Having a relationship with someone is important in all cultures, however the process of dating is different according to countries.Thus, culture affects the way people date, suggesting various kinds of dates from heavily supervised meetings to evenings spent at the movies. It's one of those words with which most people are familiar, but have vastly differing opinions of what it means. It summons visions of men women with small tokens of affection and asking their hand in marriage on bended knee.For social scientists, studies of courtship usually look at the process of "mate selection." (Social scientists, among whom I number myself from time to time, will never be accused of being romantics.) For the purpose of this article the , prior to the early 20th century, courtship involved one man and one woman spending intentional time together to get to know each other with the expressed purpose of evaluating the other as a potential husband or wife.It is important to note that many of these mainstream rituals were strictly confined to heterosexual dating.
However, between the late 1800s and the first few decades of the 1900s the new system of "dating" added new stages to courtship.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.Over the course of this two-part article, I would like to trace how this change occurred, especially concentrating on the origin of this dating "subroutine." Let me begin by briefly suggesting four cultural forces that assisted in moving from, as Alan Carlson puts it, the more predictable cultural script that existed for several centuries, to the multi-layered system and (I think most would agree) the more ambiguous courtship system that includes "the date." The first, and probably most important change we find in courtship practices in the West occurred in the early 20th century when courtship moved from public acts conducted in private spaces (for instance, the family porch or parlor) to private or individual acts conducted in public spaces, located primarily in the entertainment world, as Beth Bailey argues in her book, .Slumber parties are preferred by the young living in Italy, as well as Switzerland.At such parties, teens gather at someones home and remain over night after the party has come to an end.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.