Changes in dating over the years
century, romance had rapidly become the desired method of courtship.Art and philosophy began to reflect a new world view in which love was prescribed as the ideal foundation for a marriage, even taking precedent over considerations of property.A society’s prescribed method of courtship is incredibly illuminating: As we trace the timeline of dating rituals, we can get a better sense of how Americans throughout time understood love and, by extension, the world.With the advent of new technologies (cell phones, social media, Tinder, etc.) and the changing definitions of traditional dating and families, modern dating is a more fluid and self-interpreted concept, very different from the relational context of the past.
This ritual may seem overly cautious, but in a society in which the Catholic Church was an incredibly powerful institution that prescribed marriage as an integral part of God’s plan, this was not a decision that could be made lightly.
Women especially were impeded by the law, which still did not acknowledge them as capable of claiming possession of property or monetary assets.
This courtship style was originally associated with less affluent youth without access to the resources or attractive homes needed to entertain.
Due to this connection with the lower class, the practice was initially mistrusted by parents, but dating quickly replaced calling as the favored model of romance.
In the years preceding World War II, a popularity-based system that sociologists refer to as the “dating and rating complex” developed.