The Seven Characteristics of Going Steady: Dating in the s
A random woman finds a vintage women's magazine and it is a gold mine. We dissect this batsh*t s dating advice on how to find a husband. One of the conventions they put a new spin on, and consequently revolutionize, is the idea and practice of dating. The 's set up precedents in dating that led . A lot has changed over the years in terms of men and women in relationships and dating. Looking back on the 's, you'll actually want to cringe.
Timing was everything Notice was absolutely necessary for a date in polite society. Respond immediately to your date invitation If a lady was lucky enough to be asked out, it was her duty to respond immediately and of course with absolute politeness.
Appearing too keen Modern day dating seems to be more like a power battle. If a man asks, a woman cannot appear too keen. And yet, respond late and she risks appearing disinterested, particularly if the dater is communicating with other online matches.
Always be on time Today it is still considered rude to keep your date waiting for any longer than 5 minutes. Particularly if you are meeting in a public place see below. Collecting your date When date night arrived, the man would always organise the transportation. He would come to the door to greet his date before taking her to their venue and he always brought her safely home to her family.
Meeting in public is a good idea Unlike the traditional custom of collecting and being collected, today it is more common to make your own way to the first date and is sensible to meet in a public place. This takes away any fear and ensures safety until you get to know your date a little more.
Introducing your date to your parents on a first date When a man collected his young lady, it was customary for her to introduce him to her parents who would want to approve that he was suitable for their daughter.
Men always ordered When dining out, the young lady should always tell her male friend what she would like before he orders for her. I know what I want Today, it is unheard of to expect your date to order for you. Women know what they want and will ask for it. Men always paid When the bill arrived, the man would always pay. It was unthinkable for a woman to offer any money.
The Dating Culture of the s | EN Women and Lit
The payment dilemma Many men still feel that they should pick up the bill, but paying is a tricky issue. For some men, traditional notions are outdated.
The dating process usually is initiated by going out on double-dates. Double-dates were used to initiate the whole dating process because it created a more open environment conducive to easy conversation.
So they initial shyness of young couple can be eased away by the presence of other company, especially if the double date was a "set-up" or a blind date for one couple. After double dating, you would naturally move onto single dating. And should the relationship move on, as they often do, it would move into the ubiquitous "going steady" stage McGinnis Before the war, "going steady" was a stage young people took only if they were seriously on the path to marriage; however, after the war, the phrase was used more loosely.
It no longer signaled that the couple was marriageable and ready to commit Bailey If a couple was said to be "going steady," they would date one another exclusively and feel as if the other "belongs" to him or her McGinnis 74 but this occurred without any serious thoughts of marriage.
In this stage, there were certain customs that were played out by the two people involved. The boy was required to give the girl a token which was to claim her as his, like his class ring, letterman sweater, or ID bracelet.
If a ring was given, it had to be worn on the third finger of the left hand. Of course, these customs varied by region. Some places preferred rings over clothes, and others did not. Boys are also expected to call their steady girlfriend a certain number of times a week and take her out on a certain number of dates. Going steady also meant that the couple would reach a higher lever of sexual intimacy Bailey Many saw this stage as a kind of "play-marriage" for the young couple Bailey Their exclusiveness made them seem almost as if they were married to each other.
Not only was this stage a source of security for the couple, for they needed to have dates to all the social functions in their lives, they also were signs of popularity around their schools. In a survey, many of the students polled agreed that the most popular students had gone steady.
After "going steady," a young couple could get engaged and, then after that, married Knowing the process of courtship, was and pretty much still in common knowledge for teens, but all that does not matter if you cannot get a date In the 's, it was unheard of for a young lady to ask for a date or to initiate the dating process.
The men were supposed to do the asking and calling. One young man as a guest writer to the February issue of Seventeen magazine wrote: Growing up has taught me one thing: I've also found that once he meets a girl -- and becomes interested in her -- a boy must indulge in a sly, artful practice called pursuit. It all depended on how the girl responds and reacts to the line given to her. These pieces of heavily saturated compliments were cast at women, and the women were supposed to nit-pick them and -- not believe what was said but -- be flattered by them Merrill Another way of getting a date is to be set up on a "blind" one where each end of the relationship has never met the other before.
This method is especially useful and practical if a guy is shy and bashful about asking a girl out on a date. It might help him feel more adequate in the dating scene by blind dating especially if it is his first dating experience.
The same could be said about girls. Blind dates could also have the same effect on them as it had on boys Sadler Many handbooks for young ladies were published in the postwar time period that addressed the issue of how to attract boys and how to obtain a date.
One handbook entitled Always Say Maybe suggests ways in which a girl can lure a boy's fancy toward her.
Courtship ‘Rules’ Women And Men Were Forced To Follow In The 1950s
Some of the chapters focus on how to approach a man, how to earn a date, how to start interesting conversation, and how to be interested in what they are interested in, like sports in particular. The book is written in a somewhat comical manner; however, it does instruct its readers on how to act around boys. One chapter reads, "Be gay, be charming, be thinking. Many schools were equipped with educational films which were intended to help teenagers live good clean lives.
The films about dating in the fifties were real gems of cinema. These films were simply representations of adult views and adult preferences but created with teenage actors. They served as reminders to teenagers that there were customs and certain boundaries in dating, and if they violated them, there could be serious consequences.
Many films choose to depict the results of sexual intercourse by showing severe cases of syphilis and unwanted pregnancies. More innocently though, these types of films showed how one gets a date and what to do on a date, according to the mores of adults.
Most dates ended with a friendly handshake which shows that these movies were created by adults for their children to watch and hopefully follow Smith The most popular places to go were those that were cheap yet fun, much like dates of today.
The September issue of Seventeen pointed out that the most popular places were ice cream parlors, pizza parlors, drive-ins, bowling alleys, coffee houses and record shops The most popular and economical activity available for teenagers was watching movies. There they could be immersed in the dark with their date, enjoy a snack, and be entertained for a while. Perhaps, if the movie was played in a drive-in, you would not even have to watch the movie to be entertained!
Many movies were released during this time period that would appeal to teenagers too, like Pillow Talk starring the talented Doris Day and handsome Rock Hudson. Other places teenagers went for fun were dances, school sporting events, sock hops, malt shops, and amusement parks.
How Younger Marriages Influenced Dating in the 1950s
Dances, in particular, made up a large part of dating. There were not only school supported dances, such as the sock hop appropriately named because patrons were to take off their shoes so as not to scuff the basketball floorbut there were proms and sorority dances to attend as well. In more modern times, girls who attend these kinds of functions usually stay with the date that brought them or whoever they invited to come.
But it was perfectly normal, even preferred by older generations at least if a young lady was "passed around" the dance floor.
If you were not cut in on, you were a social disgrace. This practice was actually apparent in the times before the 's, but by the early first few years of the decade, it had pretty much disappeared.
Inone teenager attending Texas Christian University disclosed that "to cut in is almost an insult" Bailey This is where the modern idea of going to dances emerged from. They take their girls out and show them a good time, but all of this costs money. Girls were, and some would insist still are, expensive to please especially if one takes them out frequently.
The concept of Dutch dating was not acceptable back in the fifties. Both boys and girls were embarrassed by the idea. It was suggested that if a young man needed help paying for the date then the girl should give him some money before the date so the boy can still look like he paid for the meal and entertainment.
This method was suggested but rarely ever practiced Bailey Of course, today Dutch dating is quite normal. However, this number may increase depending on the events of the month.
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Seven dollars a month pays for roughly two high school basketball games, six cokes, three movies, two bags of popcorn, gasoline for the car, and an unlimited amount of television dates they are free! Most boys of the era agreed that dating itself is not so expensive, but as sixteen-year-old Ed Miller put it, from the same article, the "wallet-emptying experiences are birthdays and all the other special occasions when gift buying is necessary" Special occasions could be any number of things, like dances.
Items like corsages, which boys were always responsible for providing, were costly.