember where we came from with regards to dating and, in the process, share with you a couple of good old-fashioned dating tips about targeting only the most critical options in your search, making the effort to have more face-to-face interactions, and embracing chivalry.

1.Choices: Remember that “less is more”

Thinking back to when my parents were dating, my father just knew he wanted to marry my mother, proposed after only seven days of knowing her and “lived happily ever after” with some bumps along the way, naturally. Back when our parents were “dating” – the pool of eligible mates was smaller, fewer choices meant more focus on what was really important when it came to courtship and truly “getting to know” someone. When it comes to dating, too often I see people passing up wonderful opportunities and chances for great connections because they want to “keep their options open.” Having options is wonderful, but it’s not about quantity here – more importantly, think about what really matters in finding the one person you want to share your life with – what are their values, passions and goals, just to name a few?  These deeper things all take quality time to learn about in another person- versus he is an inch too short or she isn’t skinny enough. Look to have fewer options and instead focus on what’s important and target your dating efforts accordingly.

2. Personal Communication

In our technology driven world, it has become more convenient to chat via e-mails and text messaging, and this has stunted the growth of intimacy and good old fashioned personal communication, especially face-to-face! While it may be quicker and more convenient to send a message – in the world of dating, a phone call and human interaction is much more personal and can be key to building meaningful relationships.

Also, the thrill of meeting someone new in person and by chance occurs much less often since people are now searching for potential dates online. Think back to when Facebook and social networks were nonexistent… there was no such thing as snooping around online, clicking through photos and formulating judgments based on the information provided online. In dating and love, courtship is an exciting time to enjoy the companionship and intimacy of another human – offline and not through texts! So, get off your bum and spice up your romantic life by making the effort to utilize old fashioned communication. Make that phone call instead of texting, grab a drink and have a nice conversation, go out on a limb – hand write and send a card (my parents were pen pals during their courtship with a new letter in the box each day!) These are things will add intrinsic value to your interpersonal relationships.

3. Chivalry is not dead!

This is something I can’t tell my clients enough, both for the men and women. We are living in a time when women are becoming increasingly independent, hard working and highly respected professionally. Some women may feel as if they’re betraying their strong female identity by allowing a man to play the dominant role. Truth is, women still crave ultra-traditional ways of dating – they want to be pursued, protected, and cared for by their partners.

So, for men – look to the men in your past generations and incorporate some good old-fashioned courtship into the mix. Does this mean the women you date will be any less brainy and independent? Absolutely not. It is possible to have a well-rounded, intelligent and strong woman who will greatly appreciate a true, stand-up and chivalrous gentleman. That means, take initiative to make decisions and ask her out, follow through with what you say (don’t be flakey), open doors for her wherever you go, pay for dinner, listen and take care of her and don’t forget the sweet gestures from time-to-time. A real woman will appreciate and even reciprocate!

For women, there’s no harm in swooning just a little when your man is kicking it old school by treating you like a lady.  Though it’s been a long time since women have typically needed to be fully supported by men, admittedly those qualities are still innately attractive. Furthermore, when he plans a date, compliments you, or helps you with a problem – it’s powerful because on an unconscious level, it shows his ability to take charge and his staying power in the relationship. Ladies, swoon on!

The good old days are back my friends.

And when it comes to dating and love, backward is the way forward.

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