The Evolution of Dating: We've Come A Long Way
The Evolution of Dating: We've Come A Long Way
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The Evolution of Dating: We've Come A Long Way

By Shelby Burr
When you were younger, what was the dating life like for you? Did you have the liberty to take your hot date out solo or did you have your lovely chaperone glued to your hip 24/7? No matter your experience, the form of dating has changed over the years. You think some first dates are awkward now? Imagine an awkward first date in the 1700's with your parents breathing down your neck and your chaperone by your side! Whether you were a total 1950’s-1960’s kid pulling up to a drive-in movie or a 90’s teen making mixed tapes together, dating was fun! Dating will only continue to change, but let’s reflect on the good ol’ days when dating was simple…well, kinda.


Yes, we went that far back. But, we had to! Look how far dating has come. Back in the 1700’s, marriage was less about romance and more about bearing children. Sounds a little harsh, but they needed a family who could help with the frontier workload. Courting was a big deal then and whether you were supervised by a family member or an adult, those courting dates included dinner, dancing parties, picnics or shopping. Not too shabby!


During the Civil War time, dating had advanced drastically from its previous era. Although, there were some new traditions that the 1700’s didn’t have. In the 1800’s, men were to repeatedly ask permission to marry a woman, even after they were already engaged. Sounds crazy, but the 1800’s by passed the “marriage for child bearing” conundrum and, instead, married out of love. Yay for love!


The roaring 20’s was filled with dancing, flapper dresses and bobbed hairstyles. As for dating, the idea of courting died down and the act of “dates” began. So, anytime you go out with your significant other, or on a first date, give mad respect to the 1920’s.


Although men were chivalrous during the other decades, the males decided to step up and become the best kind of gentlemen. Men treated their ladies with kindness by opening car doors, ordering for them at restaurants and they took the responsibility of the date. During this time, if two people were dating for a while, they were considered “going steady.” Not to mention, marriage occurred at a younger age.


This was a continuation of the 1950’s, but with a twist (and shout). Both men and women took more of an initiative to find a date. It’s so very kind when your fella pays for the date, but women thought to return the favor and help pay for the check. Couples in serious relationships also began living with one another. This typically meant wedding bells were going to ring soon!


The rockin’ 80’s brought great music and comfortability. During the 80’s, dating became less formal and it allowed couples to relax. You know, grabbing a slice of pizza, checking out the movie theater and just getting to know one another on a comfortable level. Also, proms were THE thing and the place to fall in love. That’s why all 80’s romance movies involved at least some kind of prom scene. Perms and corsages, ahhh, how romantic.


The decade of velvet, choker necklaces and blonde highlights. This decade was full of new fashion trends, music and, of course, the INTERNET. Internet dating became widespread and became looked at as a new age way to meet singles. Remember those late nights emailing or instant messaging on AIM?

2000's -Present)

Today, love comes in all forms. We still carry some past traditions from the previous decades, such as living with your significant other, having dates be more casual and the acceptance of online dating/dating apps! The evolution of dating will only continue to change and grow. Whether you enjoy the 1700’s picnic style dates or the 1980’s casual get-together’s, dating can be fun- no matter how far we’ve come.
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