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1960s dating customs

At the center of this 1950s youth dating culture was the act of "going steady," according to Beth Bailey.

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Beth Bailey comments, "Popularity was clearly the key — and popularity defined in a very specific way.You had to rate in order to date, to date in order to rate.By successfully maintaining this cycle, you became popular. So, that is the system in place prior to World War II.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.Instead, going steady was something twelve-year-olds could do, and something most fifteen-year-olds did do.

Few steady couples expected to marry each other, but for the duration of the relationship, acted ) had completely supplanted the former dating system based on popularity. Out of necessity, this cultural confusion has forced Christians to re-evaluate from where we are taking our cues — from the secular culture at-large or from a wise contemporary application of what is taught in Scripture.

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.

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.

After World War II the norms within the dating system began to change.