Lowry was fascinated by the awkwardness of people in social situations, even among members of the same family. Ethel Ridgway, the Lowry family maid reported that Lowry and his parents had a constrained relationship with each other, 'No one really conversed in that house; they only spoke to each other about day-to-day things: 'Pass the milk, please', and things like that. Sometime I would look at her [Elizabeth Lowry] and think that she was really just like a block of stone' (see S. Rohde, L.S. Lowry A Biography, Salford, 1999, p. 85). Consequently, Lowry was compelled to exorcise his own discomfort in social situations by observing people and recording their interaction with others.
A crayon and pencil drawing from 1955, Courting (private collection) depicts a man and a woman seated opposite each other in silence in an empty room, and the embarrassment of the marriage proposal or the invitation to go out on a date is keenly felt in the present work.