19th century dating customs

Added: Keiona Ogorman - Date: 17.11.2021 13:45 - Views: 49363 - Clicks: 4086

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In western culture, where only marriage could produce legitimate offspring, the wooing of a spouse has been a fundamental part of human existence. The practice of courtship ie with view to marriage was often bound by particular rules, especially in the upper classes. But inevitably, as ideas and expectations about marriage have evolved over the centuries, so too have the rituals of courtship.

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Pre-marital sex was the norm for many people. The recent development of instant messaging and dating apps has opened up what feels like an unlimited pool of potential partners, and often reduces the earliest stage of romantic correspondence to a right-swipe and a brief exchange of messages. For centuries the purpose of upper-class marriage was to forge an alliance beneficial to both families, whether that meant the acquisition of titles, fortunes, or the influential contacts of new in-laws.

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The later 18th century saw a huge shift, as marriage was increasingly linked to affection rather than alliance. Advances in technology promptly ushered in new romantic opportunities. Though many look nostalgically at the etiquette of old, by letting go of the redundant rituals of the past we have gained independence, choice, and perhaps a better chance at finding a loving partnership.

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Emily Brand is an author and historian specialising in the long 18th century, especially the trials and tribulations of romantic and not-so-romantic relationships in England. Did you know? Condoms that could be washed out with carbolic soap were used from the midth century.

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19th century dating customs

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