United states dating traditions

A woman suspected of dabbling with too many suitors was in danger of becoming publicly regarded as a “coquette,” which essentially socially branded her as a flirt, a disparaging designation in a society that so highly esteemed chastity.A marriage built solely on the forces of emotion and mutual affection was scorned and perceived as irresponsible.During the courtship process, it was typical for the intended couples to divulge their perceived character flaws to ensure that a long-term commitment would be logical and feasible.

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The committed, monogamous label of “going steady” emerged as the ideal relationship, and dating returned to its traditional role as a marital trial.

Despite increased emphasis on a single relationship, “going steady” was still a very social label.

No longer was quantity emphasized, but rather the stress fell on finding a loyal partner.

This change was partially catalyzed by the scarcity of young males in the United States, as nearly all able-bodied men between 18 and 26 were engaged in the war effort across seas.

Additionally, the many legal and social barriers surrounding divorce increased the pressure to ensure that a match was suitable.

Separation was often only granted on grounds of bigamy, impotence, or adultery.The Women’s Movement led to more women obtaining higher education and becoming integrated into the workforce, and more women began delaying marriage to first establish their careers.This, combined with the increasing availability of birth control, led to a relaxation in attitudes toward premarital sex.This new romantic character of courtship plainly took form in the forsaking of traditional highly formalized love letters in favor of letters with a more endearing and poetic tone.But despite this move towards emotionally based relationships, the compatibility of matches was still strongly emphasized.The courting script was usually contained to “calling,” in which the man was invited into the woman’s parlor for conversations over tea and involved a large degree of supervision.

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