I laughed out loud several times while reading what the latest edition of Lapham's Quarterly calls a 'Dating Manual', reportedly originating circa 1185 AD at Troyes. Here's an excerpt.
But if the woman waits too long before beginning the conversation, you may begin it yourself, skillfully. First you should say things that have nothing to do with your subject — make her laugh at something, or else praise her home, or her family, or herself. Because women — particularly middle-class women from the country — commonly delight in being commended and readily believe every word that looks like praise. Then after these remarks that have nothing to do with your subject, you may go on in this fashion:
“When the Divine Being made you, there was nothing that He left undone. I know that there is no defect in your beauty, none in your good sense, none in you at all except, it seems to me, that you have enriched no one by your love. I marvel greatly that Love permits so beautiful and so sensible a woman to serve for long outside his camp. O, if you should take service with Love, blessed above all others will that man be whom you shall crown with your love! Now if I, by my merits, might be worthy of such an honor, no lover in the world could really be compared with me.”
There's more at the link.
Funny, I can't recall ever using language that flowery during my attempts at dating . . . but of course, courtliness was long out of fashion by then! I particularly enjoyed the woman's closing remark:
“You may deserve praise for your great excellence, but I am rather young, and I shudder at the thought of receiving solaces from old men.”
So our ancestors had perfected the put-down as well!