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Children were taught trades and homemaking skills so that they were ready for adulthood responsibilities when they were older.
Marriage also often occurred at earlier ages (most of your grandparents were probably married before the age of 20).
It seemed like I’d never be old enough to get married and it’s all I wanted to think about.
Adults tried to warn me that childhood is a short season and adulthood lasts forever, but I didn’t listen and didn’t care. When I think back to all of those years I wasted on pointless relationships, I have considered what I would do with all those years if I could have them back. Perhaps I would’ve played basketball on a real team instead of just in gym class.
Not to say that this method was perfect by any means; however, dating (or what was previously called “courting”) did not begin until the young man and woman were old enough to start realistically considering marriage. In our culture now, it is considered “normal” for two thirteen year olds to go to the movies and have a steady boyfriend or girlfriend.
Yet, the average marrying age according to the 2000 census is somewhere around age 25 for women and age 27 for men.
So, before the 1950’s, there was about a 2-3 year window between when a person started dating/courting and when they usually became married.
Now there is a 10-15 year window between when a person usually starts dating and when they typically marry.
Such experience will be helpful once you are ready to start dating (i.e., ready to consider marriage); however, the more casual dating relationships you have before getting married, the more baggage you will likely carry into your marriage.
In that 10-15 year window, many people seriously date a good number of people.
It is not uncommon to see a young couple (ages 14-15) date for six months to a year, only to find someone new, date him or her for about six months to a year, so on and so forth.
He came home to visit her when she was fifteen and she prepared him a table full of food.
When she was seventeen, he completed his service with the Army and they became married.