• Couple dating in the 1930s

Dating tips straight out of 1938

Last month we brought you dating tips straight from the mouths of babes (“If he’s nice to you, you should marry him” being one such gem). This month we bring aspiring lovers advice from an equally unlikely source – 1938 to be precise.

The ‘tips’ should be taken with a big dose of salt, but they do offer a fascinating glimpse into how times have changed – and for those of you who despair of modern dating, you can at least count your lucky stars you weren’t trying to find a partner in the early twentieth century. Here are some things we’ve learned about 1930s dating from a photo series published in Click Photo-Parade, the magazine of choice for ladies at the time.

1. GETTING READY FOR A DATE WAS AS MUCH A MINEFIELD AS THE DATE ITSELF

What to wear? What to do with your hair? If you think making yourself presentable for your big date is a chore in this day and age, pity the 1930s lady, who was advised, among other things, to heed the following advice.

"If you need a brassiere, wear one. Don’t tug at your girdle, and be careful your stockings are not wrinkled."

"Men don’t like girls who borrow their handkerchiefs and smudge them with lipstick. Makeup in privacy, not where he sees you."

"Do your dressing in your boudoir to keep your allure. Be ready to go when your date arrives; don’t keep him waiting. Greet him with a smile!"

"Don’t use the car mirror to fix your make-up. Man needs it in driving, and it annoys him very much to have to turn around to see what’s behind him."

So many rules before you’ve even made it to the picture house!


2. YOUNG LADIES CIRCA 1938 HAD TO BE ON THEIR VERY BEST BEHAVIOUR

In practice, this meant that a woman stepping out with a man must always mind her posture and give the appearance of having a jolly marvellous time:

“Don’t sit in awkward positions – and never look bored, even if you are. Be alert, and if you must chew gum (not advised), do it silently, mouth closed.”

Furthermore, caution was urged against chatting, displaying affection or discussing fashion:

"Careless women never appeal to gentlemen. Don’t talk while dancing, for when a man dances he wants to dance.

"Don’t be familiar with your escort by caressing him in public. Any open show of affection is in bad taste, usually embarrasses or humiliates him.

"Don’t talk about clothes or try to describe your new gown to a man. Please and flatter your date by talking about the things he wants to talk about.

You have been warned.


3. NEWS FLASH! DRINKING AND FLIRTING WITH ANYONE OTHER THAN YOUR DATE IS A FAUX PAS

This next category of advice is so obvious, one wonders if the 1938 woman had a few screws loose, treating dates as an opportunity to flirt with gentlemen on the next table, and drinking themselves into oblivion.

We suspect, or rather hope, that the tips in question were written by someone with their tongue firmly in their cheek.

Don’t be familiar with the headwaiter talking about the fun you had with someone else another time. Men deserve, desire your entire attention.

Don’t be conspicuous to other men. The last straw is to pass out from too much liquor. Chances are your date will never call you again!


4. CRYING ON DATES IS VERY, VERY BAD NEWS INDEED

Let’s say the 1938 lady messed up - smudged her date’s hanky with her lippie, spent the evening chatting about her wrinkled stockings or eyeing up the maître Dee.

Regardless of her error, she should avoid showing her distress at all costs:

"Don’t be sentimental or try to get him to say something he doesn’t want to by working on his emotions. Men don’t like tears, especially in public places."

So there you have it. Four very good reasons you should be grateful you’re dating in 2015!

To find out how Flame Introductions can help you in your mission to find a twentieth century love, get in touch today.

Image: Click Photo-Parade Magazine


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Author: Rebecca

Rebecca lives in London with her husband, daughter and dachshund. She hopes her dating blogs for Flame Introductions will inspire you to seek out the best London and UK locations for brilliant dates, and discover some tips along the way to help you find your perfect partner.