Contemparary dating etiquette
In other words, men are the hosts or “entertainers” in the current script, where women are expected to return some form of gratitude.While undoubtedly, women still possess the power of veto (or rejection), they nonetheless often find themselves waiting for male initiative.In proper courting, this sentiment was centered wholly upon one individual, the beloved.The man not only strove to win the affection of his beloved through a self-renouncing love, he worked to orient his affections to higher and nobler ends such as marital fidelity, reverence for the social good of family, and the unique value of interpersonal communion.Since the process of courting occurred within the context of the woman’s home, she was considered responsible for the “entertainment” and retained complete control of the social engagement.Thus, after their meeting, a man owed his hostess a formal letter of gratitude for the hospitality he received.Yet wooing, understood fully, is highly distinct from “pursuit,” our more commonly used term to describe romantic engagements.In order to recognize the contrareity between wooing and pursuing one must first recognize that the notion of pursuit as we practice today arose concurrently with the practice of dating and is in fact a constitutive aspect of the current dating culture.
Rather, any “respectable” suitor- or one who aspired to “respectability”- knew he ought to offer his affections only within the bounds of a certain pre-scripted context.
Technology and economics have changed the rules, the expectations, and the rituals leading to marriage.
The concept of courtship has always been the process of rituals that eventually leads to marriage.
What would a regime of courtship look like that was both civilized and equitable, that took gender differences seriously but still gave both parties a position of freedom and agency? Amy and Leon Kass, married scholars at University of Chicago, who propose a return to courtship as a path that lays the foundation for marital bliss.
According to the Kasses, courtship is the practice of “finding and winning the right one, for marriage.” The term “courting,” they report, goes back to the 16th century: “to pay amorous attention to, to woo, with a view to marriage.” The meaning of the term “to woo” can easily be lost in a culture whose members may care little for love and even less for marriage.