Ok, time to whip out the woman card here and spell out a few thing you young gun toting men folk might actually be interested in.  I’m sure y’all love my posts on potatoes and gardens, but hopefully today I’ll shed some light on a different aspect of survival.

So, it’s TEOTWAWKI, things have mostly stabilized into the new normal of decreased mobility and slower communication. You’ve got food and water and bullets and bandaids,  but you’ve got offspring who are of marriageable age. Or you’ve sadly lost your partner to disease or violence and now find you can’t handle all the work on the doomstead without said partner. Let’s explore some of the options that might be available.

Friends of Friends – The good side of this route is you keep things in the community, and you’re more likely to have friends in common,  and two good support structures in the same area.  You’re more likely to know and trust the person. The bad part of this route is your options could be limited, if your area is sparsely populated. (Or populated largely with relatives)

Distant relatives/relatives by marriage – Speaking of relatives, those that are related only by marriage, or far removed by blood, should certainly be considered.  There are many cultures where a widow will be married by her deceased husband’s nearest willing relative.  I dated a guy in college who’s parents had met at a large family reunion.

Arranged marriages – I’m not talking about forced marriages, or illegal marriages, rather – matchmaking led by the parents.  I lived for a time in India, and arranged marriages are still very much practiced. The couples I talked to said they had a say in the proceedings, and felt the other would be a solid match, so they married and grew to love one another.  The families being already in agreement, meshed well and the new couple started their lives together on strong footing.  The bad of course, is the forced marriages, arranged between minors, or whatever. Or marriages where one side is arranging things only for monetary gain and cons a prospective set of in-laws out of money or gifts.

Fishing – Find dances, or work projects or community service where you can interact with lots of people.   People are always going to want to socialize, and there will be community ties that survive and work that will require groups of people.  Celebrations, weddings, holidays, all present opportunities to meet a prospective partner.

Advice from Calamity – I’m going to be blunt here, women at our inner core, understand that men are stronger than us.  This affects our instinctive reactions to men.  I’m not saying we’re mentally weaker, or emotionally weaker, or any of that BS, I’m talking shear muscle power.   This presents a problem when said men are trying to get us alone to discuss potential matchmaking. Honestly, if you aren’t my husband/father/son/friend you fall under the potential antagonist category and I’m not about to go anywhere alone with you. If you are trying to approach a woman, here are some things you can do to put her at ease and up your chances of getting past her guard.  Manners, yup, your momma taught them to you, maybe your daddy too. Use them. They become more than just social niceties. Manners will get you past the gun that’s likely pointed at you. :-D Manners don’t mean you have to treat her like an invalid or an idiot, but if you refrain from interrupting her when she’s speaking, look her in the eye when you’re talking to her, keep your hands and posture in friendly positions you’ll likely get farther in the negotiations.  Open and honest expectations, be clear about what you are looking for. Don’t imply, don’t assume, don’t hedge around; use words that clearly spell out your intentions and expectations. This will help steer things away from misunderstandings.  Are you looking for a love match and willing to take the time for that to blossom? Are you needing a surrogate mother for children and a partner for the harvest and thus on a tight schedule? Are you trying to find a partner for your child? Where will she live, what work will be expected, what’s the family situation (in-laws) she’ll be marrying into? Being clear in your intentions will also help you narrow your search to those that are more likely to say yes.

Ladies, most of the above applies equally to you, whether you’re trying to find a date for an evening or for something more long term.   Love and companionship are worth a little risk, but keep your aim up to snuff, it can keep suitors well behaved.

What do you think? Will there still be dating columns in the newspapers? Or village matchmakers?

-Calamity Jane