Lesotho Times

How courtship works in the 21st century

GUYS, how does courtship really work these days?
Seriously, let us coast back into memory lane, as back as your memory serves you, you know, when you first started to notice the opposite sex!
Well, truth be told, I cannot go back as far as arranged marriages and all for the obvious reason that it was way before my time!
And, do not waste your sarcastic really’ because that is so true.
Hold on, let me venture into that realm for just a bit there!
Ok, knowing the type of person I am now, and putting myself in that era, I would have been miserable growing up knowing I have been promised to some oke whose identity I would have had no idea of until the day he came to exchange me for a bunch of cows. No! But on the other hand, it was not such a totally bad idea to live by; a guaranteed partner?
No worries about dates, where to go, what to wear, what to talk about?
Hey, I would really have loved that, getting all the fun (in the end) without having to deal with the process of kissing so many frogs to find my so-called prince!
Anyway, here is the burning question — when exactly did you start taking notice of your attraction to the opposite sex?
I really do not remember exactly, but it was sometime after primary school.
Actually, I started noticing boys when they started pulling some really stupid stunts when my friends and I were near them (come to think of it, this peculiar trait does not seem to really change despite age).
I ask because a friend of mine wanted to know how long it had been since someone actually “proposed love” the old fashioned way of “ausi ke ea u rata”.
It hit me that it had been a while and it got me wondering — how do relationships start nowadays?
I actually asked around and some people did not seem to remember how their relationships started, some could not just shut-up about their ultimate love story of how they met; while others were shady and gave rather vague replies.
Now this last group got me thinking even more (no wonder my head has been pounding, I have been over-doing the thinking thing.)
After a lot of coaxing, someone owned up and told us that his current girlfriend was actually a one night stand; they happened to bump into each other again, had a decent conversation and clicked.
So, they decided to just make it an every other day thing until it eventually turned into a proper relationship.
And he was not the only one, so I guess that is one way of courtship in the 21st century — have sex the very first night you meet.
Then if you both liked it, carry on until you either grow tired of each other or find some other things to enjoy doing together other than what you did the night you met.
This is pretty disturbing, and I think it is the most damaging and damaged method of modern courting.
Seriously, it has the potential of leaving a string of broken hearts, broken dreams and broken lives.
You know how sweet the tongue can be, endless promises gushing forth, the words caressing the ears, just so that the hands can caress the body.
Nothing works faster than a perfectly timed sentence or even word.
The poor souls who get carried high by these words and promises plummet back to earth so fast when they realise it has been three weeks and s/he has not called/sent the email/sent you the request.
Splinters of hearts are everywhere, jagged sharp edges everywhere, sticking out to snag and cut anyone who gets close enough; that is why there is so much blood!
Then well, some other side-effect is a bundle of joy, who gets to be named some really nasty name, just because maybe the mother seems to have forgotten the name of the guy, or he denies responsibility (sometimes by even being insulting); or even maybe the problem is just that one parent does not know (cannot know) as they do not know how to locate the other!
Well, some still end up meeting, can be right after the deed or years later — there goes that fantasy of being the top dog of your own firm, being the head honcho — new responsibilities — that is why there are so may tears!
Then there are those silent serial killers who we pass each other like a baton in a relay. There are some that allow you to live for a while, change your life and those of others but then there are others that will ravage you like a dandelion in a storm.
I hear science has upped its game and most of these killers are now even more manageable than a few years ago.
That is good news, but I personally would prefer to have no such alterations to my maze of life.
How about you, isn’t your life already complicated and clustered enough to add a thirty-seven-kinds-of-medication-four-times- a-day routine to it?
Well, I am still not entirely sure how this whole wooing stuff runs these days, but it seems to still be there and working because new couples pop up everyday, and some eventually tie the knot!
I am not sure which one is much more fun or even safe, the old or the new!
But I know this, if we do not protect ourselves — minds, body and souls, there will not be anyone to pursue for love or even fun in the future — we will be dead, well most!
Rampou is a freelance writer based in Maseru

Lesotho Times

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