Dating etiquette in the 1900s

ORIGINS OF DATING Dating is definitely an "American phenomenon." Few other countries carry on this practice with as much fervor as Americans do.

Then again, few other countries have the same social conditions as America.

One of the conventions they put a new spin on, and consequently revolutionize, is the idea and practice of dating.

The 1950's set up precedents in dating that led to what many consider "normal" dating today.

And should the relationship move on, as they often do, it would move into the ubiquitous "going steady" stage (Mc Ginnis 74).

GOING STEADY This concept of "going steady" took on a new meaning in the fifties.

Images like these are so classic, they, for a number of people, are "as American as apple pie." They are produced and perpetuated by the media, through films like .

But when dating replaced calling, the males held most of the power, for they paid for the date, drove the automobiles, and came by the girl's house only to pick her up.Dating essentially replaced the practice of calling which was the primary way of courtship before the mid-1920's.When a man "calls" upon a woman, he usually shows up at her house during an "at home" session and presents his card to the maid who then gives it to the young lady.People date because it is "enjoyable, pleasant, and valuable" (Merrill 62), and they thought that they could gain rewarding experiences from it.In the fifties and surrounding decades, handbooks and other books exploring relationships described dating as a fun activity in which teens are allowed to meet and mingle with many members of the opposite sex.

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