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Before the war, "going steady" was a stage young people took only if they were seriously on the path to marriage; however, after the war, the phrase was used more loosely.

It no longer signaled that the couple was marriageable and ready to commit (Bailey 49).

She then is given the option of accepting his call by letting him in or rejecting it by making up an excuse as to why she cannot see him.

Refreshments were often served (though not always), and the entertainment was primarily piano playing in the parlor.

After all, most children know about dating long before they are actually ready to participate in it (Merrill 61).

COURTING IN THE 1950's During the 1950's, it was common knowledge, at least to girls, that there was a process to the whole courtship ritual -- that there were stages to a lasting relationship.

And should the relationship move on, as they often do, it would move into the ubiquitous "going steady" stage (Mc Ginnis 74).

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In the fifties and surrounding decades, handbooks and other books exploring relationships described dating as a fun activity in which teens are allowed to meet and mingle with many members of the opposite sex.

So they initial shyness of young couple can be eased away by the presence of other company, especially if the double date was a "set-up" or a blind date for one couple.

After double dating, you would naturally move onto single dating.

Teenagers in the 1950's are so iconic that, for some, they represent the last generation of innocence before it is "lost" in the sixties.

When asked to imagine this lost group, images of bobbysoxers, letterman jackets, malt shops and sock hops come instantly to mind.

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