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World War II initiated a paradigm shift that deeply impacted the way American society approached dating.

No longer was quantity emphasized, but rather the stress fell on finding a loyal partner.

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Marriage also experienced a revival and was subsequently reabsorbed into youth culture: Marriage rates rose and average ages of married couples declined.

The committed, monogamous label of “going steady” emerged as the ideal relationship, and dating returned to its traditional role as a marital trial.

Reputation was also an essential form of social currency that required intimate guarding.

A woman suspected of dabbling with too many suitors was in danger of becoming publicly regarded as a “coquette,” which essentially socially branded her as a flirt, a disparaging designation in a society that so highly esteemed chastity.

Art and philosophy began to reflect a new world view in which love was prescribed as the ideal foundation for a marriage, even taking precedent over considerations of property.

This new romantic character of courtship plainly took form in the forsaking of traditional highly formalized love letters in favor of letters with a more endearing and poetic tone.A marriage built solely on the forces of emotion and mutual affection was scorned and perceived as irresponsible.Rather, love was regarded as the product of a constructed arrangement, eventually achieved by couples with aligned resources and values.This tradition of parental oversight was legitimized by the law, which held that guardians were permitted and expected to organize the transition of their child into a legal marriage.century, romance had rapidly become the desired method of courtship.A woman had to secure a large number of dates with attractive men; if she was unable to, or if she chose to exclusively date one man, her social “ratings” would suffer.

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