Dating and marriage customs in portugal
Kinship relations, whether based on biology or social relationships, were perhaps the least affected, for they remained vitally important in how Portuguese lived and worked with one another.
The patriarchal and nuclear family traditionally served as the norm and the ideal in Portugal.
Marriages might be arranged to consolidate property holdings or to tie two families together rather than result from the affection two people might feel for one another.
Middle-class families often had status and prestige considerations in mind when they married.
The slow modernization of the Portuguese economy, the increasing employment of women outside the home, and the emigration of many women, as well as the spread of new ideas about the place of women and the nature of marriage, gradually changed the nature of the Portuguese family, despite the attempts of Salazar's Estado Novo to preserve the male-dominated nuclear family.
The absence of men because of emigration meant that many women never married and also resulted in a higher rate of illegitimacy than in other Mediterranean countries.
While the men worked outside the home, women were expected to care for the children and manage household affairs.
Marriage was considered permanent; divorce was virtually unknown.
Relations within the family came to resemble more closely those of the rest of Western Europe.
Children were less respectful to their parents, dating without chaperones was the rule, and outings in mixed gender groups or as couples were taken for granted--all things that would not have happened during much of the Salazar era.