Dating courtships then and now
is actually a pretty recent phenomenon, in the grand history of civilization.
It wasn't until the 19th century that launching a relationship had anything to do with love and attraction.
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But for some people the image of arranged marriages is what first comes to mind when they hear the word courtship.
Unfortunately the twentieth century phenomenon of dating has so entrenched our thinking that we often see dating as the norm. Dating was a practice that only came into play after the introduction of the automobile.
There could be sexual tension involved, as anyone who's ever read Henry James knows; but the pace would be what we'd call today a (seriously) slow burn.
The emergence of institutions like prom brought a new way of dating for young adults.
Finally, they were able to get out from under their parents' thumb to enjoy activities with those they found attractive.
First dates would include attending a dance or hitting up an amusement park, an interviewer in the 1920s.
involved a gentleman caller coming to the house of a woman who piqued his fancy, and the two would have a visit with a chaperone in the room.
This would continue on until a mutual interest was reached and a marriage proposal was offered.
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