In Victoria-era England, women devised a complex system using their fans to let men know whether they were available (fan quickly), interested (rested on right cheek), taken (fan slowly) or horny (ripping bodices). The courting rituals of other societies across the globe and history get much stranger. In old-school Scandanavia, women looking for a partner started to wear a knife sheath. Men would make knives to slip into the sheath of the girl he loved. Subtle, I know. If a girl wasn’t into it, she’d give it back.
These traditions may seem totally unnecessary, but the fact that we don’t have a common language to simplify the dating process is causing self-inflicted heartache and unnecessary anxiety.
Without a decent courting process we’ve had to hack together our own system of answering the most basic question in relationships – “do you like/love me?”