Love and dating in the mid 19th century

In the days when this great nation was split up and fighting an internal war, there was still love and families back home for many of the soldiers. This is something we don’t think about as much when looking through the history books. But a war can sometimes be worse for those who are left behind at home, wondering what is going on. Not knowing is often the most difficult part. It’s hard to imagine all the people that were still at home, hoping that their spouse would come back, for example from the battle of Gettysburg. In that era, communities were different from what they are today. People depended more on each other, and they met more frequently outside. So the process of finding a partner was not the same as it is now. Growing up in the same town and talking to each other often was common ways of finding love.

Then and now

loveNow, we stay indoors and don’t meet as much people. Many things have been automated, so there is nothing forcing us to go out and socialize. The trend these days seem to be online dating. At first glance, it might be seen as a more convenient solution, and it’s certainly better than just staying at home by ourselves. But it can be quite an uncertain outcome when meeting someone that is not previously known to us. There are often some information displayed about the other person on these sites, but how can we really know who they are before seeing them face to face? That is one of the risks today that did not exist in the same way during the 19th century when most people got to know their spouse for a long time before actually dating.

I have a friend who’s been doing this kind of dating for a while, and he’s very happy with it. He’s from Sweden, and tried to show me some of these sites, I think he used the word dejtingsajter, but I wasn’t able to understand anything until he translated it to me. I’m not that good with technical things, but apparently e-harmony was not that difficult to use, according to him.

partnersOne thing that has stood the test of time when it comes to love and dating, is similar interests. Both me and my wife are big fans of museums dedicated to the civil war, and that’s how we met. When both persons have something in common, there are rarely any shortages of things to say and talk about. It wasn’t on our first date, but on┬áthe third, that we went to a museum and walked around there together. We both remember that date very well, and still talk about it quite often. But there is no set formula for finding love. It’s different for each and every person, and this was the case back in the days of the 19th century too. Even though the methods that are used to meet new people have changed, the basic things that connects us remain the same. Maybe it has gotten more difficult to find a partner now than it was before, and maybe it has gotten easier. It is all in the eyes of the beholder.