Dating, courting, going out, going steady… Things were a lot different in the 1960s.
Today’s daters have a very clear picture in their mind of what their perfect partner is. From their size and eye colour, their height, hobbies and even what they do for a living. You see, online dating has made the search for your loved one just that bit easier.
But back in the ’60s things were a little different. There were often strict guidelines of dos and don’ts when it came to landing your perfect match. For a start, dating was a group affair and if you wanted to get to know a member of the opposite sex you got together with a group of your friends and a group of their friends.
One of the most popular dating guides (especially for ladies) at the time was Art Unger’s Datebook’s Complete Guide to Dating.
His advice about ’10 ways you can avoid having to say no’ raises eyebrows now, first because it’s surprising it was even a topic for discussion and second because it highlighted that even though boys knew they weren’t going to get in a girl’s skirt it didn’t stop them trying. Back then girls weren’t really supposed to make a fuss.
With an limited knowledge of sex and contraception, sometimes the romantic endeavours between couples resulted in an unplanned pregnancy, which young women received little support for and occasionally found themselves shamed from their family.
You met your dates at school, at work, at the drive-in or the bowling alley, and even through your friends.
Many of the dating behaviours in the ’60s were considered good etiquette.
Chances are, if you are a girl, your parents would expect your date to be a polite young man who sought permission to ask you out in your teens.
A boy should open the door for his date. He was also expected to pay for movie tickets, dinner or any refreshments. Women were to refrain from kissing the boy on the first date, regardless of how much they liked him. And heaven forbid a girl should appear intelligent in front of her date, which made things tricky for those with the smarts.