Lately, I’ve been reading two very different but equally epic love stories – Rhett Butler’s People (a Gone With The Wind sequel) and Time of My Life, a memoir by the late Patrick Swayze and his wife Lisa Niemi. As I get caught up in the journeys of these two pairs, I can’t help wishing dating today had more of the romance from eras gone by, especially when it comes to the art of seduction.
Scarlett and Rhett: The legendary antebellum lovers still make me swoon
Anticipation and wooing often seem to go by the wayside, as I was reminded during a recent drinks date. The evening winded down with a goodnight kiss, but my date was hoping to take things (much) further.
“I want to be inside you,” he murmured.
I don’t know what was more disappointing – how forward he was or that this was, at the age of 48, the best line he could come up with.
A good friend of mine recently experienced the gap between sex and romance after connecting with a bachelor online. They had exchanged a few emails, texts and phone conversations when he opted to share something more — a video of him, ahem, engaged in a little self-love.
“I don’t know what came over me,” he apologized lamely.
Needless to say, my friend didn’t know either and didn’t care to find out.
At the risk of sounding retro, whatever happened to taking time before getting physical? Though there’s nothing wrong with getting frisky fast (if you’re both on the same page, of course), there’s also a lot to be said for putting romance first.
Earlier this week, I received an email from a male reader with an interesting take on my recent romance with PR exec E.
Based upon my posts about E’s knack for planning elaborate dates, said reader assumed his wining and dining me must have had an ulterior motive – to get me in between the sheets.
As I read his (thankfully) inaccurate take on E’s modus operandi, I couldn’t help thinking how the art of courtship seems to be something increasingly scoffed at in the dating world.
Last year, a conversation with my summer fling during a rare night out found us talking about one of NYC’s five-star restaurants. He asked if previous significant others had taken me there and I said yes.
“Those guys were just trying to impress you,” he said dismissively.
And what, I thought to myself, is so terrible about that? Why is it that, according to the new dating rules, men are often considered foolish for wooing a woman, while women who want and enjoy the experience are made to feel guilty for it?
Over the years, I’ve gone out with men who have taken me out lavishly as as well as those who preferred more low-key courting. Neither approach is wrong, it’s simply — like the type of person you tend to be attracted to — a matter of personal preference.
During my time with E, he planned a series of great dates ranging from nights out on the town to quiet, cozy evenings in the neighborhood. He was thoughtful about everything and, when it comes to the art of courtship, there’s nothing more than romantic.
When it comes to dating, there’s a lot to be said for the art of courtship.
Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune of dating a variety of men who know what it means to truly woo a woman. In this day and age, that’s no easy feat given how modern mores seem to scoff at the very idea of romance – and imply that being an independent woman is somehow at odds with wanting (and enjoying) the rites of courtship.
During those heady first days and weeks of getting to know a new love interest, I’m a big fan of mixing it up. A combination of spontaneity and planning, of the grand gesture and the little things, goes a long way toward getting off on the right foot romantically speaking. Here are a few of the memorable ways I’ve been wooed – By The Numbers:
Number of men who said it with flowers early on: 5 Number of men whose initial courting tactics included a concert or Broadway show: 5 Number of men who whisked me away on a romantic trip: 3 Number of men who added to my menagerie of stuffed animals: 3 Number of men with whom I’ve done karaoke (and not lived to regret it): 3
My most recent karaoke outing was with hunky cop and Match.com member Rich. He belted out Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive,” while I made like Tina Turner and sang “The Best.” Never underestimate the icebreaking effect of warbling after you’ve had a few drinks.