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However, an extra layer, what we call "dating," has been added to the process of courting.If you are familiar with computer programming terminology, you can liken dating to a sub-routine that has been added to the system of courtship.This kind of attachment is not healthy and can lead to a lot of pain on both sides. But it's good to have these guidelines to make you aware of the possibilities that could arise in these relationships.

So these are four important cultural forces in the early part of the 20th century that assisted in moving our culture from the older courtship system that existed prior to the late 19th century, to a courtship system that includes "dating," which, I will argue in the next article, is much more ambiguous and confusing." (Friendship "with benefits" is a contemporary example.) Closely related to this is the invention of birth control.There is too much that could be said here, so I'll be brief.For social scientists, studies of courtship usually look at the process of "mate selection." (Social scientists, among whom I number myself from time to time, will never be accused of being romantics.) For the purpose of this article the , prior to the early 20th century, courtship involved one man and one woman spending intentional time together to get to know each other with the expressed purpose of evaluating the other as a potential husband or wife.The man and the woman usually were members of the same community, and the courting usually was done in the woman's home in the presence (and under the watchful eye) of her family, most often Mom and brothers.

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