Dating today could not be more different than it was half a century ago. Today, the dating world is overrun by apps, websites, and online matchmaking services that make it possible to find your soulmate with the swipe of a finger. But in the s, dating was far more complicated. People had to jump through hoops, dial s on landlines, and ask parents for permission before they could so much as take someone out for a milkshake. Technology isn't the only thing that makes today's dating scene different, either.
Teen dating in the s was full of expectations and rules.
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Here are some real rules for dating, straight from the Marion S. Barclay's Teen Guide to Homemakingan "official guide" for teenage life in the s:. While modern teens are fierce about their privacy and will text "here" when they're outside over ringing the doorbell, in the s you had to show your face at the door. To the parents.
Sixty years ago, aling your arrival by honking from the curb would have ensured you'd never be dating anyone on that block again! The author also suggests being "likeable" and "well-groomed," which seem sensible, to the point that makes you wonder what made this rule important enough to write down in a book. It's worth noting that such criteria is tinged with a heaping dose of sentimentalism, as no one has truly been "likeable" since the advent of Facebook. As for clean-minded?
Since MeToo, our bar has been somewhat lowered to "demonstrably a mensch. Simply getting places during a date in the s sounds like an incredible amount of work. The hardest part regarding travel on dates these days is deciding how to split the fare on your rideshare app.
Also, my dirty mind only sees the very last part of these instructions, and this is why I would never be anyone's "clean-minded" anything. I am a '50s dating failure.
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Was arm strength an issue for women in the s? Was Rickets really that much of a problem? Cars were built heavier back then, as were toasters and everything else, but luckily this "rule" has lessened with the advent of lighter vehicles and women who are happy to close doors themselves. We're all for chivalry, but it's not a "rule" now like it was then.
Front doors shouldn't need a burst of manly strength to heave open. This rule proves that teenagers don't change; only decades do. It's hard to believe teenagers have been making out in movie theatres for almost a century! This rule still holds true today but is easily circumvented. Now that most people own screens in their own homes, private movie nights are easy and accessible.
Refraining from showing "affection" in movie theatres is also mentioned several times in the manual, and it's kind of a relief that it needs to be mentioned repeatedly. It's good to know these "punctual" and "clean-minded" teens weren't completely bloodless. Most modern s dating knowledge comes from retrospectives like Back to the Future or Grease, and based on that, the sock hop decade looks exciting.
But being a teenager during that era was a challenge, especially according to the prescriptive "rules" in this guide. Anyone who thinks "helicopter parenting" is a modern construct needs to read this manual.
Honestly, it makes today's hyper-involved parents seem laid back. Even casual daters were told to be up to speed on the rules above, as well as having knowledge to do things like "safely extinguish fires," and "swim in groups.
On second thought, if dates in the s regularly involved fire and swimming, maybe it was more fun than it sounded. Social Sharing. No one snacked in the '40s. Related Stories Crazy things we told housewives in the s Riding High on Birthrates and Sugar in the s No one snacked in the '40s.