Dating past and present

With the introduction of dating also came the focus on falling in love, rather than finding a society-approved match.

In previous years, love was not seen as being of central importance to a marriage, and if it was to come it would emerge after the wedding had already occurred.

According to the University of California, Santa Barbara, "Across university campuses, couples publicized their decision to 'go steady' when the man gave the woman an article of his clothing to wear, such as a jacket, sweater, or ring." Dating had become much more about youth culture than about family expectations.

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Some people look back fondly on dating, generations ago, with romantic ideas of greater morality and better values.

Others think that with all of the online apps and matchmaking websites we have today, it's never been easier to play the field.

As a result, the purpose of dating was primarily to have fun, not to find a marriage partner.

However, couples would form after several dates if they were interested in having more exclusive relationships." This starts to resemble what we would now conceive of as modern dating, and the ritual of courtship was left in the dust.

The era's fiction frequently drew on love themes, while articles, essays, and public orations stressed mutual respect, reciprocity, and romance as ingredients of good marriages.

Young courting couples chose their own partners, and their letters focused on romance rather than on the practical matters that had dominated the correspondence of earlier generations." The desire to climb the social ladder or to secure one's place in society fell by the wayside, and the desire to find a favorable longterm partner took its place.

Between the popularization of rock 'n' roll, and protesting the Vietnam War, 1960s youth culture was hot for revolution.

Not only was it the activities of the US government that young people were resisting, but they were shirking old social conventions as well.

In the earlier part of the 20th century, sex and sexuality were not openly discussed.

As author Jodi O'Brien put it, "Sex was desexualized" and reserved for marriage, when the couple had entered into a spiritual union with God.

Courtship was seen as a fundamental part of a well-functioning society.

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