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.
However, married women were not able to obtain a divorce if they discovered that their husbands had been unfaithful.
Once divorced, the children became the man's property and the mother could be prevented from seeing her children.
At the end of the evening, the lady would look over her options and choose who would be her escort.
She would notify the lucky gentleman by giving him her own card requesting that he escort her home.
In the 19th century Britain women were expected to marry and have children.
However, there was in fact a shortage of available men.If a woman worked after marriage, her earnings also belonged to her husband.The idea was that upper and middle class women had to stay dependent on a man: first as a daughter and later as a wife.Suitors wooed their intended with serenades and flowery poetry, following the lead of lovelorn characters on stage and in verse. In 1228, it is said by many that women first gained the right to propose marriage in Scotland, a legal right that then slowly spread through Europe.However, a number of historians have pointed out that this supposed leap year proposal statute never occurred, and instead gained its legs as a romantic notion spread in the press.For social scientists, studies of courtship usually look at the process of “mate selection.” (Social scientists, among whom I number myself from time to time, will never be accused of being romantics.) For the purpose of this article the , prior to the early 20th century, courtship involved one man and one woman spending intentional time together to get to know each other with the expressed purpose of evaluating the other as a potential husband or wife.