New rules for modern courtship

Feb. 16, 2013 @ 12:17 PM

“I want you to go out with Freddie Howell. He’s got a tuxedo and he can go to all those parties with you,” said friend Marilyn Hyman.

If I heard her say that one more time, I might have had to throttle her. I mean really. Fred Howell dates women about the age of his son. They’re gorgeous young things but way younger than I.           

So, no thanks. I’d been single a long time and gotten quite use to it.

Marilyn won. Fred and I had our first date in January 1997.

The following November my sister-in-law, Jenny Byrd, woke Fred up from an afternoon nap.

“The whole family will be in Fort Mill for Christmas. The house will be decorated. Y’all need to get married. I’ll arrange the whole thing for December, 23rd,” she said.

This adventure made me a believer in arranged marriages.

These women had taken care of everything. Found the man. Dressed me up. Proposed. Arranged the wedding. Bingo, it’s a done deal. 

It pays to have a match maker friend and two sisters-in-law who will do all the wedding work.

It’s not so easy for others searching for a mate.

Dating, matchmaking sites and social media have moved in to help. The traditional way for finding a mate has found a much needed assistant.

Marie, my daughter, and her friends recently helped a close friend enroll in a dating site. Their effort was successful. A year later all went to her wedding.

I will share some useful tips I learned from this group.

  • Match your profile to who you really are (don’t lie).
  • Have your friends review and evaluate your profile. Marie helped rewrite her friend’s version. The finished copy reflected more of the true personality of the future bride.
  • Use the site’s email to respond, if you can.
  • Try to meet in person at a neutral place after 3 or 4 email exchanges.
  • Avoid too many references to physical attributes, political preferences.
  • Try to find common interest.

Matchmaking services are increasing in popularity. Calculating the exact number of people who use them and find success is difficult.

My quick survey of single friends made me realize how many use these sites. All commented that it’s better than meeting in a bar.

• Monroe resident Jeanne Howell teaches etiquette to business and private groups. She can be reached at 704-221-1905 or at