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Treating dating as an exchange relationship may threaten to commoditize and destroy the illusions provided by the romantic model of love. Where the eighteenth-century man had looked to provide a simply furnished house for his family, men who married in the increasingly industrialized middle years of the nineteenth century set higher standards for themselves.

The present study presents a brief historical perspective and qualitative data that illuminate the tabooed and neglected intersection of the material, the sexual, and the romantic in the dating practices of U. They aspired to equip their households with cook stoves, pianos, Irish servant girls, indoor plumbing, or whatever they and their families needed to enjoy and demonstrate middle-class status (Rothman 1984, p. At the same time, it was the responsibility of the bride and her family to provide a trousseau of clothes, linens, and "fancy things" to set up the household.

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.

During the proceedings, the fact that a dating spouse is already separated will be noted, but that does not necessarily mean the circumstances of the new relationship will not be considered.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).Another trend that started in the 1920s was detected by Waller (1937) a decade later and dubbed "the rating and dating complex." This involved a woman dating many desirable men for the prestige value of appearing popular: In order to have Class A rating they must belong to one of the better fraternities, be prominent in activities, have a copious supply of spending money, be well-dressed, 'smooth' in manners and appearance, have a 'good line,' dance well, and have access to an automobile (Waller 1937, P. Coeds were seen to lose prestige if they dated less desirable men, dated too few men, or accepted last minute dates.For their part, women also needed to dress, dance, and talk well, plus be physically attractive.Dress became such a restrictive social barrier that women even quit going to school because of insufficiently fashionable wardrobes (Modell 1983).

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