If you are familiar with computer programming terminology, you can liken dating to a sub-routine that has been added to the system of courtship.Over the course of this two-part article, I would like to trace how this change occurred, especially concentrating on the origin of this dating "subroutine." Let me begin by briefly suggesting four cultural forces that assisted in moving from, as Alan Carlson puts it, the more predictable cultural script that existed for several centuries, to the multi-layered system and (I think most would agree) the more ambiguous courtship system that includes "the date." The first, and probably most important change we find in courtship practices in the West occurred in the early 20th century when courtship moved from public acts conducted in private spaces (for instance, the family porch or parlor) to private or individual acts conducted in public spaces, located primarily in the entertainment world, as Beth Bailey argues in her book, .Everything seemed to be feasible through modern technology.New technologies, especially automobiles, moving pictures, and radio, brought "modernity" to a large part of the population.This era saw the large-scale use of automobiles, telephones, motion pictures, radio, and electric appliances. The economies saw rapid industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand, plus significant changes in lifestyle and culture.
However, between the late 1800s and the first few decades of the 1900s the new system of "dating" added new stages to courtship.
There is too much that could be said here, so I'll be brief.
Simply put, with the onset of the widespread use of chemical and other means of birth control, the language of procreation — of having children — was separated from the language of marriage. of Chicago ethicist Leon Kass argues in his chapter on courtship in , under the old system of courtship, marriage and bringing a child into the world were inextricably linked. With the ever decreasing risk of pregnancy, having sex and being married were no longer tied together.
It's as if those who wrote and commented on male-female relationship had stopped reading the Song of Solomon and Jane Austen in favor of Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes.
The new courtship system gave importance to This new language of courtship had great symbolic importance and continues to shape the way we think, speak and act concerning relationships to this day.