worldwide online dating sites - Dating customs in te victorian era

Young people often didn’t meet their future spouses until after the marriage had already been arranged, and they were sometimes betrothed and married at very young ages.

The concept of chivalry, or romantic ideals, arrived later in the Middle Ages with knights (some possibly on white horses) and troubadours (traveling poets/musicians) who tried to win their women’s hearts through brave deeds, poetry, and singing beneath balconies (the story of Romeo and Juliet is set in 15-century Italy).

This might be accomplished through a mutual friend.

If not, then his first consideration was how to get acquainted with the young woman, and this is where a gentleman’s investigative skills came into use.

He would have to ascertain where she lived and then make discreet inquiries, respecting her family and avoiding compromising her name by not even mentioning it in the course of his inquiry.

Then, hopefully, he could somehow work towards an introduction.

As what would have been our parents’ 68th wedding anniversary approaches, I reflect not only on their being my parents, but even more so on their courtship. It’s true that theirs was an odd courtship, but historically speaking, courtship has not been without its peculiarities.

It’s a quirky little story that, in an extremely condensed version, goes something like this: In 1942, Evert’s pal Jack goes to war, leaving behind pregnant wife Mary. Ruth is glad he’s there for Mary, and she imagines the little boy will soon have a father. One of the most peculiar was the custom in Colonial America of “bundling.” A practice that endured the longest in New England (oh, those Puritans), it involved an arrangement in which the male suitor would be asked to spend the night with the young lady’s family, specifically to share her bed.

Once a young woman had come out socially as a debutante, she could then attend parties and social gatherings.

The caveat, of course, was that she could not do so alone.

Certain etiquette and conduct was expected of an eighteenth or nineteenth century gentleman when courting.

One etiquette book noted that “courting ought never to be done except with a view to marriage.” One nineteenth century gentleman maintained that “true courtship consists in a number of quiet, gentlemanly attentions, not so pointed as to alarm, not so vague as to be misunderstood.” This meant a gentleman had to walk a fine line.

In the Victorian era, many saw marriage as an economic arrangement from which the families of both the bride and groom — though often the groom — would benefit.

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