Dating fear of rejection
Middle class calling rituals, calling cards, flowers, and other small courtship gifts became increasingly elaborated, common, and expensive during the Victorian era (Ames 1978).
The cost of courtship also increased due to more commercial entertainments such as "Taking a train or streetcar to a nearby town to see a show, ride a carousel, or dance in a cabaret" (Rothman 1984, p. If men felt an increased economic burden in these rituals, women felt increasingly uneasy about the economic dependency that such gift-giving fostered (Lystra 1989, p. However, it was not until the emergence of dating during the 1920s that the cost and scale of interactions among unmarried men and women, especially those in college, made a quantum leap.
In addition, a woman's home and schooling might limit her exposure to certain men. 163) reports a 19th century woman's derision of a neighbor's daughter whose marriage to an Army officer "was because her mother and brother never took the trouble to have a suitable home for her, and bring into it, the class of young men, whom after all they would have liked her to marry." -The home of a woman's family was both the meeting and screening ground for her future marriage prospects.
Upper middle class families also tried to provide their daughters with an education at a "proper" school where they could meet "appropriate" members of the other sex.
I don't think that money should be a big issue in dating, and I wanted to find someone who didn't car too much for money [M 24]. Not that money can buy love, but rather money is an essential part of the dating process.
I don't know if you can possibly have one without the other [F 24]. Like they try to buy each other or show how much they love each other in how much money they spend on the gift to the other person [F26].
Solomon, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 521-527.
Sorority women who attempted to date someone "beneath them" were quickly brought into line through the social sanctions of their sorority sisters.
Nevertheless, Bailey (1968) finds that spending money on dates continued to escalate and advice books advocated judging a man's seriousness by the amount of money he was willing to spend on a date.
Material generosity by males and sexual generosity by females continued to be taken as signs of love (Katz 1976).
While Waller's analysis has been criticized (Lasch 1977, Gordon 1981), it is generally accepted as describing a dating system that persisted in colleges from the 1921 Is into the 1940s.
Within this system Waller (1938/1970) saw a danger of exploitation by both parties.
Bailey (1988) summarizes the effect of these changes succinctly: "Money -- Men's money -- became the basis of the dating system" (p. With increased expenditures on dating by men, they began to regard dating as an investment in sexual pleasure: "..planned and paid for 'a good time' and asked of their girls a bit of physical intimacy" (Modell 1983).