Dating in victorian times

The society had laid down some stringent rules for courting and these had to be followed.

The Reason For “The Season”

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

The Dating Traditions During the Victorian Period | Synonym

Another family member had to be present in the room. That was the only touch, which was accepted between a man and a woman, who was not engaged to him.


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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. Women were restrained to ride alone in the closed carriage with a man, expect for a close relative. In the relationship, intelligence was not at all required, neither any interest in the politics. The Victorian people were very cautious about courtships. The dating would firstly begin when the couple would speak to one another. The next step was to go out for a walk and then lastly by keeping company.

The upper class socialized at social events while the lowers classes socialized at events like Sunday Service or Church suppers. After the couple had developed mutual affection, the next step to strengthen their relation was marriage.

Engagement & Marriage In The Victorian Era

In nineteenth century America a young man was reared to look to his mother and sisters for moral guidance and away from these influences he was culturally unprepared to take a strong moral stand on his own. As a "victim" of the new technology, the town worker had more leisure than had even his recent ancestors.

In search of ways to occupy his evenings when his pocket money was limited, he often fell in with other fellows like himself. It is curious that the same letter writing volume contains a form for a letter between young men-about-town which has the seeds for disaster on which the three foregoing letters touch: I trust you will be present on that occasion What course was left for the young man who had strayed? If he had acquired a taste for high living and the suitable young women were refusing his advances, perhaps he could find a wealthy widow. At least enough young men had to be trying that route in order to justify the letter manual's inclusion of "Refusal on the grounds that the suitor is much younger than herself".

The text is interesting enough to be cited at length:. You are twenty-six years of age, I am forty-five. I have a son seventeen years of age, and consequently too far advanced to learn filial duty from one not much his senior.

Victorian era courtship rules and marriage facts

As to my little fortune, I consider myself merely the trustee for my children When you can convince me that, in point of age, fortune, and morals, you are such a person as I can, without reproach, take for my husband, and constitute the guardian of my children, I shall cease to suspect, that motives not the most honorable have induced you to play the lover to a woman sufficiently old to be your mother.

I hope I have said enough to make you ashamed of your conduct The young men of stood between two ways of life in a time of great change in America. They were exposed to temptations unknown to most of their fathers in a society more restrictive than that which their sons would enjoy. Women were at even more of a disadvantage in that restrictive society as they still could not seek out men or make "the first move. Armed with The Worchester Letter Writer , at least they could express their refusal in a more forthright way than had the previous generation.

She lectures at colleges and publishes articles in the fields of 18th and 19th century women's lives, clothing and needlework, and in the area of material culture. She does free-lance editorial work and writing.