Dating etiquette in the 1900s
Dating essentially replaced the practice of calling which was the primary way of courtship before the mid-1920's.
When a man "calls" upon a woman, he usually shows up at her house during an "at home" session and presents his card to the maid who then gives it to the young lady.
People date because it is "enjoyable, pleasant, and valuable" (Merrill 62), and they thought that they could gain rewarding experiences from it.
In the fifties and surrounding decades, handbooks and other books exploring relationships described dating as a fun activity in which teens are allowed to meet and mingle with many members of the opposite sex.
Images like these are so classic, they, for a number of people, are "as American as apple pie." They are produced and perpetuated by the media, through films like .
Firstly, calling was practiced with the intention of finding a suitable husband for a young lady; whereas, in dating, this was, and still is, not the primary goal.Since the turn of the century, there has been a greater freedom between men and women, for example, both attend the same schools with the same classes.Both sexes become accustomed to the other at early ages which is very conducive to the practice of dating (Merrill 61).She then is given the option of accepting his call by letting him in or rejecting it by making up an excuse as to why she cannot see him.
Refreshments were often served (though not always), and the entertainment was primarily piano playing in the parlor.So they initial shyness of young couple can be eased away by the presence of other company, especially if the double date was a "set-up" or a blind date for one couple.