Modern Courtship

CourtshipThere are few things I enjoy more than observing men and women in the timeless act of courtship. There is nothing more intriguing to me than watching them attempt oh-so-strategically to capture the attention of a love interest. And while part of me is simply entertained by the fact that it is so hilariously awkward, I oftentimes find myself more fascinated by the courting practices within my own species than I am in the hysterical courting dances performed by the birds, as shown on Planet Earth.


I really started putting thought into the strange nature of it all this morning, when I met my brother, Ryan, and his friend, John, for coffee. John told us about a friend of his who approaches girls and says, “I like your hat”. The catch? They aren’t wearing a hat. The bigger catch? It works…

I decided to tell them about a far less successful guy who approached me at a bar a few weekends ago.

It was a Friday night, and out of my peripheral I saw this guy (we’ll call him Stranger Danger) approaching—and fast. He put his arm around my shoulder, and without so much as asking my name, he whispered in my ear, “Do you model?”

I laughed in his face, slouching away from his arm, and said, “That is quite possibly the worst pick-up line I have ever heard.”

He either wasn’t the type to frequently experience rejection, or he had been rejected so many times that any sort of self-dignity was lost, because he still pursued, attempting to woo me with this gem: “I mean, I’ve dated like three models, so I know a model when I see one.”

Again, I got a good laugh out of it, told him I had a boyfriend, and made a dramatic show of checking the time before gathering my friends and heading out. I think it’s important that we go over where he went wrong, in case it was unclear to anyone.

Strike 1: He put his arm around my shoulder. If you spot a woman that you really want to strike up a conversation with, but you’ve never met before, do. not. touch. her. Personal space is key.

Strike 2: He used a very cheesy, insincere pick-up line. And the worst part of his line was that, rather than flattering me, he used it as a lackluster attempt to make himself look better by implying that he’d dated several models. Honey, please.

Strike 3: He didn’t even ask for my name!

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Clearly, this was an absolute worst-case scenario, but it really got my mind reeling. Why do we behave so strangely when we want to attract someone’s interest? I visited my boyfriend, B, at his new apartment last weekend, and his roommate, Britton, told us of a courting technique regularly exercised by several of her male friends. They will see a woman that they want to talk to and approach her while she is with a group. Rather than talking to the woman, however, they spend the entire night flirting with her friends.


Whether it’s making a point of laughing a little too loudly or flat-out ignoring them, why do men and women go to such great heights to charm someone? Wouldn’t a simple “Hi, my name is ___” suffice? I was so perplexed by all of this today that I posted the following question to my Twitter:

“What are games people play to attract someone they’re interested in/what are some that you’ve noticed played on you?”

These were some of my favorite answers (notice that it was mostly females who responded…), edited slightly from their “Twitter abbrevs.”:

1. Melissa R. : “Going out with their friends but making sure that they see you.”
2. Nikki D.: “Purposely planting themselves near the person for every occasion. Or coming up with random questions to [talk about].”
3. Amelie R.: “Calling you ‘lame’ when you don’t want to go where they are. They think it’s cute; it’s not.”
4. Sarah T.: “Waiting as long as it took the other person to text back before you do the same.”

And my favorite response?

5. Nate P.: “Pretending to like things that the other person likes, but you actually hate them. I once pretended to enjoy a Justin Bieber song.”


And now I want to ask you the same question: What games do you or people you know play to get the attention of the opposite sex? And, most importantly, why?! Post them in the comment box below; I look forward to some very creative, enlightening responses!

Please send all questions, comments, or media inquiries to Hayley’s Corner

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