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People date because it is "enjoyable, pleasant, and valuable" (Merrill 62), and they thought that they could gain rewarding experiences from it.
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.
But because the lower classes were not so well-endowed so that they own pianos or even parlors, they started their own form of "courtship" which soon became known as dating.
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).