Modern Day Courting: Dater Beware

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
In reading through postings from both men and women on Craiglist recently I noticed a substantial number of posts contained "what you should know about me in advance" lists containing a string of bad habits and unflattering self-admissions of impatience, laziness and obsessions with reality television. Where were the “smart, sassy, fun” and “loves movies, music and dancing” lists? The lists of positive and absolutely date-able characteristics? Seems like modern day online courting been reduced to the “why you shouldn’t date me” list instead of the “why you should”.

Miriam Webster defines courtship as the act, process or period of courting, and goes on to define "courting" as follows:
1 a: to seek to gain or achieve b (1): allure, tempt (2): to act so as to invite or provoke
2 a: to seek the affections of; especially: to seek to win a pledge of marriage from b of an animal : to perform actions in order to attract for mating
3 a: to seek to attract (as by solicitous attention or offers of advantages) b: to seek an alliance with

I’ll take my courting heavy on the “allure”, “tempt” and “attract” attributes and light on the “provoke”, thank you very much. Who’s to say, though, what one person finds attractive versus obnoxious?

Often bad habits are just too much of a perfectly normal trait. With the right partner, a self-defined bad habit could actually be a plus on your list of attributes, and not a minus at all. And let’s not forget that openly listing your faults does demonstrate the all-impressive qualities of self-awareness and humility, assuming of course you actually listed your faults.

You have to list something in your online profile, though. Perhaps the key is to highlight your outward personality while exposing a little bit of underside. You want to strike the balance between “awesome boy/girlfriend” attributes with something more sincere, that will show your true self and attract suitors that find your particular blend of self intoxicating.

As definition 3b states, courting is seek[ing] an alliance, you’re looking for someone to be on your side. I guess you just have to decide which side that is.