Dating customs 19th century

As conditions in the United States changed in the early 1900s, so did the courtship system.In the 19th century, courtship was dominated by a system known as “calling” in which a man would visit a woman's house, where they would spend time together, under the supervision of the woman's parents.With the rise of the entertainment culture, with its movie houses and dance halls and their universal appeal across class lines, dating quickly moved up the socio-economic ladder to include middle- and upper-class men and women, as well as the new urbanites.When one tries to understand how dating has changed over time, and most importantly, how we arrived at the system of courtship and dating we have today, one must realize the monumental cultural shift that occurred during the 1940s, primarily due to World War II.

His study of Penn State undergraduates detailed a "dating and rating" system based on very clear standards of popularity.Society viewed courtship as a career move for men and a woman’s way of securing her position in life and security for her children.A Victorian man could amass great wealth simply by choosing a woman of great means, as her property would transfer to the man once married.In the late 1940s, Margaret Mead, in describing this pre-war dating system, argued that dating was not about sex or marriage.Instead, it was a "competitive game," a way for girls and boys to demonstrate their popularity.