American traditions of dating
As the years rolled on into the 1920s, however, this system quickly became outdated and unfavorable. Bailey writes in her book , "Dating had almost completely replaced the old system of calling by the mid-1920s — and, in so doing, had transformed American courtship." This was a period of time when couples started going out on dates, which also meant they started paying for dates.
This changed the relationship dynamic between a young man and a young woman, as now it was the man's duty to pay for the date, whereas before it was the woman who decided the terms of the visit.
If a young man was interested in a young woman, he would follow the proper protocol of calling upon her, which meant that he would come to the family's home and (hopefully) be welcomed into their parlor.
If he was invited back for subsequent visits, he would be free to come and call upon the young woman during hours specified by her parents.
The fundamental difference between courtship and dating is that of freedom.
While traditional courtship had its own set of rules and rituals, dating, as it evolved, became less structured.
From the turn of the 20th century, to the present day, romantic relationships have been an evolving part of culture, just like everything else.
In the 1950s, "going steady" was the term for being in an exclusive relationship.
This status was about the relationship, sure, but it was also about standing out amongst your peers.
In the earlier part of the 20th century, sex and sexuality were not openly discussed.
As author Jodi O'Brien put it, "Sex was desexualized" and reserved for marriage, when the couple had entered into a spiritual union with God.
This stands in stark contrast to today's dating world, when the topic of marriage may not be brought up for several years.