American dating rules

24 May

Due primarily to this scarcity of men, two things happened in the United States after World War II pertaining to marriage: Marriage rates climbed, and the average age of those marrying went down.However, the most striking change in postwar courtship and dating was the ever-earlier age at which children and teenagers entered the courtship and dating system.You had to rate in order to date, to date in order to rate.By successfully maintaining this cycle, you became popular. So, that is the system in place prior to World War II.* * * Note: If this discussion has piqued your interest and you would like to delve further into the history of courtship and dating, I recommend any of the works by Ken Myers, Beth Bailey, Alan Carlson or Leon Kass cited throughout the article.Perhaps a good place to start would be with the Mars Hill Audio Report, If you’ve enjoyed this article, will you consider giving a tax-deductible gift to Boundless right now?By the early 1950s, going steady had acquired a totally different meaning.It was no longer the way a marriageable couple signaled their deepening intentions.

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Instead, it was a "competitive game," a way for girls and boys to demonstrate their popularity.

The courtship experience and ideals of those who grew up before World War II were profoundly different from those of teenagers in the postwar years, and the differences created much intergenerational conflict.

Beth Bailey and Ken Myers explain in the Mars Hill Audio Report, , demonstrated through the number and variety of dates a young adult could command, sometimes even on the same night.

If the average age of first marriages was dropping (around age 18 for women and 20 for men) then the preparation for marriage — the shopping around, if you will — had to begin much earlier than that.

One sociologist wrote in a July 1953 article that each boy and girl ideally should date 25 to 50 eligible marriage partners before making his or her final decision.