While it is easily considered a trait that has happened since way back when, it actually didn't even start to the 1900's. This writer reports that her parents were engaged in the early 1960's and back then it was much different.
Marriage before equality was much more like a business deal, or realty exchange. I offer you my daughter's hand in marriage if you throw in the couch and your biggest horse. Ever since the modern world started treating all races and sexes equally, romance became a much bigger part of a marriage proposal compared to decades and centuries past. For the full story check it out here