The 1930s dating
Competitive dating, or “The Rating and Dating Complex” (by sociologist Willard Waller) dominated youth culture.
Mary Mc Coomb wrote in her book, Dating had become a full-fledged public affair.
The man and the woman usually were members of the same community, and the courting usually was done in the woman's home in the presence (and under the watchful eye) of her family, most often Mom and brothers.
However, between the late 1800s and the first few decades of the 1900s the new system of "dating" added new stages to courtship.
This 1930s set of dating tips doesn’t have any opponents.
It was a different time you’ll say, different people, different customs, and even though we might agree, we still find these “rules” extremely hilarious.
The two would spend time together, usually with the supervision of her parents so that they may get to know each other on an intellectual and emotional level.
The couple was rarely left alone, making sexual intimacy (and physical contact in general) nearly impossible.
However, an extra layer, what we call "dating," has been added to the process of courting.
One of the most obvious changes was that it multiplied the number of partners (from serious to casual) an individual was likely to have before marriage.
So one important point to understand right up front (and about which many inside and outside the church are confused) is that we have not moved a dating system into our courtship system.
As Beth Bailey, author of The concept of dating value had nothing to do with the interpersonal experience of a date–whether or not the boy (or girl, for that matter) was fun or charming or brilliant was irrelevant. Having a “good line” meant the young gentleman had to exhibit passion and personality to gain a girl’s attention.
The dating world has never been an easy and comfortable place.
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.