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Yesterday I was watching a BBC miniseries period piece (romance in the English gentry) and was struck by how different it all was back then compared to now. "Dating" constituted attending balls and having a good time dancing or admiring each other over a piano. No games ("don't be needy"), no sleaze, no crassness, no pre-marital makeout sessions. People (well, at least the upper class) were more dignified, more restrained.


Contrast this with today. Dating is casual to the point of ridiculousness (Starbucks?). There're the mind games (don't call before 4 days have elapsed since you got her number/first date/whatever), the crude flirting, the touching and pawing and making out and sex after just a few dates. Today's rich include Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.


Maybe I'm alone here, but does no one else here (or generally, that you know of) yearn for the way things were?

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You've glamorized it a bit... Let's keep in mind how harsh life was back them. People easily died from things as pneumonia or the flu. People were injured and hurt just trying to provide food for their families.


Balls and other social gatherings were important because that is how most people got their outside information - no tv, no phone, no internet, no true mail service as there is today. People went because it was their only source of entertainment.


There were all sorts of games played back then too.... just different.... don't think for a minute there wasn't that "I thought he loved me but he loves Carrie" now crap going on. These things were simple idle gossip then and not rocked out over myspace or facebook.


Don't think for minute that there wasn't any whoring or sleezing around --- pulls some novels from that time period and you might surprise yourself... it just wasn't as open and talked about as easily as it is today.


Yes dating is different today - cultures evolve with what they have to work with. I'll take a coffee date at Starbucks anytime because I'm grateful for modern A/C. I'm pleased I have the chance to work in an office building and I'm not plowing a field with a chunk of metal and a horse!

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I think it would have been tough for the girls living in isolated places where there were few or no men coming to call and therefore no way of finding a husband, as in Sense and Sensibility when Edward stopped coming to call! The prospect of remaining a spinster would have been very depressing. And if the one lover they did have, disappeared for some reason, that poor girl would often (according to the novels, anyway) go into a drastic decline, ie. nervous breakdown and never ever get over it.

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Watch Dangerous Liaisons for the seedy side of dating in that time period.


At least now you can date more than one man without being labeled a * * * * * . You can be in a room alone with a man and people won't tarnish your reputation damning you to spinsterhood forever. You can actually find out if you are compatible with a man (besides your dancing styles) before marrying him. And you can choose not to get married and have a very fulfilling life.


I'm a huge romantic and a big Jane Austin fan, but I like the times now. I'm better suited for them.

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People (well, at least the upper class) were more dignified, more restrained.


They also weren't marrying for love. I mean, the great fictional love of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr D'arcy... amazing how quickly her attitude towards him changed when she saw his house...


People in the old days were just as ruthless and cunning when it came to affiars as people can be today. The only thing that changes is the clothes.

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