The world of dating in America has changed dramatically over the last century.
Some may argue that in today's society, it is nonexistent and has been replaced by what many young people refer to as "hooking up." With the advent of new technologies (e.g., cell phones, instant messaging, video chatting, etc.) and the changing definitions of traditional dating and families, "dating" has become a more open and self-interpreted institution over the century.
It is important to note that many of these mainstream rituals were strictly confined to heterosexual dating.
For this reason, the history of dating tends to be quite different for the LGBT population.In the first decade of the twentieth century, men "called upon" young women whom they fancied by (with the permission of her parents) visiting her home.The two would spend time together, usually with the supervision of her parents so that they may get to know each other on an intellectual and emotional level.The couple was rarely left alone, making sexual intimacy (and physical contact in general) nearly impossible.Since lower-class families did not have the resources to entertain potential suitors in their home, many couples began leaving the house to spend time together.
Thus, the phrase "going out on a date" became popularized.During this period, a couple's dating hisory was typically defined as the period of time two people spend together (in an exclusive or nearly exclusive, nonsexual relationship) before marriage.However, in today's society, dating can be seen as its own social relationship, with no ending point or specific destination (such as marriage) required.As the twentieth century progressed, many young members of the upper class grew to dislike the "calling" style of dating and started rebelling by going on dates as did members of the lower class.Dating became a common and more relaxed way to get to know another person, especially when the automobile was invented and widely consumed by the American public.Now with their own modes of transportation and much more freedom, young people began going out to restaurants or to the cinema to have fun, instead of having lengthy discussions with the woman's parents.