Vicktorian dating

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Today women turn to books like 'The Rules' or 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' to understand and negotiate the modern dating world.

But in the nineteenth century, before one could just click on Amazon to purchase a self-help book, these quaint postcards may have guided Victorian women through the tricky stages of relationships.

The girls of high rank families were dressed in their finest gowns with elaborate bouquets and presented to the queen.

This ceremony was called a ‘Coming Out’, basically it was a formal introduction of these young débutantes to society.

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The Victorians weren’t exactly known for bringing sexual liberation to the masses — but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t have carnal desires.

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.

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.

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

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