When my grandmother dated in middle school (yes, middle school) her parents had one primary rule for her.
The Primary Dating Rule: Don’t go out with the same guy twice in a row. She explained that the lack of exclusivity helped them guard their hearts and kept things from getting too serious too quickly. The lack of exclusivity helped the girls guard their hearts and kept the boys from feeling entitled to the girl.
So what on earth were they doing that worked so well?
Over dinner, my grandmother shared her story about what dating was like back in the 30s and 40s.
So I humbled myself and took my grandmother out for dinner to hear why she thought courtship was a bad idea all those years ago.
She had predicted the failure of courtship back in the 90s and I wanted to understand how and why. After 20 years there still is no general consensus as to what courtship is.
This is different from my generation, which is encouraged to “wait until you are ready to get married” before pursuing a romantic relationship.
This advice, when combined with the fact that “the purpose of courtship is marriage”, makes asking a girl out for dinner the emotional equivalent of asking for her hand in marriage.Please add a one-time donation to help fund our most urgent campaigns to fight discrimination and expand LGBTQ rights.Remember, 100% of your purchase fuels the fight for LGBTQ equality and makes you an active member of the Human Rights Campaign.“If I had only gone out with 3 or 4 guys I wouldn’t have known what I wanted in a husband,” she said.It is not that her parents were uninvolved; it is that they played an advisory role, particularly as she entered high school and they relaxed the rules about not going steady.Visits and comments poured in from all over the country about how to make courtship work and why it did not work. I’m talking the kind of couples who first kissed at their wedding were filing for divorce. The deal was that if we put up with the rules and awkwardness of courtship now we could avoid the pain of divorce later.