Dating in the 1960s
century, romance had rapidly become the desired method of courtship.
Art and philosophy began to reflect a new world view in which love was prescribed as the ideal foundation for a marriage, even taking precedent over considerations of property.
Rather, love was regarded as the product of a constructed arrangement, eventually achieved by couples with aligned resources and values.
This tradition of parental oversight was legitimized by the law, which held that guardians were permitted and expected to organize the transition of their child into a legal marriage.
No longer was quantity emphasized, but rather the stress fell on finding a loyal partner.
This change was partially catalyzed by the scarcity of young males in the United States, as nearly all able-bodied men between 18 and 26 were engaged in the war effort across seas.
With the advent of new technologies (cell phones, social media, Tinder, etc.) and the changing definitions of traditional dating and families, modern dating is a more fluid and self-interpreted concept, very different from the relational context of the past.
It is important to note that historically many of these mainstream rituals were strictly confined to heterosexual dating.
This ritual may seem overly cautious, but in a society in which the Catholic Church was an incredibly powerful institution that prescribed marriage as an integral part of God’s plan, this was not a decision that could be made lightly.
The Women’s Movement led to more women obtaining higher education and becoming integrated into the workforce, and more women began delaying marriage to first establish their careers.
This, combined with the increasing availability of birth control, led to a relaxation in attitudes toward premarital sex.
In this system, dating and marriage were viewed as two very separate entities, with marriage marking the graduation from youth into adulthood.
World War II initiated a paradigm shift that deeply impacted the way American society approached dating.
Marriage during this time was less a public declaration of mutual affection and more an essential means of legally exchanging property between families.