For example, once a couple had been formally introduced, a gentleman could then offer to escort the young lady home by offering his card to her.The woman might collect several calling cards throughout the evening, but then, to the gentleman that she most preferred, she would present her own card, thus, accepting his offer.As a 19th century book states: "Man's nature leads him forth into a struggle and bustle of the world.Love is but the embellishment of his early life, or a song piped in the intervals of the acts...A book published in the 1870's called "A True Friend", wrote that after analyzing marriages in Massachusetts, it was concluded that "an unmarried female at the age of 20 has lost one-fourth of her chances of ever becoming united in wedlock; at 25, three-fourths, and at 30, nine-tenths." But, even then, the book goes on to emphasize that even though a woman's chances of marrying decreases dramatically after the age of 20, and basically were non-existent after 30, that she should not go out and marry the first man who was willing.The book states, "A female at twenty-five is far more likely to marry well than at an earlier period." Although, the book doesn't make clear what the exact meaning of "marrying well" is; whether that would be by achieving happiness in marriage, or achieving financial security in marriage--or possibly both.Dates of the time were usually always supervised, and most typically, women were not allowed to be alone with a man until they were engaged.She was never allowed to go anywhere alone with a man without her mother's permission.
Dating and courtship practices have changed over the years.
For example, most all advice manuals of the time warned against marrying young.