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Despite increased emphasis on a single relationship, “going steady” was still a very social label.Men in the relationship would make their arrangement visible to outsiders by gifting his date a letterman jacket or a class ring, and the girl expected to be called and taken out on dates a certain number of times each week.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.Women became less concerned with a man's status and more interested in his likelihood of survival.Reputation was also an essential form of social currency that required intimate guarding.
During the courtship process, it was typical for the intended couples to divulge their perceived character flaws to ensure that a long-term commitment would be logical and feasible.
This ritual may seem overly cautious, but in a society in which the Catholic Church was an incredibly powerful institution that prescribed marriage as an integral part of God’s plan, this was not a decision that could be made lightly.
Additionally, the many legal and social barriers surrounding divorce increased the pressure to ensure that a match was suitable.
This tradition of parental oversight was legitimized by the law, which held that guardians were permitted and expected to organize the transition of their child into a legal marriage.
century, romance had rapidly become the desired method of courtship.