If the average age of first marriages was dropping (around age 18 for women and 20 for men) then the preparation for marriage — the shopping around, if you will — had to begin much earlier than that.One sociologist wrote in a July 1953 article that each boy and girl ideally should date 25 to 50 eligible marriage partners before making his or her final decision.After World War II, due in part to the fact that 250,000 men never came home, for the first time in the United States, women outnumbered men.In June 1945, captioned a photo of a bride and groom descending church steps with: "She got a man, but 6 to 8 million women won't. " Around this same time a half-serious article was published in magazine discussing the possibility of instituting a polygamous marriage system in the United States.Men's popularity needed outward material signs: automobile, clothing, fraternity membership, money, etc.Women's popularity depended on building and maintaining a reputation of popularity: be seen with popular men in the "right" places, turn down requests for dates made at the last minute and cultivate the impression that you are greatly in demand.It was not earned directly through talent, looks, personality or importance and involvement in organizations, but by the way these attributes translated into the number and frequency of dates.
College men will think, ." She also suggested that you get your mom back home to send you flowers from time to time, again, to give the impression of popularity.
In the late 1940s, Margaret Mead, in describing this pre-war dating system, argued that dating was not about sex or marriage.
Instead, it was a "competitive game," a way for girls and boys to demonstrate their popularity.
Each party must return (or negotiate custody of) jackets, T-shirts, jewelry, CDs, etc. When do we have the DTR (defining the relationship) talk? Realizing how spiritually, psychologically and physically destructive sexual relations are outside of the bond and vow of marriage, many teens and young adults, both men and women, are committing (or re-committing) themselves to chastity. It was my aim in these articles briefly to explain from where our modern courtship and dating practices have come.
I hope this historical review has helped you to understand the courtship practices you have inherited, and can assist you in living more wisely, which is the goal of all Christians.
Due primarily to this scarcity of men, two things happened in the United States after World War II pertaining to marriage: Marriage rates climbed, and the average age of those marrying went down.