DATING 101 FOR AMERICAN MEN

//Dating 101 for American Men

Should American men take courses on how to “court’ women properly?  This topic is of interest to me because when I see relationships in trouble, I realize that a large percentage of these couples stopped courting each other after they committed to their long term relationship. All of the wooing and courting behavior came to a standstill. One of the things I prescribe to get the love and “magic” back into the relationship is to begin that type of courting behavior all over again. It never should have stopped.  Men, especially, have a mindset that once they’ve won their beloved; they don’t need to do anything to keep her beyond being a loving partner, provider, parent and all around good guy. All of the romantic gestures, flirting and courting behavior comes to a stop.  

I came across an article recently in the NY Times that discussed educational courses for unmarried single straight men in China to teach them proper grooming, comportment and courting behavior such as flirting. The goal here is to produce graduates who can actually get past the initial meeting and form a friendship or love connection with a woman.  

These classes are government sponsored in China, where there are over 30 million more men than women (due to their previous one baby rule that preferred male children to females). Where there is so much competition for viable partners, especially among what China refers to as “leftovers” (single men and women over twenty-nine years of age), young men are at a distinct disadvantage. There is a perception that once men and women get together that the men, rather than the women, let themselves go. They stop grooming and washing and become dirty and unpleasant to be around. This leads to a lot of breakups and since females obviously have the advantage, they are willing to simply move on, trade up and find a new mate. 

This got me thinking about whether it might be a worthwhile pursuit for us to start teaching these courting behaviors to our young men and make Dating 101 a requirement for all young guys in America. Think about it!  These basic manners, good behavior, respect and polite language as well as dancing and social interactions between the sexes used to be taught both at home, in churches and synagogues, and in school. Sadly, I believe that the schools now rely on them to be taught at home by parents and this simply is not happening. It’s a wonder to me that men and women get together at all! The perceptions and assumptions they have about the opposite sex and what is needed to woo and win her can be so far off the mark that it’s a miracle they ever do hook up with one another. Still it is an evolutionary imperative to partner up and procreate; the number of single moms out there is evidence that there is something lacking in the longevity aspect of the pairing. 

What would be taught in our Dating 101 class?  

What to say and what not to say when you first meet a woman: Sincere compliments, intentional listening, where to draw the line on oversharing or probing questions; how soon to call again, let her guide the progression of the contact. Don’t push. Make friends first. 

How to know if she’s right for you: If she meets your goals and standards; how to break it off without being mean or hurtful.  

When sex should come into the relationship: 

How to flirt: Be funny and amusing, display interest within the boundaries of consent, how to touch and be physical without making her uncomfortable. Be respectful but let her know she’s desirable and attractive to you. 

Romantic ideas and gestures: Gifts and loving behavior, showing appreciation, admiring her; being authentic and honest.  

How to be a true partner: What it means to stand by your partner’s side, gender roles and what they mean today. 

Grooming and hygiene: The importance of good teeth, fresh breath, bathing and B.O. prevention. 

I wonder how many couples would stay close and connected if they had some type of training like this in the beginning of their dating life. Would they be able to have longer lasting and more meaningful relationships? What other courses do you think should be offered? Leave a comment and add to our curriculum.  

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2018-08-15T14:20:55+00:00

About the Author:

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Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters. His weekend workshop, Two Days: Seven Conversations has become a popular venue for many to set off on their journey of connectedness. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channeland by subscription in Stuart’s Daily Notes. Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. He lives and works in Scottsdale, Arizona.