Courtship consists of a number of quiet attentions, not so pointed as to alarm, nor so vague as not to be understood.
The person who makes the first move toward a relationship takes a certain amount of risk. He must declare himself in some way or another so that the stranger knows he’s interested in becoming better acquainted with her. If this is done very casually, then little of his self-image is at stake; if it’s done more seriously and more deliberately, then the person taking the risk is more vulnerable.
In traditional dating-based courtship, it fell to the man to take all of this emotional risk. The first move was always his. I doubt that this has changed very much even today. The very first move is still likely to be a male move, and both people may be more comfortable with that.
However, courtship is no longer only a one-way process, or it need not be. It is nice to be courted and to passively let a new friendship happen; it is also nice to court and to be more assertive about it. The very best scenario is when the two roles are interchangeable from one point in time to the next as they are when friendships are formed between same-sex friends.
Victor Hugo observed that the first symptom of love in a young man is timidity, but the first symptom of love in a young woman is boldness. The two sexes have a tendency to approach, and each assume the qualities of the other. This move toward androgyny and toward mutuality is certainly conducive to better relationships and to fewer misunderstandings. Yet how to go about it is often less than obvious.
In the initiation of relationships, as in other aspects of sexuality, there remain vestiges of the double standard. The first approach which is made shouldn’t be too forceful for either sex. But being obvious and blatant is more or less acceptable for almost all men—or at least all men who have a reasonable claim to being your social equal. While being blatant may be “acceptable,” it is becoming increasingly less enticing to women, and a more subtle approach is preferred. Being obvious and blatant is equally bad form for a woman—even an emancipated one. More importantly, it is unlikely to achieve your desired ends.
The woman who sets out to court a man has a double task: how to take the initiative, and how to take the initiative without seeming to take the initiative. She must be explicit without being obvious. She must be evocative without being provocative.
It’s no wonder women do not yet know how to act in this role, and men don’t know how to respond.
- To Choose, To Court, To Woo, To Win (pickingalover.wordpress.com)
- Gone are the days… (awisegirl.com)
- Status: in a Flirtationship (m3ntalrehabb.wordpress.com)
- The New Courtship (pickingalover.wordpress.com)
- Pull Into The Friend Zone: We’re Not Dating If We Don’t Go On Dates! (madamenoire.com)
- Flirt vs. Tease: What’s the Difference? (psychologytoday.com)
- The Art of Flirting (confessionsofonlinedating.com)
- Non Verbal Communication: Courtship, Dating, Mating by Mary D. Moore [MARY D. MOORE] (ecademy.com)
- The New Rules of Flirting (For Dudes) (gawker.com)
- Flirting 101: 9 Guidelines For Avoiding Disaster (collegecandy.com)