How did that happen in the past – particularly perhaps for the purpose of marriage?
Before the coming of white settlers to South Africa marriages would have taken place according to tribal custom. In modern times said customs may still be part of a marriage or may take place according to which religion the families belong. They might also be simple civil marriages with a legal contract in hand.
When the settlers arrived and began to create permanent homes in this country there were often more men than women resulting in a shortage of marriage partners. Individuals would observe families for daughters when visits to farms out of the town took place. Each ship that arrived in Table Bay might have been carefully scanned for any unattached females of marriageable age. Religious gatherings was another way of men and women meeting. Then as the Cape of Good Hope settled into a more organized place a matrimonial court came into being. Banns were published and if the court found no reason for the marriage not to take place, matters went ahead. Between 1804-5 civil marriages were allowed and by 1818 men and women could marry by special licence. A marriage register was started in 1836. Divorce was not unknown and was granted for adultery, desertion or imprisonment. Punishment was severe for bigamy. Time passed and marriage laws changed and continued to change until present times.
But how else did men and women meet each other? Parents or relatives might introduce women to suitable men; relatives married each other; casual introductions might lead to further friendship; workplaces had possibilities. During poor economic periods in Europe some single women came to the Cape. As soon as this became known men, often farmers, went to the Table Bay harbor and offered a hand in marriage to a woman who was perceived as a suitable partner. More ships sailed to the southern part of Africa bringing women and young children to meet their husbands and fathers. One young woman working as a servant to a woman with children met a young man on board ship. Shortly after reaching Cape Town they got married. She gave her employer notice but said employer was not too happy, laid a charge against the employee. This resulted in her having to work out her time, then she was returned to Britain and only allowed to return a year later.
Changes in the lives of women, better education, greater personal freedom might have helped to meet other human beings. One could argue that no matter the time, whether the past or the present determined men and women would or will find what they seek. Perhaps not always with a successful ending but…………………….
And today? all of the ways to meet the opposite sex still exist but we also now have the internet with dating agencies that offer options of all kinds. But as with all things in life you make a choice at your own risk as to who you befriend and who you don’t.
You could check out TWOOLOVE and see if it works for you. The owner of the site is known to me but ………………