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Guest Post: A little something about decorum

Jessica Downey

Coffee addict. The serial single girl. Jessica will give you the what’s what on single life and dating in Chicago.

Today I have an awesome guest post from my dear friend Dave Sorrell, also known as @rookiephenom on Twitter. I really love guest posts from guys because sometimes (or always) it's nice to get a little perspective from them. Now, we all know that I don't think there every guy feels the exact same way about things, but still it's nice to get their perspective.  Anyway, here he is talking about a little something called decorum.


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About Decorum
By Dave Sorrell

Throughout my adolescence into my college years, I had quite the experience dating and interacting with the fairer species. Even though it was quite trying, and at times equally frustrating, I knew that I had to still give the amount of respect...and that was ridiculously a feat of strength. All of the heartbreaks, all of the stress, and drama, the least that I can do for the women I dated was that I maintained respect and decorum.

Now decorum--some of you might ask what in the hell is that? I got it while being a parliamentarian in my various clubs at Northern Illinois. Decorum, as stated in both Robert's Rules of Order, is the concept defined as (according to Webster's Dictionary): (1) Suitability of Behavior or conduct, (2) conventions of polite behavior, and (3) Proper to the unity of the composition.

So I bet you're asking 'why the hell he is talking about decorum?' Okay, so the third definition is a bit of a stretch, and honestly might not be relevant to what I'm talking about. However, the other two definitions are indeed relevant because what we need to focus on is that in any relationship--dating, friendship, or otherwise--needs to follow rules on respect and decorum. Not that its old fashioned or anything, it's just the right thing to do.

For example: have you ever started talking to that pretty young thing next to you, you guys hit it off, and date for about a month; only to never hear from him or her again? You've tried throughout the course of the courting season to communicate--send a couple of texts or even try to make a phone call or two--only to not get a response or even get defaulted to voicemail. All of the effort being put into making your friendship or relationship work, but only to make it seem one-sided?

That, my friends, is what I'm talking about: Decorum, Decorum, and Decorum!

And that example: is what just occurred to me this month.

I've met this girl, Scarlett, a month ago. She was pretty attractive, goofy, funny, and a geek (that would describe the perfect woman for me). She and I hit it off nicely, and after our first date shared a kiss underneath an umbrella on an ugly Saturday afternoon. What seemed to be fine as far as text banter and the occasional conversation, it seemed to me that I was doing more of the legwork to get her attention than an equal footing. A few calls here, dozens of texts later, I knew that there would be a problem: I'm doing 90% of the legwork (and this is a sign of a problem approaching).

Note that I wasn't calling or texting everyday because I knew she was busy (and so was I, being a grad student). However, I wanted to show her the respect of me being a gentleman, to actually take initiative. Considering I don't do this often, never mind finding someone interesting to date for months and years on end, this was an incredible feat.

We had gone out for one month, a total of 6 dates, and I knew that she was either very tired or wasn't interested, but I decided to continue forward. After date 6, I tried to call her two more times and texts twice more, to no avail.

That's when I knew that there wasn't decorum to be had.

I can hear you now, asking me "so what does this have to do with decorum?" My answer is this: if you've invested longer than two or three dates with a person in a given amount of time, it wouldn't be proper to disappear without an explanation of why it wouldn't work out. If I was at a job for longer than a month, and if I had to quit, the very least I would give to my bosses was a reason behind it.

It's all about respect. That's all. If you cannot respect other people and their feelings and paradigms, that reflects negatively on you as a person. Being flaky and divisive is a red flag as it is, and its behavior can be noticed quickly. Thankfully, only having 6 dates with Scarlett was the only thing I invested; not many people have that luxury to just stop there without giving up more.

Respect and decorum, no matter how and where it's used, is necessary for people to be good with themselves. If you're not interested in the person, tell them. It'll save a lot of time, hurt feelings, and excessively long rants from occurring.

I will give you respect and decorum, and I expect the same. No games.




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r_vance_b said:


very good post! i'm frequently appalled at the lack of decorum of the average person going about their day. as a highly inexperienced dater, i feel behind the curve on the rules that apply there. thanks dave!

Dave Sorrell said:


You would think for young adults to even get their acts together? Then again, age is just a number.

I've been dating since I was 15, and it was acceptable (although in hindsight it wasn't) to do this type of thing; but at this step and at this time of the game, it's not right. The least you can do after 6 dates is to at least tell the person what's up (or down) and then move forward!

Thanks for reading Ryan!

Janet said:

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This is a great article. I am a parliamentarian. My work is to explain Robert's Rules to organizations so that they will have well run meetings. I have never thought of applying them to dating. This is a great example of decorum. Although I am not on the dating scene because I am married, the writer's points are well taken. They can be applied to all areas where people interact--the store, the street, the home, the school, the work place. Respect and courtesy are always needed when people meet and part.

Dave Sorrell said:


Thanks for the comments! I would argue that, yes, this is applicable to ALL aspects of life, not just the simplicity of dating. By not showing the amount of respect and decorum, reflects negatively on that person.

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