Dating or courtship

I grew up as a member of the homeschool community back when we were hiding from the cops and getting our textbooks from public school dumpsters.When I was a teenager, my friends started reading this new book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. After reading it myself, I grew into as big an opponent of dating as you could find.

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It often had symbols like the girl wearing the guy’s letter jacket.

This telegraphed to everyone at school that she was “off the market” and that she had a “steady beau”.

She went on to explain that there used to be a linguistic differentiation between “dating” and “going steady”.

“Going steady” meant you were going out with the same person multiple times in a row.

So what on earth were they doing that worked so well?

Over dinner, my grandmother shared her story about what dating was like back in the 30s and 40s.

This is different from my generation, which is encouraged to “wait until you are ready to get married” before pursuing a romantic relationship.

This advice, when combined with the fact that “the purpose of courtship is marriage”, makes asking a girl out for dinner the emotional equivalent of asking for her hand in marriage.

So if she went out for soda with Bob on Tuesday, she had to go to a movie with Bill on Thursday before she could go to the school dance with Bob on Saturday. The lack of exclusivity kept the interactions fun and casual. How could a boy have a claim to her time, heart or body if she was going out with someone else later that week?

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