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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.In the late 1940s, Margaret Mead, in describing this pre-war dating system, argued that dating was not about sex or marriage.Instead, it was a "competitive game," a way for girls and boys to demonstrate their popularity.
However, the most striking change in postwar courtship and dating was the ever-earlier age at which children and teenagers entered the courtship and dating system.The courtship experience and ideals of those who grew up before World War II were profoundly different from those of teenagers in the postwar years, and the differences created much intergenerational conflict.Beth Bailey and Ken Myers explain in the Mars Hill Audio Report, , demonstrated through the number and variety of dates a young adult could command, sometimes even on the same night.With the rise of the entertainment culture, with its movie houses and dance halls and their universal appeal across class lines, dating quickly moved up the socio-economic ladder to include middle- and upper-class men and women, as well as the new urbanites.
When one tries to understand how dating has changed over time, and most importantly, how we arrived at the system of courtship and dating we have today, one must realize the monumental cultural shift that occurred during the 1940s, primarily due 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.