Age courtship dating early
As women began to skirt traditional roles of housewifery in favor of college, employment, and independent living, dating became prolonged and marriage delayed.
Sexual freedom also gained prominence, with traditional dating traded for shorter, casual encounters.
Suitors wooed their intended with serenades and flowery poetry, following the lead of lovelorn characters on stage and in verse. In 1228, it is said by many that women first gained the right to propose marriage in Scotland, a legal right that then slowly spread through Europe.
However, a number of historians have pointed out that this supposed leap year proposal statute never occurred, and instead gained its legs as a romantic notion spread in the press.
During medieval times, the importance of love in a relationship emerged as a reaction to arranged marriages but was still not considered a prerequisite in matrimonial decisions.
The wave of feminism in the 1960s began to change the face of American dating culture drastically.
Prior to the feminist movement, women and men who did not get married could be viewed as pitiable, or possibly flawed, prompting men and women to date and marry quickly.
Lovers had the opportunity to spend time alone with other singles their own age, and could go on dates with multiple people until they found someone to see exclusively.
Exclusive couples often shared letter jackets and rings with the expectation that the relationship would lead to marriage.