Part 1: A Brief History of Dating and Courtship in America Let's turn our attention now to "dating" and the "date" itself. How did it become such an important part of our courtship system? According to cultural historian Beth Bailey, the word was probably originally used as a lower-class slang word for booking an appointment with a prostitute.
However, by the turn of the 20th century we find the word being used to describe lower-class men and women going out socially to public dances, parties and other meeting places, primarily in urban centers where women had to share small apartments and did not have spacious front parlors in their homes to which to invite men to call.
Amy Vanderbilt is quite possibly one of my favorite people ever.
I collect old etiquette books in general, but hers have always been my favorite, mostly because she’s way crazier than the far more famous etiquette expert Emily Post and seems to have no idea that poor people exist. I have culled these delightful examples of outdated etiquette tips from both the 700-page tome “Amy Vanderbilt’s New Complete Book of Etiquette” and the slightly smaller advice column-style “Amy Vanderbilt’s Everyday Etiquette,” both published in 1952.
With the rise of the entertainment culture, with its movie houses and dance halls and their universal appeal across class lines, dating quickly moved up the socio-economic ladder to include middle- and upper-class men and women, as well as the new urbanites.
When one tries to understand how dating has changed over time, and most importantly, how we arrived at the system of courtship and dating we have today, one must realize the monumental cultural shift that occurred during the 1940s, primarily due to World War II.
She defenestrated herself—although it’s never been determined whether she just fell out of the window as a result of taking too much hypertension medication or if she committed suicide as a result of the 1970s being too tacky to bear. However, her decision must be abided by.” name one single dude who would pick up on this? Apparently, smoking corn silk was a thing the kids used to do? I would like you to wait until you’re 18 or even 21.”“Yes you may, saying something such as ‘This is business—you’re the firm’s guest.’ If the bill is to be paid at the desk, quietly put money to cover it on the check and ask your customer to take care of it.
An old rule and a good one is ‘Avoid the appearance of evil.’ It is still very true that men value little those girls who have no strong sense of propriety themselves.”“In many large continental hotels, paid dancing partners are frequently on duty at tea time and dinner where there is a dance orchestra.
As we’ll soon discuss, practices such as pinning signified a commitment to get married.
Whereas people felt pressure to date as many people as possible in the 1930s, people felt pressure to settle down and marry in the ’50s. Advice and counseling were not as readily available.
Downsides: * Court-ship was often long and arduous.
While one night stands have always been around, back in those days a man might have to spend a year courting a lady to make her 'his.' * Family was often very conservative and particular.