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"Etiquette books were all the rage at the time, advising men and women on Victorian courtship rituals and what it means to be a proper lady or manly gentleman.Maintaining relationships in the Victorian era meant deciphering the often bewildering code: How does a gentleman walk with a lady? “Make love” to Victorians meant instead chaste courtship or wooing. “You will avoid hurting anyone’s feelings, and save yourself from all further perplexity.”What about anonymous gifts from dudes? Nope: “When this is the case, it is a good way to put them by, out of sight, and never to mention them.”) Women, it is argued, prefer a “backward, awkward, and even a little uncouth” manly man over a “polite, agreeable dandy.” Men of the time were told to not frequent “the haunts of disreputable women” or spend time “ruining weak-minded girls,” but instead “harden your hands and smut your face at honest work.” In case the message wasn’t clear, the book also advises men to “engage in every manly exercise, so that all who look upon you will be compelled to say, ‘There is a man.’” (1860) says engaged men should not only “show constant attention” to their “bride-elect,” they should also “neither in company nor elsewhere... But there’s a Victorian twist: “On the other hand, he should avoid, even to his bride-elect, those marked attentions and endearments that would excite in strangers a smile of ridicule.”So no public displays of affection? But most importantly you must be from a wealthy and respectable family in Society. You drop a card or a letter to her residence, requesting to drop in for tea with her family or you invite her guardian/parents to join your family for a walk. If all is well in lovers paradise, you need to propose or it would be ungentlemanly of you. So it’s the time when the guy has to ask for the girl’s hand in marriage to her father.Now is the fun part, you get to stroll, ride in a park with the love of your life and her mom/grandmom/aunt/or the likes. As soon as he permits, there is an engagement party that ensues.In fact, the buttoned-up repression we often associate with the Victorian era misses the fact that Victorians were pretty creative when it came to inventing ways to get around sexual restraint, especially in the sphere of dating.In the Victorian era, many saw marriage as an economic arrangement from which the families of both the bride and groom — though often the groom — would benefit.Today’s dating rituals are pretty straight forward.

you can visit without a chaperone as long as you leave before nightfall, hold hands, steal kisses and be as poetic with sonnets and poems as you like. And now, you live happily ever after, with lots of dowry.

Their job was to make sure nothing inappropriate, like intense gazing, was indulged in. Well this is where they whipped out their weapon, a hand fan.

The rules of the hand fan are simple, fan fast to signal you’re singledom, rest the fan on your right cheek to show you’re interested in him.

And typically, an event known as The Season precipitated all the upper-crust matches that would lead to these arrangements.

Families who took part in the event had one goal in mind: To find their daughter a suitor.

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She continues to work to conquer her remaining OCD issues and anticipates, in time, a full recovery from the OCD which has plagued her since the age of four.

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