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The committed, monogamous label of “going steady” emerged as the ideal relationship, and dating returned to its traditional role as a marital trial.
Despite increased emphasis on a single relationship, “going steady” was still a very social label.
With the advent of new technologies (cell phones, social media, Tinder, etc.) and the changing definitions of traditional dating and families, modern dating is a more fluid and self-interpreted concept, very different from the relational context of the past.
It is important to note that historically many of these mainstream rituals were strictly confined to heterosexual dating.
Courtship was the ritual that would allow the families to evaluate potential matches and determine if the arrangement would be advantageous.
No longer was quantity emphasized, but rather the stress fell on finding a loyal partner.
This change was partially catalyzed by the scarcity of young males in the United States, as nearly all able-bodied men between 18 and 26 were engaged in the war effort across seas.
Additionally, the many legal and social barriers surrounding divorce increased the pressure to ensure that a match was suitable.
Separation was often only granted on grounds of bigamy, impotence, or adultery.