I have never quite understood the world of modern dating. You may already know this, if you’ve read my blog or listened to me slur over a Gin and Tonic: ‘But can’t I just text him and tell him he’s really sexy and I might be in love with him?!’ 

I’m sure ex boyfriends of mine will roll their eyes recalling memories of my expectation for bold gestures reflective of Jane Austin novels and Hollywood films. (If you are an ex boyfriend, I don’t care for your opinion on this, I’m writing a narrative and I don’t need you to rain on my parade yet again. You’ve done enough. Thank you.)

And don’t get me wrong, I know that the love of great anthems and film narratives is a great expectation, limited largely by the lack of emotional intelligence of most men. Sorry boys, but it’s true. You think we’re so complicated, that women are these highly strung enigmas with irrational thought processes and standards set aside far from your reach. But all in all, we’re pretty simple. The code is there to be cracked, and I’ll let you into a little secret – there are only two key ingredients. COURTSHIP and COMMUNICATION.

Okay, I lied, there’s three C’s. It’s pretty imperative that you know where, or at least what, a clitoris is. AND THAT YOU SHOULD PERSIST TO TOUCH IT AS THOUGH IT WERE YOUR EYEBALL. Think about it.

Corona season is providing the perfect opportunity to reintroduce both courtship and communication back into modern dating. Luckily, the clitoris never left.

Let’s begin by pondering the recipe for courtship, which has sadly been squandered along with ballgowns at breakfast and shagging by candle light. Not to be confused with chivalry, it’s not about holding open a door, paying for dinner and insisting ‘ladies first’, it’s 2020 and you’re expected to cope with more than that. Texting is not courtship. Long phone calls, which end only when both lovers have fallen asleep and the sun is beginning to rise. Letters sent in the post, arriving to an unassuming recipient, that’s courtship. It’s a period of time, it’s not a destination or a label, it takes time and effort and believe it or not there is a joy to be had in slowing things down.

Covid-19 has assured that you can’t leave the house, so lazy gestures are off the cards. CREATIVITY, (can’t get enough of the alliteration today, clearly!) Get creative. I’m obviously not talking solely to men, ladies this applies to you. Courtship has no space for inhibitions or embarrassment. Sure, if the effort is not received well, find another suitor, there are plenty of potential lovers who will appreciate you’re new style of dating. Effort for someone who you believe to be worth it will never be wasted, if they appreciate the gesture then you’ve set a precedent for how you wish to interact, if they don’t, you’ve saved yourself 6 months, a tub of ben and jerry’s and a waste man who isn’t right for you.

Examples of things that lovers do when in a period of courtship (in ye olde days). Walk to the local phone box to call, just to say that ‘you were on my mind’. Send a letter, listing all of the reasons that they love a person, perhaps attempting a little poetry. Make a mixtape of soppy sad songs. Paint a picture and send in the post. Take naked photo’s and print them, on the family printer or at snappy snaps, and send them. (You’ll realise that the post office is actually the key to courtship.) Hold off on having sex even when horny AF, because distance is a monumental cock block. Fill your time with exciting things outside of the relationship so that you have something to talk about. Ask questions, things that if you were asked about yourself, you may not even know the answer to. Turn up at the door unannounced and be willing to walk away if they aren’t prepared to have you in, it was worth the effort because you just saw their face.

It’s in times like this, when the modern world is so helpful, with zoom and facetime bringing friends to your front room that I realise how lazy we’ve all become. There’s no effort, just empty promises and shit chat over watsapp. COMMUNICATION has almost become passive, just a lose string holding two people together. It’s sporadic and empty and full of ‘lol’ and ‘laughing cry face’ emojis. Gross. The Beatles had the ability to love eight days a week and you, yes you, can’t even pick up the phone to reply to a fucking text. This is where communication is important. We think, in the modern world, that we’re all well versed in our feelings, our boundaries and expressing how we feel, but often this is misconstrued amongst the games of dating in the 21st century. We hold back so much of how we feel because we’re afraid of frank conversations, afraid that it means someone may run for the hills, never to return. I say let them run. Back in the day, way back in the day, there is no way you would have waited to express how you feel. You said it with your eyes. There wasn’t time, it took hours to get the corset and petticoats on the floor and no one wants to waste their time doing that on a man that isn’t ‘on the same page’. Cards on the table, tell me where I stand and we can all get on with our lives.

The way I see it, at the moment all we have is space to communicate, to organise our thoughts and to relay them to another person. It doesn’t have to be intense, serious or full of commitment, but it should be clear, concise and put an end to the grey area of shagging and then waiting for a reply or a second date. (Or whenever the shag falls in the dating timeline, clearly I’m in no position to judge.) I just think life’s too fragile to wait for a text or a phone call that may never come. Ask the questions, get the answers and then move on with your life, with or without that particular person in it.

So, I advise that we hop back in time. Write a letter, draw a picture, send a nude and learn where the clitoris is, only good can come of that, and if your gesture is received with unforthcoming appraisal then jump ship. Write a letter to yourself to read when you wake up, treat yourself to flowers from the garden and draw a picture for your own bedroom wall. God knows it’s easier to find your own clitoris than waiting for some muppet you picked up off bumble to navigate his way from thigh to vulva as if it were the crystal fucking maze. Like most things, courtship can start at home.

Let’s go back, get creative, it’s a sign of the times that doesn’t have to stick around. Change is coming and it may be for the best, a rocket up the arse of the lovers resting on their laurels, relying on meme’s and Pandora charms to last a life time. I don’t think so.

Happy courting kids.

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