Nostalgia Romance

Courting Rituals in 1900 Vs 2000

How has the mating game changed over the past 100 years? Dramatically! The folks at Fannie May Candies were eager to find the differences, since their boxed chocolates have played such an important role in the lives of young couples since 1920, when the company was founded.

1900: The courting call was a complicated event. One had to observe the appropriate amount of time between invitation and actual visit.

2000: “Maybe I’ll drop by later.”

1900: The first courtship calls must be made with the girl’s mother present at all times. It was appropriate to bring a small gift of chocolates or a bouquet of posies for the daughter.

2000: Savvy guys know to bring Mom and girlfriend each a box of their favorite chocolates.

1900: It was extremely important to conduct a proper discussion on only a small amount of topics, all of which covered the man’s interests, but nothing too personal.

2000: “Pass me the remote for the game, hon.”

1900: Men sent absurdly romantic love letters gushing such scribes as a “thousand kisses for you, forever yours”.

2000: “E-mail me.”

1900: Men arrived at the young lady’s house in a horse and carriage and left a calling card for consideration.

2000: “Beep me.”

1900: It was customary for a local older woman to serve as a matchmaker for young couples. This woman was well known and well regarded in her town or village and garnered much respect from her peers and their offspring.


1900: Chaperones on “dates” were required. They accompanied the couple even on walks. If the young man showed up and there were many chaperones present, it was a clear sign that his intentions were unwelcome.

2000: “I’ll meet you there.”

1900: When a relationship progressed to a certain point, the couple might begin to “spoon” which was the term for kissing during courting.

2000: “Got a spoon? Can’t handle these chopsticks.”

1900: Parlor games were extremely common. They presented a casual diversion for the couple and their chaperone. Among them were the card game of whist and, as the relationship progressed, perhaps a little “spin the bottle”.

2000: Couples spend time “spinning” at the health club.

1900: The bride’s trousseau was a most important factor in her wedding preparations. It consisted of handmade chemises, nightgowns, hats and linens. Dresses had high necklines, puffed sleeves and a tight waist.


1900: Men had to go out of their way and spend a great deal of their wages to bring their young ladies a gift of chocolate: a symbol of love.



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