Visits and comments poured in from all over the country about how to make courtship work and why it did not work. I’m talking the kind of couples who first kissed at their wedding were filing for divorce. The deal was that if we put up with the rules and awkwardness of courtship now we could avoid the pain of divorce later.Each year I waited for courtship to start working and for my homeschool friends to start getting married. The whole point of courtship was to have a happy marriage, not a high divorce rate.It seems that my great grandparents’ rule forbidding my grandmother from going out with the same guy twice in a row was a common rule in those days.The Greatest Generation was encouraged to date and discouraged from going steady while in middle school.She went on to explain that there used to be a linguistic differentiation between “dating” and “going steady”.“Going steady” meant you were going out with the same person multiple times in a row.This meant that by the time she was 17 years old she knew which Bob she wanted to marry.
This telegraphed to everyone at school that she was “off the market” and that she had a “steady beau”.
But here are the elements most conservative communities have in common: My grandmother grew up in a marginally Christian community.
People went to church on Sunday, but that was the extent of their religious activity.
So if she went out for soda with Bob on Tuesday, she had to go to a movie with Bill on Thursday before she could go to the school dance with Bob on Saturday. The lack of exclusivity kept the interactions fun and casual. How could a boy have a claim to her time, heart or body if she was going out with someone else later that week?
She went on to explain that by the time she graduated from high school, she had gone out on dates with over 20 different guys.