17 Ridiculous Dating Etiquette Rules from the 1950s
Here’s a look back at some dos and don’ts that show why spending a Saturday night with your sweetheart during the '50s was the cat’s meow.
Making the first move
Apparently, guys were supposed to ask out girls—only “floozies” ask guys out on a date first.
When someone asks you out, you’re supposed to give an immediate answer to be polite. With today’s online dating, not responding could mean you’re ghosting someone—which is still considered rude. Here’s more marriage advice from the 1950s that still applies today.
Never break a date without providing a valid reason. Not interested in meeting up with someone? You’re going to have to come up with something better than needing to wash your hair.
Meet the parents
Getting introduced to your girlfriend’s parents can be a pretty big step in a relationship. In the ’50s, though, it was customary for girls to introduce all dates to their parents first. These cheesy pick-up lines could be straight out of the fifties.
Before you left for a date is when you should be putting on makeup. Primping in public was a big no-no. Check out these 18 vintage photos of what dating was really like in the 1950s.
Don’t place your order
If your date took you out to eat, it was ladylike to tell him what you wanted for dinner so he could order it for you. Sound ridiculous? These are 12 even crazier dating protocols from the 1930s.
Why, men of course. If a woman tried to pay for a date in the 1950s, it would be humiliating to guys. But dating can be expensive these days, so perhaps splitting the check is the nice thing to do.
Procrastinating on asking a girl out was one of the worst things a guy could do when he was dating.
Ring the bell
Sending an “I’m here” text didn’t exist in the ’50s. When a man picked up his date, he was supposed to go to the front door of her house to call for her. Honking the car horn from the driveway was also considered poor form.
Have a watch
After meeting the parents before a date, guys were supposed to ask the girl’s parents when they wanted her back home. Having a working watch was the best way to make sure you didn’t bring her back too late, especially if you wanted a second date. Find out 25 things that are considered dating deal breakers for women these days.
Don her coat
If you wanted to show your date how polite you were, you would help her put on her coat. It would be extra special if you offered her your coat when she didn’t have one.
Open the door
Real gentlemen open car doors for ladies. Really, men are supposed to open any door for their date and let them walk in first.
Chivalry might not be considered dead if men still walked between their date and the curb of the sidewalk. Even if you weren’t born in the ’50s, here are dating mistakes that anyone over 40 years old should avoid.
With money, that is. OK, so maybe being rich wasn’t a dating rule in the ’50s. However, men were expected to bring enough money along so that the woman didn’t have to pay for anything. This is what homecoming looked like in the 50s.
On the first date at least!
Bring the corsage
On prom night, you better not forget the corsage in the fridge! Now that would be embarrassing. You’ll get a laugh out of these other 15 bad tips from old etiquette books.