What Does It Mean to Be a Romantic Couple?
The courtship rituals have greatly evolved over time and what we treat as romantic in the present-day realms, was considered as scandalous and even criminal just a century ago. In the famous work by Moira Weigel, which is called A Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating, the author tells the incredible story of the romantic couple. Reading this book, the audience learns much more about the romantic ideas from the ancient times to nowadays. So, we offer you to learn a few fascinating things that you did not know before:
Then vs Now:
- The word “dating” is relatively new.
According to Weigel, the word “dating” can be referred to 1896, when it was used for the first time in a newspaper column in which a young passionate man complains that his girlfriend is meeting with other people. He says, “they are filling all my dates,” as the dates of the calendar.
- At the beginning of the twentieth century, dating could be a felony.
In the 1900s, dating was a rather new concept and the law enforcement was not sure how to deal with it. It was not clear if this concept followed the social standards and ethical norms. As such, the public revealing of romantic feelings equaled the prostitution and could be severely punished.
- Dating has brought privacy to the courtship.
Paradoxically, but meeting in public a man and a woman could reach the certain level of intimacy. Before the dating, courtship included the suitors calling on the potential partners at home. As such, since McMansions were not that popular, it meant the kitchen or parlor, where there were always eyes and ears of the other people.
- Dating quickly became a kind of a business.
It is hard to connect the concept of true love with business, however, it took place. Before dating became so popular, “calling” and “courtship” were conducted mainly with the purpose of marriage. Being a family affair, this process included the callers, who signified heirs, happiness, and property. The newly established industry of dating, though, had pretty different purposes. The people, who popularized this trend believed that marriage hurt business. For the first time in the history of humanity, dating made it necessary to purchase various things to satisfy the needs of the partner. This tendency is also popular nowadays.
- Consumer goods were not that popular previously.
At the early stages of the development of the romantic relationships, the future of the couple was determined by the material prosperity of the parents, the status in society, lands, and the class of the family. However, later, the consumer goods became the indicator of searching the potential partner. For example, nowadays seeking the beloved person, the individual assesses the model of the phone, car, or the brand of the clothes.
- Wearing makeup is closely connected with the history of dating
Before the 20th century, the vast majority of women did not paint their faces that because the natural look symbolized the pure life of the girl. Only the prostitutes or actresses did that. To make their products mainstream, the makeup companies popularized their goods claiming that the women painting their faces could easily reach their goals in the development of the romantic relationships demonstrating their sexuality.
- The “biological clock” is a particularly sexist concept
The first warnings of the biological clock appeared in the 1970s and quickly gained popularity. Paradoxically, but the women were limited to the certain age when they had to give birth to the child, while men could spend their life the way they wanted. A man`s biological clock was totally ignored. However, it should be noted that the traditional biological clock refers to the tragic French birth records from 1670ies till 1830ies. As one historian reasonably suggests, “Nowadays, the women are told about the time when they should get pregnant based on the statistics of the time when there was no medicine, electricity, or fertility treatment.”
- Hippies were not the first who Proclaimed free love
With the rise of feminism in the 1800s, there was a popular viewpoint according to which a marriage was not more than just a sexual slavery. As such, the first woman who tried to become a President of the United States, considered herself as a free lover, who had the right to choose whom to love. According to the popular belief, nobody could interfere into the personal position of a person, and moreover, impose the “weird” wedding themes.
Undoubtedly, the theme of love is everlasting. To summarize, it should be said that the dating in the 21st century is pretty much different from the one in the 19th century. However, there is one common feature. Those people who seem physically and mentally attractive to each other express their warm feelings and emotions and want to spend much time together.