The Most Absurd Dating Tips from the 1930s

These outdated dating tips are bound to make you chuckle!

You might assume that life back then was simpler, and maybe it was in some way. However, one thing stayed the same over time, and that’s the complicated dating life. In this day and age, we blame it on advanced technology and social media platforms, but the truth is, dating was never easy.

It’s quite funny, but, back in the day, women especially did a lot of strange things to get their man’s attention, and having your mother send you flowers is probably my favorite one. Yeah, you heard right!

Thinking about chewing gum on a date because you obviously want to have fresh breath? Back then, it was a big NO-NO. Now that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, we’ve made a list with probably the most ridiculous dating tips women did to impress men, about 80 years ago.

Read on to discover the most absurd dating tips from the 1930s!

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Photo by Motortion Films from Shutterstock

Dating Tip 1. Ask your mother to send you flowers.

In the Broadway show Wicked, Glinda made a promise to Elphaba that she will make her popular. Who knows, maybe Glinda heard of the 1938 article published in Mademoiselle, in which a senior from Smith College informed freshmen about how important it is to create an image of popularity in order to be asked on dates.

She advised freshmen girls, to write letters, invitations, and telegrams and pretend they got them from boys. By doing this, college men will assume they’re attractive since they get all the attention from boys. She even suggested having your mother send you flowers, so the other boys will think you have a lot of admirers. Also, shutting the light in your dorm room at night is vital, so the other boys won’t know that you don’t have a date.

Dating Tip 2. Women shouldn’t get drunk!

While some of the dating tips from the 1930s are definitely absurd and no one follows them today, this one is still accurate. According to an article from 1938 published in Click Parade, getting drunk on a date with a man was something off the table and very disgraceful. Besides creating a bad image for themselves, drunk women were embarrassing the men they were dating.

As Click Parade has related, drinking too much alcohol during a date will only assure you one thing, never getting a call from that man ever again! But I think this still applies today, for both men and women, and for a good reason. No one wants to literally carry their date home after dinner.

Dating Tip 3. Women should never cry in front of a man.

According to the Click Parade article, women should never cry in front of a man, especially not in public places, because they shouldn’t have to suffer from other’s people (women’s) emotions.

Also, men don’t like tears, so women are expected not to cry in front of them. Also, the same article said that men don’t like sentimental women, so if you wanted to keep seeing that man, crying was not an option. How manipulative!

Dating Tip 4. Over 30? You should take the matter into your own hands.

For women over 30, it would be advised to take the matter into their own hands and make the first move. Dix wrote in her book that women over 30 should choose a man they would like to be their husband and try to seduce him.

In fact, she believes that any woman has the potential to marry the man they like if they’re willing to pursue him and never give up. That has proved to be very efficient, especially for women over 30.

Dating Tip 5. Never talk while dancing to a man.

The same Click Parade article recommended women never talk about themselves, clothes, or other similar aspects during a date with a man unless, of course, they wanted to be seen as boring. Instead, the article suggested that women should only talk about the things he’s interested in.

Dorothy Dix wrote in her 1939 book ‘How To Win and Hold a Husband’ that women should talk very much during a date, and never ever, should she talk about themselves because men do not like women who babble on forever about themselves. Instead, men love to talk about themselves and prefer women that are good listeners.

And very importantly, talking on the dance floor is a big NO-NO. The Click Parade article recommended women keep their lips sealed while dancing with a man because if he asks them to dance, that’s what he wants to do. I think we can all agree these dating tips do not apply today and they’re even considered ridiculous.

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Dating Tip 6. Dressing to impress was not OK!

While men wanted good-looking women even 80 years ago, there was such a thing as overdoing it, and men hated it. As Dorothy Dix wrote in her book ‘How To Win and Hold a Husband, a man will get scared by a woman that looks like “a million dollars worth of finery.”

And that’s because he will assume that it will cost him a fortune to date you if you only wear expensive clothes. But if you ask me, that should have been his problem, not yours!

Dating Tip 7. Chewing gum was also a big NO-NO.

If you wanted to have fresh breath during a date, gum was not an option and you should have stuck to mints instead, otherwise, your man wouldn’t be happy. The 1938 article from Click Parde advised women to not chew gum during a date with a man. However, if she really had to, it was recommended to chew it with her mouth shut.

But even in this day and age, chewing gum with your mouth open is still a sign of bad manners and a turn-off as well. So girls, keep your mouth closed or try a mint instead!

Dating Tip 8. Never touch up your makeup in his rearview mirror!

While women were expected to look nice, men should not assist in their routine. The same Click Parade article recommended “to dress in your boudoir to keep your allure,” and do the same when it comes to makeup. Also, retouching your lips in front of you man was a big NO-NO as well.

Additionally, women should never use the car’s rearview mirror to check their makeup. And why is that? Well, the explanation would be that “men need it to drive and it annoys them very much when they have to run around to see what’s behind them.”

So even though you had lipstick on your face, it would have to wait until you arrived home!

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Dating Tip 9. Take a trip abroad.

If you were not able to get a date back in the day, traveling abroad could have been your solution.

As Dix wrote in her book: “Before succumbing to the inevitable she might give herself one more chance by making a change in her environment. Many a girl who is a social failure at home is a success abroad. Many a girl whom the boys on Main Street couldn’t see becomes one whom strange men behold with admiration.”

Dating Tip 10. Put down the phone.

Dorothy Dix also wrote in her book that a woman trying to get a man should put the phone down. Calling a man over the telephone during business hours was a bad idea, adding that men will likely hate you for it because he’ll feel like you’re risking his job.

Also, the easiest way to lose a man is by calling him on the telephone, Dix added. So it’s fair to say that Dorothy Dix wouldn’t have been a fan of texting either if she were to live in this day and age.

Dating Tip 11. You shouldn’t make a man wait.

According to the Click Parade article, women shouldn’t make a man wait, and they should greet him with a smile instead. However, being so hasty is not an option either, because men don’t like that. Being a woman in the 1930s seems a lot more complicated to me than it is today…

Dating Tip 12. Women should know how to play a good game of bridge.

As Dix has explained in her book, a pretty face wasn’t enough back then. In order to keep a man interested and prevent him from getting bored, you need to learn a lot of tricks. An ideal woman should know how to dance, she needed to be funny and amusing, and know how to play a good game of bridge.

According to Dix, a pretty face can only get you a senile grandpa, while having multiple skills will pave the road to Mr. Right! Ask him to play a game of bridge and impress him with your skills if you want to get to his heart. If the bridge was the way to a man’s heart back in the day we wonder what was their attitude towards books!

And if you’re feeling isolated and lonely, you should definitely be checking out these brilliant ways to cope and combat such feelings!




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