Images like these are so classic, they, for a number of people, are "as American as apple pie." They are produced and perpetuated by the media, through films like .Because of these entertainment forums, these images will continue to be a pop cultural symbol of the 1950's.
It was during the '20s that the term "dating" was coined by young singles who were interested in relationships that were defined differently.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a shift took place and chaperoned, arranged courting was replaced by independent dating.
Before that decade, a man courted the Woman of his Dreams in her home, under the watchful eye of her parents.
As Miss Manners pointed out when she was settling a who-should-pay-for-dinner question, that meant the girl’s parents provided whatever refreshments were appropriate, whereas in the twentieth century, the man paid for the date.
A courtship may be an informal and private matter between two people or may be a public affair, or a formal arrangement with family approval.
Traditionally, in the case of a formal engagement, it has been perceived that it is the role of a male to actively "court" or "woo" a female, thus encouraging her to understand him and her receptiveness to a proposal of marriage.
There could be sexual tension involved, as anyone who's ever read Henry James knows; but the pace would be what we'd call today a (seriously) slow burn.
The emergence of institutions like prom brought a new way of dating for young adults.
One of the most scandalous aspects of the Twenties was the propensity for daring young women (“flappers”) to go out to speakeasies, dance halls, restaurants, and parties without a chaperone.