Virginity was an inheritance to be brought into a marriage, and the father of the bride was responsible to preserve that inheritance.
If a new husband slandered his bride and claimed that she was not a virgin, the bride's father and mother would defend her name and the name of their family.
The modern dating system does not train young people to form a relationship.
It trains them to form a series of relationships, and further trains them to harden themselves to the break-up of all but the current one. If neither one likes the other, then they both have had a bad experience.
Other factors in weighing marriage decisions were generally considered to be more significant.
In modern America, recreational dating is taken to be a positive good, like food, air, and sunshine, a necessary, inescapable activity.
It is considered to be a normal and natural part of growing up - what could be more wholesomely American than taking a girl to the prom?
Dating arose out of the eighteenth century philosophical movement we now call "Romanticism" which emphasized, among other things, passion rather than logic.
Writers such as Rousseau lamented that Western civilization had fallen into the "error" of exalting reason over feelings.