Dating and marriage during the middle ages

What was courtship and marriage like for our distant ancestors?Beginning with the ancient Greeks' recognition of the need to describe more than one kind of love, inventing the word In ancient times, many of the first marriages were by capture, not choice — when there was a scarcity of nubile women, men raided other villages for wives.

Frequently the tribe from which a warrior stole a bride would come looking for her, and it was necessary for the warrior and his new wife to go into hiding to avoid being discovered.

According to an old French custom, as the moon went through all its phases the couple drank a brew called metheglin, which was made from honey. Arranged marriages were the norm, primarily business relationships born out of the desire and/or need for property, monetary or political alliances.

From buying a woman dinner to opening a door for her, many of today's courting rituals are rooted in medieval chivalry.

During medieval times, the importance of love in a relationship emerged as a reaction to arranged marriages but was still not considered a prerequisite in matrimonial decisions.

Consistently, procreation, or "the divine plan" of continuing the race, was seen as the only acceptable end to marital relations.

Not only was the purpose of sex within marriage made abundantly clear by the church, but there were many rules and regulations pertaining to the act itself.

During the Victorian Era (1837-1901), romantic love became viewed as the primary requirement for marriage and courting became even more formal — almost an art form among the upper classes.

An interested gentleman could not simply walk up to a young lady and begin a conversation.

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For a long time (much to the chagrin of his lady, whose turn came round once a month at the most) he abided by this régime...(179-80) In addition to prescribing when couples might have intercourse, the church also provided instructions for marital coitus.