Dating Then and Now

I was researching for this article and I have to say that I learn something new every day! I wasn’t sure when “dating” actually ever started and I found out it was at the turn of the 20th century. Before that, it was more of a courtship and there really wasn’t much emotion involved at the time. It was far more private and personal and by all means never really talked about.

The Beginning of Dating

The turn of the 20th century seems to be the consensus of the time that dating game started. This was becoming more and more of a thing. Before this, the girls would have meetings with a few guys until Mom and Dad liked one of them and then they would set up a marriage for them. The final say had a lot to do with the guys financial status and their social lives. The more they had of these two things, the more apt that was to be the new son in law.

But then, and let me tell you, I cannot even fathom mom and dad having any of this, but the kids started going out more and more with the opposite sex, mostly in groups, without the parents. Marriage was still the end goal in the 20th century, but the parents were not as much in charge.

Procedures of Dating in the Early 20th Century

In as much as the dating craze was happening, there were still procedures that had to be done. If a young man wanted to date a girl, he had to do the proper thing and come calling. He came to call on her and if he was very lucky, the family liked him enough to invite him inside. This was not successful on the first visit, he had to work for it. He needed to be invited a few times and then, and only then, he could come calling on the daughter and she was allowed to see him and date him.

This was a feverish and daunting task he had pulled himself into, so we can only imagine that he really liked her enough to go through all of this business to get to date his girl.

Dating in the Mid 20th Century

By the middle of the 20th century, this changed drastically, and seems like overnight almost. This drastically transformed the art of dating. Yes I meant to say the art of dating. I say that because even if it was seen that they had gone into dating alone as a couple, it brought on several other thoughts and issues, which made it quite a work of art. Things the man now has to pay for the date, unlike before when she chose to decide the terms of their date. Now, he has to pay for it and this eventually managed to cause even more issues. Keep reading.

Dating Versus Courtship

Courtship was a matter of a more structured thing and has far less freedom, but some of the more “appropriate” families would still have the upper hand on how a man dated his daughter. This was still meant to be the well functioning society, as everyone was still in the box, so to speak. But guess what dating did?

Dating was way more free and barely structured at all. As a result of this, the dating became more personal and more emotional. Dating wasn’t about marriage anymore, it was more about having fun and getting to know each other on their own terms. Needless to say, this was the cultural shift and from here on, things change to even more of a change in the “dating” scene.

Freedom of Love

Dating in the 1970s was very interesting. You go from the structured dating in the 1920s to mid century, where things are very structured and parents had total control and there was never a mention of sex. That would have given all parents a heart attack I think. However, get to the 70s when the younger adults became protestors and activists, going against the government, the Viet Nam War. Then came the rock and roll and the so called “flower child” generation, where there was absolutely no control for those young adults. If mom and dad said it was green, kids said it was black.

This was the heavy lifting time when sex experiments started, and it caused some chaos, but seemed to be a destroyer of a girls reputation. As a female myself, I get a little crazy with this one, if a guy can do this and it be ok, girls should have the same options. But, let’s move on and get to the modern dating.

Millennial Dating Scene

Cut to 2017ish, and I bet you won’t find one person with a phone that doesn’t have a dating app of some kind on their phone. There are exceptions of course, but those are few and far between. I would list all of them for you, but I don’t think neither of u s have the time.

Whether dating has become better or worse is a hard one to sell. Back then, there was little to no freedom, but then today is far too much freedom. It’s so very hard today, to figure out what each other wants, and this is hard. Do they want to get to know you or just want to have some fun? The best that can be done, in my opinion, is to follow your heart, but be very careful out there, it isn’t as safe now as it was back then, that is the major pitfall to me.