Dating in victorian times

The primary method of knowing prospective suitors were Balls and dances.

The Dating Traditions During the Victorian Period

Society would know young Victorian ladies through a ball or dance. After marriage, the property of the woman was automatically transferred to her husband. The Victorian girls, from the very beginning, were well trained and groomed to become the perfect wives and mothers.


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A woman was never permitted to go out alone and meet a gentleman. Thus, some or the other kind of supervision was ensured when the couples were meeting. A woman was never allowed to go out at night with a gentleman.

There were many rules in respect of dating which were to be complied with. A woman could not receive a man at home if she was alone. Another family member had to be present in the room.

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Dating in the Victorian Era - Rejecting the Unsuitable Suitor

That was the only touch, which was accepted between a man and a woman, who was not engaged to him. A woman was allowed some liberties, however. She could flirt with her fan, as this behavior was within the protocol of accepted behavior.

An unmarried girl would never date a man at the night. This was considered extremely impolite. Her reign over Great Britain and Ireland set a stricter moral tone for much of European and American society.

Jennifer Phegley - Courtship and Marriage in Victorian England - February 9, 2012

Because of this, courtship was an extremely codified affair. Women of the middle and upper classes were expected to conform to the sentimental idealization promoted by the literature and art of the time. Even the fashions of the day, like tight corsets and hoop skirts, symbolized the rigid structure women were expected to live within.

Victorian era courtship rules and marriage facts

Maintaining a spotless reputation was essential for both men and women, and once each was of marriageable age, there was a timetable and script to follow to matrimony. Once a young woman was done with her schooling, she would be presented to society to show she was in the market for a husband. Wealthy families might hold a series of parties, middle-class families generally held one private party or dance, and girls from working class families usually did without a celebration and simply signaled they were of age by wearing their hair up, dressing in long skirts and joining the adults for dinner and on social calls.

Some men had cards made for the express purpose of clandestine flirting, and would pass them to a woman without anyone noticing. Unless and until the female recipient read the card, its true message would remain a mystery. What appeared in the cards was not always PG: Women, too, could have such cards made and they were often tit for tat with their potential male suitors.


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  • In spite or perhaps because of the value placed on chastity, the Victorians took flirting to a new level of crazy. Report a bad ad experience. You might also like.