I’m pretty much an idiot when it comes to dating (why do you think I have all of these books, anyway?), and one thing I’m still pretty awkward about is using the word boyfriend, particularly when introducing him to people. Every time I say it I giggle, for no good reason! It’s horrible, I know! Maybe if I had had a boyfriend in high school I would have gotten over this earlier in life.
I tried to find some advice about this topic but didn’t come up with anything directly. But this entry, from Lillian Eichler’s 1941 edition of New Book of Etiquette, cuts me a little slack, don’t you think? (ok, I know it’s a stretch…)
It is impossible for anyone to give rules and regulations for the conduct of lovers. Modern etiquette is too sensible to standardize their conduct, too sensible to attempt with rules to rob love of its joyous spontaneity, its quaint and beautiful discoveries, its impulsive tendernesses. To make rules and regulations for lovers would be like making paper patterns for flowers. It simply cannot be done.
Monsieur de la Rochefoucauld says of lovers that “All there talk is of themselves.” Not only all their talk but all their thoughts are of themselves. Love is selfish, but it is a selfishness that the world generously forgives. Our one word of suggestion is that the lovers do not think so exclusively of themselves that they neglect those who, at this time, deserve a little thought and attention from them.
Point taken, Ms. Eichler, point taken.