Words are not constant in their meaning across time. To take a simple example, in the novels of Trollope we often find a female character saying that a male friend "made love to her the whole evening." It is crucial in understanding Trollope to realize that in his day this expression meant showing a romantic or sexual interest in someone, not having sexual intercourse with them. Otherwise we shall get a very distorted idea of what happened in Victorian drawing rooms.
Barton, p. 80.
What happened over time to the phrase "making love''? It seems to have been reduced to the merely physical; and there lies a tale of great woe, as we all know to some degree or another.