Being equally yoked dating
“Going steady” meant you were going out with the same person multiple times in a row.
It often had symbols like the girl wearing the guy’s letter jacket.
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They got married and stayed married till my grandfather passed away half a century later.
“If I had only gone out with 3 or 4 guys I wouldn’t have known what I wanted in a husband,” she said.
It is not that her parents were uninvolved; it is that they played an advisory role, particularly as she entered high school and they relaxed the rules about not going steady.
She went on to explain that there used to be a linguistic differentiation between “dating” and “going steady”.
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Over dinner, my grandmother shared her story about what dating was like back in the 30s and 40s.
When my grandmother dated in middle school (yes, middle school) her parents had one primary rule for her.
The Primary Dating Rule: Don’t go out with the same guy twice in a row. She explained that the lack of exclusivity helped them guard their hearts and kept things from getting too serious too quickly. The lack of exclusivity helped the girls guard their hearts and kept the boys from feeling entitled to the girl.
So if she went out for soda with Bob on Tuesday, she had to go to a movie with Bill on Thursday before she could go to the school dance with Bob on Saturday. The lack of exclusivity kept the interactions fun and casual. How could a boy have a claim to her time, heart or body if she was going out with someone else later that week?
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And yet her community of friends all got married and then stayed married for decades and decades.