Elizabethan dating and marriage 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.It is important to remember that neither dating nor courtship is mandated in Scripture.In the end, the Christian character and spiritual maturity of the couple is far more important than the exact nature of how and when they spend time together.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, .
Bailey observes that by the 1930s and '40s, with the advent of the "date" (which we will look at more fully in the next installment) courtship increasingly took place in public spaces such as movie theaters and dance halls, removed by distance and by anonymity from the sheltering and controlling contexts of the home and local community.
However, between the late 1800s and the first few decades of the 1900s the new system of "dating" added new stages to courtship.
Elizabethan dating and marriage courtship comments