I was reading this article, which did not really have great parallels, actually. The author compares what dating was like for her grandmother, who grew up in a loving, intact, middle-class home, to the life of a poor college girl she meets on the plane, whose shattered family is pretty wacky, and whose little brothers languish in foster homes.
The grandmother's dating life (in the 1940s) did not really include "dating" as my mother's generation and mine would have understood it anyway. "Dating" for the grandmother meant being escorted by one boy or another to some social event of friends. According to Gran, there wasn't physical stuff going on, which you can believe if you like, and very possibly there wasn't, since middle-class American boys had high standards regarding female chastity back then. By definition, most people are conventional, and chastity among young middle-class unmarried girls was conventional in the 1940s. Now it isn't. All you chaste young things are as conventional now as the Bloomsbury Set was in 1910. I won't tell you what Ann Barnhardt calls the modern-day USA, for I am a Canadian, and it would be rude.
Anyway, the unconventional chastity of Catholics and other Christians determined to live to the high standards of the Gospel leads to, or should lead to, a "dating" life similar to that of Theresa Martin's Grandma Alice: lots of social stuff with friends, while turning down wistful half-serious marriage proposals from male friends, and then agreeing to go out (and be taken home) by just one chap, while all your friends gossip about it, and he carries on not proposing for months on end.
The great gatekeeper of chastity is almost always believed to be the girl, and it is a sad fact few Catholic girls will admit to, but it is often the Nice Catholic Girl who makes the first move in the direction of physicality. The Nice Catholic Boys, if they really are Nice and they really are Catholic, are too nervous and respectful of their dear friend and sweetheart to do such a thing, for she is a NICE CATHOLIC girl, darn it. So no doubt it is a surprise when the NCG, who doesn't understand why he hasn't tried to kiss her, kisses him, etc. (Of course, this is greatly determined by how unconventionally Catholic he actually is. Don't forget, the conventional Catholic doesn't even go to Mass anymore.)
It's a terribly embarrassing situation, and as awful as it is having to give The Talk, it is even worse to find yourself being given The Talk by some blushing Nice Catholic Boy as if you were a scarlet-taloned nymphomanic or something. It is, in fact, excruciating, not that I know anything about that personally, of course. (Ahem.) There are better ways than lunging at the man to determine whether or not your Nice Catholic Boyfriend is a closeted homosexual.
(Incidentally, dear Nice Catholic Boys, I am sure you are depressed and horrified by the idea than Nice Catholic Girls will worry that you are a closeted homosexual if you do not attempt some gallantry upon the person of a girl you haven't yet decided is the Future Mrs You. I am sorry, but you would be amazed by the number of guys who will lead a girl down the garden path just to "fit in" at their Catholic college, even in 2015. Therefore, if you haven't made a move on the beautiful angel who has dropped into your life by the fourth date, you should say something like "You're almost as beautiful as my confessor is strict." Give the impression that you would be all over your sweetheart like Dracula in a blood bank if your confessor weren't the New Torquemada, and all will be well.)
Anyway, I am all for Single Catholics getting together all the time for fellowship and fun, although I suggest mixing it up by inviting your Single Catholic pals out to your swing-dance night or to see your Little Theatre group perform. It wouldn't hurt for you all to meet other people, or to do something new. I also recommend meeting other Single Catholics in other dioceses, and even abroad, either at events especially for Singles or during events honouring your favourite saints or ways of worship. (Both World Youth Day and the Chartres Pilgrimage feature many like-minded people, although do think twice about wearing skimpy clothing at WYD or your photo will turn up on a sedevacantist website. At the Chartres Pilgrimage, angels appear and drop muumuus over the scantily clad--FACT.)
One big difference between Grandma Alice's generation of American boys and yours is that the American economy was red-hot, thanks to that most profitable war. (The UK was skint.) Also, entertainment wasn't the be-all and end-all of life, so people didn't think their lives were supposed to resemble those of movie stars, singers and sports heros, but vice versa. The average (and therefore conventional) American boy wanted to get a good job, and get married to a pretty girl, and have children.
If he wanted to, he could get a job on the factory floor at 16, and work his way up to foreman. Or he could enlist and work his way up the ranks. Or he could go to college, get a job in an office, and work his way up to the corner office. Marrying a supportive gal was seen, not as a hindrance, but as a big help on the way up somewhere. This whole "Don't get tied down young, boys" nonsense is from the 1950s, not the 1940s. (Playboy was founded in 1953; a lot of what we blame the 1960s for actually germinated in the 1950s).
However, Catholic boys, if properly catechized, are not going to assume marriage is a big nasty rock around a guy's neck. If you are hanging out with Catholic boys all the time, and they are never asking anyone to marry them, then I suggest that the reason for this is the economy. If, however, they are asking girls all over the place to marry them, and you literally are the ONLY (ONLY) Single girl left in your rapidly dissolving social set, then maybe we can have a specialized chat.
Meanwhile I've been married twice (alas), and neither time did I marry a "boyfriend" with whom I went on "dates". The first guy was my "friend" and, as I wasn't going to "date" a non-Catholic, all those dinners he paid for (poor man), were "just as friends." The second guy was "Aelianus's friend" and "my host", and we didn't go on any "dates" either. He put me up and thought up some good outings for the Canadian guest, and we got engaged before I left. How fortuitous for us two crazy-in-love people that neither party turned out to be an ax-murderer. Needless to say, since I didn't meet the Perfect Man for Me until I was 37, I wish instead of going on "dates" I had spent my youth solely hanging out with friends. And taking advantage of the New Eastern European Economy, but that is another story.
Dating is not necessary to bring marriage about. That said, I STRONGLY recommend you really get to know the guy who asks you to marry him before you agree to do so, for you might not be as lucky as me and B.A. The solution is, of course, friendship. Make as many guy friends (acquaintances really, I'm not suggesting you talk to guys as if they were girls) as you can, always behaving in such a way that they will feel chivalrously towards you, instead of dismissive or resentful. The more Single guys who know you, the greater the chance some of them will suspect you are the Perfect Future Mrs Him, and the greater the chance you will meet the Perfect Future Mr You.