The History of Dating

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The History of Dating

The world of dating has changed dramatically over the century. Some may argue that today’s society dating is dwindling and almost extinct. With the advent of computer and phone technology and the changing views of traditional dating and families, ‘dating’ has become a more open and self-guided custom over the century. It is also important to note that these rituals were mainly confined to heterosexual dating. In the past, many LGBT couples had to keep their relationships secret for fear of public criticism. Hence making the history of LGBT population quite different from the heterosexual.

DailyStar has mapped out the histroy of dating – the evolution of human romancing.

1900s-1910s    “Calling”

Men ‘called upon’ young women whom they fancied by visiting her home under supervision of her parents. They got to know each other intellectually and emotionally but any sexual intimacy was impossible not until wedded.

1920s–1930s    “Dating”

Dating became a common and more relaxed way to get to know another person. Women would only accept date invitations from men with money and gifts and tried to refrain from being seen with the same boy too often. Dating became more a public affair instead of having lengthy conversations at the woman’s parents.

1940s–1950s   “Going Steady”

WWII teens took dating as a popularity contest, whereby high school girls popularity was directly proportional to the number of boys in their dating calendar. All dating had to be done publicly or otherwise worthless – hence the rise of the school dance.

1960s – 1990s   “Sexual Revolution”

Women’s Movement, the emergency of the pill and a sexual revolution began during this time. Young people were more willing to have sex outside of committed relationships because birth control was increasingly available. Sex before marriage became less of a taboo. Oral sex was also on the rise, entering the lives of many young people. All of these factors, created an atmosphere for both women and men appreciate sex and all its benefits.

2000s  “Hook up Culture”

Dating has evolved dramatically again, major factors driving it was mainstream society acceptance of the LGBTQ individuals. Love is now seen as a universal human emotion, no matter what gender or sexual orientation. Terms like ‘girlfriend’, ‘boyfriend’ and ‘partner’ are used when describing the other half, and most important there are several stages to dating.
1rst stage: Attraction leads to talking and hanging out to get to know each other.
2nd stage: Dating is a very personal process with it own set of rules and ideas what defines a relationship.
3rd stage: Long-term relationship.
In addition, the practice of hooking up has become popular which is only an added facet to the diversity of relationships.

While some people see traditional dating as more desirable, there is still a large portion of people who want to go on traditional dates, want to fall in love, and desire a long-term and monogamous relationship.

In the multitude of dating styles and relationship options that exist today, it is up to the individuals to choose what makes them happy and best suits them.



Tina is a DailyStar senior writer. She graduated from Edith Cowan University. Writing has always been something she enjoyed. Her positive outlook colours every aspect of her life. Her motto -Life’s too short so get living.

When she’s not busy writing, Tina is exploring the city she adores, running in her local Park every day, drinking an absurd amount of coffee, taking care of an adorable pup, kids and traveling.

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