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A girl who could resist “going steady” was most desirable. As Beth Bailey wrote, “You had to rate in order to date, to date in order to rate.By successfully maintaining this cycle, you became popular.” Competitive dating must have been stressful Some yearned again for the simpler times.With the rise of the entertainment culture, with its movie houses and dance halls and their universal appeal across class lines, dating quickly moved up the socio-economic ladder to include middle- and upper-class men and women, as well as the new urbanites.When one tries to understand how dating has changed over time, and most importantly, how we arrived at the system of courtship and dating we have today, one must realize the monumental cultural shift that occurred during the 1940s, primarily due to World War II.
As Beth Bailey, author of The concept of dating value had nothing to do with the interpersonal experience of a date–whether or not the boy (or girl, for that matter) was fun or charming or brilliant was irrelevant. Having a “good line” meant the young gentleman had to exhibit passion and personality to gain a girl’s attention.The Roaring 20s party collided headfirst into the 1929 stock market crash.Courtship had given way to dating as we discussed in The Invention of Dating.The most important of these factors is the last…” For girls, desirability and popularity were the most important features for a girl to possess.Many girls would have flowers and notes sent from home to appear “in demand.” The girls who dated the most guys were considered the most popular as a date.