Let’s Get Back That ‘Old-School’ Love

Imagine a scenario where you are in the process of getting ready, your doorbell rings and you open the door to find a man standing there with flowers waiting to take you on a date. I tell you to imagine this because dating rituals have changed. I am sure few readers have experienced these so-called ‘old-school’ rituals of walking up to the door to get her, bringing flowers and opening the car door for her.

I won’t go as far as to say that chivalry is dead, but rather I blame the change in culture from courtship to ‘hookups’ in the recent generation.

An article from the New York Times describes ‘hookup culture’ as, “spontaneous, commitment-free (and often, alcohol-fueled) romantic flings.”

Why commit to someone and put in effort when you can send a text at the press of the button with little fear of rejection? It’s a no-strings-attached situation that requires less emotional connection and therefore less heartbreak when things take a bad turn.

While that culture might suffice for some young adults in college, what happens to other portions of the population? What happened to the classic movie-style romance that we grew up watching on television? Bring on the effort and emotional connection.

Don’t give in to what everyone else seems to be doing. Instead, be willing to experience love and heartbreak. Allow yourself to fall hard for someone and learn to love. Welcome traditional courtship and all that it has to offer.

“Traditional courtship-picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date-required courage, strategic planning and a considerable investment of ego,” according to the New York Times article. “In the context of dating, it removes much of the need for charm.”

I see articles pop up on social media all the time begging for old-school dating traditions to come back into style. The Odyssey, for example, suggests the reemergence of writing love letters, opening the car door, having a clear label and “courting with true intention.”

Relationships can be amazing connections in your life that lead to a long-lasting marriage, if all goes well. Take it from a wonderful example we have on our campus. You can find Scott and Melissa Maxwell-Doherty at the Chapel or anywhere on campus showing support for California Lutheran University.

They married 37 years ago at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Long Beach, CA, and when asked over an email interview for their best relationship advice, they offered this:

“We apply the 48 hour rule. If you find yourselves in an argument, you have 48 hours to chat it through. Anything after that timeline, and the topic is done.”

This level of relationship would not be possible without a strong commitment and a healthy dose of communication with each other. These skills are often lost in today’s change of dating culture, and it all begins with the initial intentions. You cannot find a connection like that without investment into your partner and perhaps even a bit of courage to step out of your comfort zone.

So I urge you this Valentine’s Day to remind yourself that a simple gesture like opening the car door or flowers on the first date are far more impressive than an expensive meal at some fancy restaurant or a ‘Netflix and chill’ night. Choose chivalry and thoughtfulness over what everyone else is doing.

Makenna Pellerin
Reporter