Dating in the 1950s
When one tries to understand how dating has changed over time, and most importantly, how we arrived at the system of courtship and dating we have today, one must realize the monumental cultural shift that occurred during the 1940s, primarily due to World War II.The courtship experience and ideals of those who grew up before World War II were profoundly different from those of teenagers in the postwar years, and the differences created much intergenerational conflict.Steady-going girls indicate their unavailability in various ways, ranging from the old-fashioned fraternity pins and class rings to certain arrangements of pigtails or bobby pins.” While young adults through the 1950s were eager to settle down and start a family, that all changed around the 1960s.With anti-war, anti-segregation, and women’s rights sentiments in the air, young people didn’t want to be tied down like their parents were., which was originally published in 1962, some of the many places she suggests seeking out a man include on a plane, while shopping in the men’s department, while driving in heavy traffic, and—we’re not kidding—at Alcoholics Anonymous. A.,” she writes, because you “might as well start with a magazine conducted a poll nationwide and found that while one in three adults between the ages of 21 to 25 knew someone who had dated outside of their race, 51 percent of people overall felt that “any white girl who goes out with a black man is going to ruin her reputation.” Though marriage rates were higher in decades past, divorce rates were lower.
The article went on to say that if, for some reason, you did not have a date on a particular night, you should keep the lights off in your dorm room so no one would know you were home.
While the 1950s were all about securing that “MRS” degree, the 1960s and 1970s were more about sex.
During this time period, dating columns would cover not just what to wear on a date or how to be a good wife, but also how to score any guy you want and the dos and don’ts of necking.
However, by the turn of the 20th century we find the word being used to describe lower-class men and women going out socially to public dances, parties and other meeting places, primarily in urban centers where women had to share small apartments and did not have spacious front parlors in their homes to which to invite men to call.
With the rise of the entertainment culture, with its movie houses and dance halls and their universal appeal across class lines, dating quickly moved up the socio-economic ladder to include middle- and upper-class men and women, as well as the new urbanites.Dating today could not be more different than it was half a century ago.