Define courtship dating
Although these marital circumstances may have existed for quite some time among early humans, there are a number of reasons why neither polygamy nor polyandry could have survived as universal or general practices.For one thing, some societies practiced infanticide, killing primarily female infants, and creating a scarcity of women.These struggles were seldom to the death, but were in keeping with the custom among various peoples of forcing young men to undergo tests of endurance before granting them permission to marry.The underlying principle was that no man should have a wife until he has proved that he is able to protect her. Courtship by capture contributed its share of customs to the rituals of modern marriage.Perhaps even more common than buying a bride was the ancient custom of gaining a wife by working for her father for a certain period of time.Such an exchange of a prized daughter for an agreed-upon term of labor was practiced among many of the early societies and tribes of America, Africa, and Asia.Many anthropologists and social historians have expressed their views that early humans practiced polygamy (one man with several women in the marriage union) or polyandry (several men with one woman).In either case, quite likely the women involved in the union probably had been captives before they were wives.
A popular superstition arising from this tradition is that whoever of the groom's friends caught her will be married within the year. Marriage through purchase was quite likely the next stage in the evolution of courtship.
In many Irish traditions, a marriage is considered scarcely legal unless the bride attempts to escape and the bridegroom overtakes and "captures" her.
A custom in Wales requires the relatives of the bride to grab her as she reaches the church door and run off with her, forcing the bridegroom and his party to follow in pursuit.
The transition from marriage by capture was much more peaceful a manner to gain a bride for a young man.
In earlier times when a bride was stolen from a village by men from another tribe, members of the captured woman's clan would set out to avenge their loss.