Courtship is a dance as old as the human race. (Hoose 56). Dating is essentially the basis of life. If people are unable to find a mate and procreate, then human life ceases to exist. Although courtship can often lead to marriage, the way a couple reaches the point of matrimony has changed. Through the advancements in technology and changes in society, courtship in America has evolved drastically. Although many of the traditions and ceremonies of early America are still present such as wedding vows, marriages in churches, and the use of the wedding ring, many things have changed (Outhwaite, 1995). Mannerisms and activities that would have once been considered vulgar and inappropriate have now become the standards of dating.
Although Americans were very concerned with the organization of their new country after the Revolutionary War, citizens did not overlook the issue of courtship. At this time, many marriages were arranged, and little dating actually occurred. When children were actually allowed to choose their mate, there were many things for them to consider. Young men of higher classes had to choose a partner who would not degrade the family name (Cressy, 1997). Women had a very small role in the decision of their mate, since they were perceived as simpletons, inferior to men, and their sole purpose was to meet the needs of the husbands (Lasch, 1997).
During this time, there were also few “whirl wind” relationships. Courtship was known for being very long, usually lasting anywhere from nine months to two years. Courtship was very long due to the fact that men wanted to be sure that they had found the perfect mate. Divorce was extremely difficult to get, and in order to rece...
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...at way since the 1940’s.
Men and women have participated in a ritual that has been embedded in existence since the dawn of time. Beginning at young ages, humans start learning to master the art of attracting someone of the opposite sex, in hopes to find the perfect mate. Through time, there have been many ways for one to achieve the goal of finding their mate. In American culture, many different aspects have been approached regarding the discovery of “the perfect mate.” Only through technological advances and societal changes has courtship evolved into what it is today. Many traditions have been upheld regarding courtship and marriage, but if it not through time and evolution, many marriages would still be arranged, and divorce would still be nearly illegal, simply due to the fact that many people would not want to marry the first and only person they ever dated.
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