Smitten couples rarely saw each other without the presence of a chaperone, and marriage proposals were frequently written.Dating is a stage of romantic relationships in humans whereby two people meet socially with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a prospective partner in an intimate relationship or marriage.These species-particular behavior patterns provide a context for aspects of human reproduction, including dating.However, one particularity of the human species is that pair bonds are often formed without necessarily having the intention of reproduction.Generally, during much of recorded history of humans in civilization, and into the Middle Ages in Europe, weddings were seen as business arrangements between families, while romance was something that happened outside of marriage discreetly, such as covert meetings.From about 1700 a worldwide movement perhaps described as the "empowerment of the individual" took hold, leading towards greater emancipation of women and equality of individuals.Even after being introduced, it was still some time before it was considered appropriate for a man to speak to a lady or for a couple to be seen together.Once they had been formally introduced, if the gentleman wished to escort the lady home he would present his card to her.
She would notify the lucky gentleman by giving him her own card requesting that he escort her home.
During the Victorian Era (1837-1901), romantic love became viewed as the primary requirement for marriage and courting became even more formal - almost an art form among the upper classes.
An interested gentleman could not simply walk up to a young lady and begin a conversation.
While pair-bonds of varying forms were recognized by most societies as acceptable social arrangements, marriage was reserved for heterosexual pairings and had a transactional nature, where wives were in many cases a form of property being exchanged between father and husband, and who would have to serve the function of reproduction.
Communities exerted pressure on people to form pair-bonds in places such as Europe; in China, society "demanded people get married before having a sexual relationship" and many societies found that some formally recognized bond between a man and a woman was the best way of rearing and educating children as well as helping to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings regarding competition for mates.