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If you think the rules of dating in 2019 are confusing, you should thank your lucky stars you weren’t single 50 years ago.
Though hippies and “free love” had taken over the counterculture during the late 1960s, most of mainstream America was still abiding by old school dating protocol.
While he never came right out and said “women are the weaker sex,” the implication was there.
What’s a poor boy to do when he’s been going steady with his best gal for weeks and there’s been nothing but hand holding? Improve your swimming, wash the car, paint the garage, practice the trombone, build a boat, do your homework, mow the lawn, clean the attic.” A half century ago years ago, men had to bear the brunt of any date night conversation.
“Don’t openly prefer blondes when you are with a brunette,” wrote Betty Allen and Mitchell Pirie Briggs, authors of the 1964 dating guide All those rumors that women like a man with a sense of humor apparently didn’t apply 50 years ago.
As Duvall reminded young daters in , “When you step into a car, [a girl is] just as responsible as the driver for what goes on. If [a girl] lets the boy drive too fast, she shares the guilt if an accident occurs.” You’ve been warned, ladies! “Instead of teasing her and trying to make her feel inferior, a fellow shows himself a much better sport if he gives her a break and a helping hand once in a while,” Richardson suggested.
But 50 years ago, women evidently didn’t just have these rational fears. Thusly, men were advised to be “attentive and protective,” wrote Allen and Briggs.
“Even independent modern girls like to be reassured about mice and spiders, roller coasters, and thunderstorms.” Taking your girl out to the movies may sound like a relatively simple endeavor now, but as Evelyn Millis Duvall explained in her 1958 tome , it used to be anything but.
But 50 years ago, a dropped purse was viewed as a flirting tactic.
According to , “When she drops her purse and stoops to pick up the spilled contents with her dress above the knees, she is teasing.” Some of the things we don’t think twice about today—like how a man picking up a woman for a date should probably knock on her front door—was not a given for men 50 years ago.
Here are 20 amazingly absurd things that men were told half a century ago about the right and wrong ways to woo the opposite sex. One telltale sign that a woman was trying to get your attention was if she would wear “a tight-fitting sweater and a tight-fitting skirt which boldly [outlined] her figure,” the authors wrote.