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.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.One example of this impression management comes from a 1938 article in where a Smith College senior advised incoming freshmen on how to cultivate an "image of popularity." She wrote, "During your first term, get home talent to ply you with letters, telegrams and invitations.College men will think, ." She also suggested that you get your mom back home to send you flowers from time to time, again, to give the impression of popularity.
In June 1945, captioned a photo of a bride and groom descending church steps with: "She got a man, but 6 to 8 million women won't. " Around this same time a half-serious article was published in magazine discussing the possibility of instituting a polygamous marriage system in the United States.* * * Note: If this discussion has piqued your interest and you would like to delve further into the history of courtship and dating, I recommend any of the works by Ken Myers, Beth Bailey, Alan Carlson or Leon Kass cited throughout the article.Perhaps a good place to start would be with the Mars Hill Audio Report, If you’ve enjoyed this article, will you consider giving a tax-deductible gift to Boundless right now?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.