How The First Date Has Changed Over The Past 100 Years

How The First Date Has Changed Over The Past 100 Years

Dating is a huge part of our lives in 2022, making it hard for many of us to believe that it’s a relatively new phenomenon and has changed a lot since the early 1900s.

From chaperoned dates to dating apps, the nature of first dates and dating, in general, has changed a lot over the years. Here’s a breakdown of how first dates have changed over the past hundred years.

The Early 1900s: Gentleman Callers

Since the concept of marrying for love was a relatively new concept at the turn of the 20th century, so was dating. Dating in the early 1900s resembled courtship more than modern dating, and first dates (and many other dates) consisted of a «gentleman caller» visiting a young woman at her home (after having received permission to do so from the young lady and her parents).

The date was almost always chaperoned by family members (talk about awkward), but the dates were also straightforward and focused on finding a potential future spouse. Though chaperoned dating doesn’t sound ideal, we can’t help but love the appeal of focusing on what the future of a relationship could be instead of playing games or wasting time.

The ‘20s: The Origin of the Modern Date

Courtship faded out at the start of the 1920s, and the modern date was born. Beth L. Bailey, author of From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America, writes, «Dating had almost completely replaced the old system of calling by the mid-1920s – and, in so doing, had transformed American courtship.»

The increasing affordability of cars meant that couples could get away from homes and supervising family members (and start “necking” in private). Couples started going out on unchaperoned dates in public, and the rise of speakeasies (undercover bars that illegally sold alcohol), made the classic drinking and dancing date popular. Though it was a big change from the chaperoned dates at home earlier in the century, we can’t help but love the idea of a date where you put on a pretty dress, grab a cocktail, and go dancing. Continuar leyendo «How The First Date Has Changed Over The Past 100 Years»