A brief history of courtship and dating in america
Wanting more than just a business arrangement, suitors began to woo, or court, women with poetry and serenades.Shakespeare helped to popularize many thoughts and feelings about love in the 1600s.Most of the courting took place in the girl’s home under the protective eyes of her parents.If the courting became serious, the couple might be allowed to advance to the front porch. With the strides in courting being made in some locations, in Canada and Colonial America dating wasn’t a requirement for marriage. Marriage was more about finding a woman who could share in the workload and bear children.After the introductions, if a gentleman wished to visit with a lady, he would present his card to her.If the lady was interested, she would present him with her card.
All of this took place under the watchful eyes of parents. With the advent of the birth control pill and feminist freedom, the old dating rules no longer applied.Courting became almost an art form among the upper classes.Gentleman had to wait to be formally introduced to a lady before he could speak to her.The lack of women in the New World prompted many men to take out advertisements for partners and many young women made the journey to America as mail-order brides.
Advertisements for wives generally read that if a woman had clothes, pots and pans, cooking utensils, and if she could cook, sew and take care of children that she would have the services of a man until death parted them.With a scarcity of women, men often raided other villages and scooped up the first women they saw.As time went on, arranged marriages became the norm.This was about the same time as the King James Version of the Bible was translated with its risqué, romantic Song of Solomon.