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Abstract

While telling me the story of how she met her husband, Mrs. Aguilar told me “I really feel bad for your generation, they are missing out on falling in love.” She was referring to the courtship practices, or the social regulation and cultural markers between two individuals who create a social relation developing a “relationship.”1 She was comparingthe courtship practices of her generation to that of mine and her statement is reflective of the changes in the cultural environment. From courting, a “relationship” can develop. Its dimensions are defined by the mediation between cultural norms and the agent, and can lead to noviazgo, or an explicit relationship describing the accompany of the two individuals to social and recreational activities, or in a conjugational union.2 From the elderly lady fragmented views toward the courtship practices, I decided to conduct ethnographic research on cross generational courtship. I analyzed heterosexual courtship processes by focusing on what one of my interviewees calls apretendiente or suitor, who is “someone who beseeches you, for example, someone who likes you…you’re not a couple but you’re also no friends” as stated by Pinky (18). I call the pretendiente a courtship system as it outlines the cultural interaction and norms followed by the agents in their courting.