Ladies, remember that guy you were dating who opened your car door, pulled out your chair? He called you instead of texting you, and took you on exciting dates instead of wanting to meet at his house all the time? Remember that guy who courted you and met your parents at the family Christmas dinner? Then you two tied the knot and moved in together AFTERwards? No?
Don’t worry, many in this day and age haven’t. Leela James’ song “Old School Kind of Love” from her latest album "Loving You More…In The Spirit of Etta James" not only has an old school sound, but an old school concept that speaks on the qualities that an “old school kind of love” requires. The song describes it as a “throwback kind of love” consisting of surviving the good and bad times. Its where “you and me together as we grow old / watch our children grow” is the goal, stemming from the chivalrous acts listed above.
James says this “ride or die” commitment is what she personally aspires to achieve, ride or die being the newer term. But what makes this type of love “old school?” James says it’s when the man pursues the woman, courts her, then they marry and grow old together, each giving mutual respect and kindness. It’s unfortunate that this ideal, wondrous concept is considered “old school.” All humans want to be loved unconditionally, and polls show that most Americans will eventually marry. But with today’s divorce rates teetering at 50%, many seem to put this type of love in the category as a thing of the past.
One factor that may put this type of love in an “old school” category is today’s shift in gender roles. Today, more and more women are in the workforce. Many are the household breadwinners, making more money than the man which is traditionally opposite from history. This may have stemmed from the fact that more women are graduating from college than their male counterparts, and studies show that most people want their mate to have the same educational background. Then there are single parents (mothers AND fathers) who must come as a 2 for 1 package for the sake of the children. But whatever the reason may be that the relationship didn’t work out with the mother/father of their children, therein may also lie the evidence that an “old school kind of love” wasn’t there to begin with.
So how do we achieve an old school kind of love in today’s world? We must go back a few generations and look at the long-term relationships of our elders. Ask them what their secret is to achieve a commitment blessed with longevity. Leela says she still believes in real, old school kind of love. Maybe a fitting answer to the title question is no, it just adapts to different circumstances, like those we face in today’s world; because love in its realest, purest form is an energy that never dies.