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During the 1920s and 1930s, dating became a system of ratings.

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Some may argue that in today's society, it is nonexistent and has been replaced by what many young people refer to as "hooking up." With the advent of new technologies (e.g., cell phones, instant messaging, video chatting, etc.) and the changing definitions of traditional dating and families, "dating" has become a more open and self-interpreted institution over the century.

It is important to note that many of these mainstream rituals were strictly confined to heterosexual dating.

She most notably cites shyness as a main component of the conventionally desirable female in the 1950s courtship and dating culture.

However, she also notes that “successful heterosexual relationships required that white middle-class girls resist any inner feelings of shyness but at the same time adopt certain characteristics associated with it.” Essentially, women were advised to have an air of independence and wit without actually utilizing their independence or wit, for fear of challenging male intellect and scaring men away.

Dating advice columns and even instructional videos existed in order to teach women how to be the object of male desire and to achieve what society had defined as happiness.