involved a gentleman caller coming to the house of a woman who piqued his fancy, and the two would have a visit with a chaperone in the room.
When one tries to understand how dating has changed over time, and most importantly, how we arrived at the system of courtship and dating we have today, one must realize the monumental cultural shift that occurred during the 1940s, primarily due to World War II.
There could be sexual tension involved, as anyone who's ever read Henry James knows; but the pace would be what we'd call today a (seriously) slow burn.
The emergence of institutions like prom brought a new way of dating for young adults.
The courtship experience and ideals of those who grew up before World War II were profoundly different from those of teenagers in the postwar years, and the differences created much intergenerational conflict.
Beth Bailey and Ken Myers explain in the Mars Hill Audio Report, , demonstrated through the number and variety of dates a young adult could command, sometimes even on the same night.