In this system, dating and marriage were viewed as two very separate entities, with marriage marking the graduation from youth into adulthood.
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.
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.
It is important to note that historically many of these mainstream rituals were strictly confined to heterosexual dating.
As the American conception of intimacy evolves, so does society’s approach to dating.
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.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.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.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.The committed, monogamous label of “going steady” emerged as the ideal relationship, and dating returned to its traditional role as a marital trial.