Keeping it 100: Dating and Courtship in the New Era of Covid 19

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Excuse me miss
What’s your name
Where are you from
And I come and possibly
Can I take you out tonight
To a movie, to the park
I’ll have you home before it’s dark
So let me know
Can I take you out tonight

Aww… these lyrics are from the Luther Vandross song called “Take You Out Tonight” I must admit, I believe in the old fashioned definition of  courtship between a  man and woman and romantic comedies are my favorite type of movies.

I was raised by two parents who were married for 53 years before my father passed away and I loved hearing their wonderful stories about their courtship before they were married. Yes! I said the word courtship! A word that was about to become extinct given this new dating era we are in with online hookups, etc.…

Ok, for those folks who need a definition of courtship here we go:

To court someone comes from the word courtship. It describes the period of time before two people enter a relationship. The word courtship can mean many things to different cultures, with some describing it as an inherently religious practice. But, courtship wasn’t born out of any religious scripture. In fact, in the 1800s it was the standard way of pursuing someone with the intent of marriage.

Simply put – courting is the time before a relationship starts when the couple gets to know one another, exchange gifts and generally keep a respectful distance with little-to-no intimacy.

In recent years, courtship has transformed to swiping left and swiping right. Courtship and dating have been replaced by a hookup culture among Millennials and Generation Z.

Newsflash: The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting stay-at-home policies may be creating a new normal for dating.

In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, hooking up may have now become a dangerous and difficult proposition. Hooking up may be the prelude to illness, respiratory failure, or even death.

Bars, coffee shops, restaurants, gyms, and parks have restrictions and closures. Meetups, trivia nights, and happy hours are now done via Zoom videoconferencing. These closures and cancellations signal the indefinite suspension of the traditional dating scene. Even if people were to meet with a date, physical distancing discourages intimate conversation.

Under the circumstances, many are postponing/foregoing in-person dates. After all, those who are available for “in-person” hookups or dates may be a select group who are reckless or oblivious to the science of self-care and the calculus of personal risk of catching Covid-19.

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Is there a possibility that traditional courtship will make a comeback?

Online dating sites often considered to be the “primary facilitators” of the hookup culture (e.g., Tinder, Grindr) are also discouraging in-person meetings. Instead, they are organizing opportunities to meet online (e.g., online speed dating) or asking their clientele to keep the momentum going through video-conferencing technology like Zoom, Netflix viewing parties, and FaceTime dinner dates. Pop-Up Drive In Theatres are another cool way to social distance and also be in the same place at the same time as a new potential suitor. Taking an Online Class together is another way to connect with a new potential suitor.

Will our criteria for what we deem attractive in a potential mate, or who we choose to interact with, change with these new dating behaviors?

Will the probability of relationship success change as a result of these extended interactions prior to in-person meetings, if they lead to that?

Could a possible silver lining of the devastating pandemic be deeper, more meaningful connections and relationships?

Speaking as a Keeper, I hope that the Pandemic will encourage the sustainability of  more traditional forms of courtship.

According to Donald M. Bell, Sr. Pastor/Teacher of Covenant Blessing Fellowship and Keeping it 100 Board Member and Resident Relationship Expert,

“Dating is a mindful approach to the birthing and maturation of a full partnership that exhibits the following traits: mutual fulfillment and sustainability”

If anything else at all, I would like to encourage all readers of this blog to join me and the Keeping it 100 Team on the never ending journey of the conversation that is the vision of Keeping it 100:

Clear, Candid and sometimes Comical Communication Creating Couples and Community—we believe that our efforts will serve as a catalyst for enlightenment between the sexes that will help bridge mutual understanding. We also believe that this can lead to more success in dating.

Stay tuned for more…and as always, I am just Keeping it 100…

Stephanie

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