The rise of dating.

Try imagining the days when it didn’t exist:

Until the dawn of cars and greater mobility, there wasn’t dating as we came to understand it; there were visits on porches and in parlors, often under the intrusive gazes of nattering relatives. “It was very limiting,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University.

And there weren’t all that many visits, either. Cherlin said that a person back then might meet his or her spouse just 10 times before marrying, and that this minimal contact enabled you to “present yourself much differently than you will later on.”

In the 1950s, with its drive-in diners and back-seat fumbling, teenagers in lust finally had quality time away from meddlesome parents, going off to sock hops and going steady.


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