Victorian dating customs

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.

The Dating Traditions During the Victorian Period

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.

Victorian dating etiquette

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. 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.

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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.

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After the couple had developed mutual affection, the next step to strengthen their relation was marriage. The second stage of the courtship was engagement. After getting engaged, the couple could get hold hands in public, go for walks alone, and take unchaperoned rides.


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Men were cautioned not to pay too much attention to a woman unless he was serious about her and also financially ready for marriage -- or soon to be. Yet with little privacy, young couples lacked the opportunity to get to know each other well before confronting the question of marriage. Poor couples generally made an effort to be as respectable as their wealthier counterparts, but the rules were more lax. Once a working-class couple decided to marry, they could socialize together with only a younger sibling as a chaperone.

The Victorian Era England facts about Queen Victoria, Society & Literature

Premarital sex was tolerated in such cases, because announcing an engagement was considered a verbal contract. Sabine McKellen began her career teaching English as a Second Language to adults from around the world.


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  • She has spent the past seven years in journalism, covering social issues, specifically in rural communities. Her work has appeared in community newspapers throughout southern California, and in various trade and educational magazines. The database based on Word Net is a lexical database for the English Language. Victorian Manners for Women. Puritan Beliefs About Illegitimacy.