Victorian dating cards Instead of Cheesy Pickup Lines, 19th-Century Americans Gave Out Calling Cards

Victorian dating cards

This same person usually served as her chaperone, as a single girl was never allowed out of the house by herself, especially in mixed company. To marry someone of lesser social standing was considered marrying beneath oneself.

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One gives the other a personal victorian dating cards card. Most girls, however, married between the ages of 18 and 23, especially in the upper classes. The size and stone depended upon the groom's finances. As they walk on, the woman dangles a handkerchief — if she is victorian dating cards in the man following up on the glance.

A woman, often looking to improve her social standing, used a dowry as a lure.

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The financial aspects of a marriage were openly discussed, much like the pre-nuptial agreements of today. They could be in the form of a love knot, a simple band, or a band embedded with different stones whose initials spelled out a name or word of love. She used her mother's visiting cards, or that of another female relative if her mother was dead.

Consider it the Victorian-era version of OKCupid

She could flirt with her fan, as this behavior was within the protocol of accepted behavior. Great care had to be taken at these public affairs, so as not to offend a possible suitor or his family.

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The lower classes had opportunities to socialize at Sunday Service, Church suppers and holiday balls, while upper classes held their social events throughout the season. A more formal evening party may have followed.

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A girl did not have to accept her first proposal. Cards, in general, "were the ambassadors of social convention, and their subtle, covert messages were well understood by those who used them as tools in the creation of an image of respectability in an increasingly demanding and judgmental world," observes Barbara Rusch in her essay The Secret Life of Victorian Cards. Her chaperone had to be older and preferably married.

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In late 19th century America, young people sometimes courted using flirtatious calling cards, which perhaps added some levity to the serious rules of engagement.

For lucky were the ones who found love within their class, and within the approval of their families. Engagements lasted from six months to two years depending upon ages and circumstances.

Some businesses, like Wilson Grocery in Peoria, Ill.

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Men and women were careful not to lead the other on unnecessarily. A typical debutante's day meant she rose at 11a. Im dead wanna hook up poster season ran from April to July. She also learned French and the rules of etiquette as well as the art of conversation and the art of silence. Never mind that humans have been flirting with each other for centuries — Romeo and Julietcourtesy phones.

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A single woman never addressed a gentleman without an introduction. Yet even those marriages that did not begin with love, often ended in a deep, endearing attachment that would be envied by many.

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They could also visit alone behind closed doors. The attitude toward first-cousin marriages changed by the end of the century, however. She purchased a new wardrobe for the season, in order to appear her best in public.