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Courtship and dating in spain

COURTSHIP Today we take dating couples for granted.

One, however, needs to differentiate between the aristocracy and bourgeoisie, as opposed to the country peasants and city artisans.

Generally speaking, when we think of courtship and marriage, we think of it as it applied to the aristocracy.

Because the bourgeoisie often tended to ape the social customs of the aristocracy, the aristocratic ways of marriage also applied to them.

For the aristocracy, marriage was usually an arranged affair, often from a very early age.

The wedding itself therefore sometimes took place at a young age, often when the couple was far too young to understand what it was all about.

Indeed, the aristocracy often tended to scorn marriage, making no secret of their adultery, of their concubines or their illegitimate children.The betrothal or engagement already created a couple of the two people.Marriage would legally set them apart as part of the privileged in the social and economic unit.The wedding was therefore an important social event, symbolising the couples leaving their homes and being installed in a totally new social relationship.On the other hand, marriage always involved property.A man who did not or could not inherit property or money, also could not marry.Such a man customarily entered into service of the Church.Here he would still be unmarried but he would at least have the advantage of gaining personal wealth and luxury as either an abbot or a bishop.For the peasants and artisans, betrothal and marriage was a very different thing to the aristocracy. They had to wait until they had inherited sufficient land or property, which meant they had either to await the death of somebody in order to inherit property or they had to save to acquire wealth before they could marry.For both groups therefore marriage was always late.For men it would usually be in their late 20s, for women in their mid-20s.

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