Lydia Bennet marries at 16 and her mother talks of her sister Jane attracting the attentions of a well-qualified suitor at the age of 15.
In Austen’s world, as she says in the last chapter of And young means young.
In return, the woman would keep the vermin out of the gruel she whipped up and would provide an outlet for sinful Puritan urges.
Urges which would, in turn, provide the young couple with more laborers, so that this circle of mosquito-infested, frost-bitten drudgery could continue until they were released to God by sweet death. HAVE YOUR DADS ARRANGE IT After things were more settled in the (not-at-all-new) "New World," the living got a little easier, and marriage became more businesslike. America had gotten crowded; there were more ways to sustain life than farming and acreage.
Certain etiquette and conduct was expected of an eighteenth or nineteenth century gentleman when courting.
One etiquette book noted that “courting ought never to be done except with a view to marriage.” One nineteenth century gentleman maintained that “true courtship consists in a number of quiet, gentlemanly attentions, not so pointed as to alarm, not so vague as to be misunderstood.” This meant a gentleman had to walk a fine line.
[and there was] danger of her feelings becoming engaged.” In addition, by avoiding such singular-focused behavior, a gentleman would avoid winning a love he could not reciprocate, stop wasting his time and money, or sidestep falling in love with someone considered unworthy.