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The concept of couples living together without marriage had begun to gain acceptance among young couples not willing to make the plunge into marriage.
Divorce rates were on a steady incline in the 1970s, topping out in 1981 with 5.3 divorces per 1,000 people.
So one important point to understand right up front (and about which many inside and outside the church are confused) is that we have not moved a dating system into our courtship system.
Since most young adults will marry, the process employed in finding a husband and wife is still considered courtship.
Women had a passive role in dating until the 1960s and 1970s, when gender roles blurred.
The feminist movement and the availability of the birth control pill may have been contributing factors to women taking the lead more often as traditional dating rules changed with the times. The feminist movement inspired women to think of themselves as more than a wife or mother.
Previously, the dating game was about who could date the most people.
The increasing reality that some marriages don't last forever may have contributed to the casual approach to dating and fewer couples seeking marriage.People started referring to going on dates as "hanging out" or "hooking up." The expectation that dates were part of the path leading from meeting to marriage had begun to wither, and premarital sex was becoming more common.Single people were participating in more casual relationships, just for fun.The birth control pill allowed women to have sex without the fear of pregnancy.Society was changing, and dating became more casual.