8 Awkward, Sexist Vintage Dating Tips That Will Make You Go WTF

Have you ever watched a really old TV show like Leave It To Beaver or The Brady Bunch or anything else made or set way back when? Have you noticed how different the approach to dating was back them. There was a lot more courting, talking on the phone, meeting your date’s parents before going to the school dance or the carnival. It all looked so wholesome that it almost makes you want to barf, right? You’re not alone.

To be fair, not everything was all peachy keen as it seemed–hey, all young people rebel, even in the ’50s and ’60s, you’ve seen Grease–but there were definitely way more conservative approaches to dating now than there are now. Most of these guidelines were written up in advice books geared towards teens. Yeah they’re just as corny as you’re imagining. Corny and super sexist. Here are eight vintage dating tips that will definitely make you go WTF.

Don't You Dare Hum!

A little book from 1950 called The Facts of Life and Love For Teenagers makes this explicitly clear: "Don’t offend his eardrums by humming in his ear when dancing." The book doesn't say a thing about a boy's humming habits, however. Apparently humming is just some brainless, girly mode of expression. The same book says that girls shouldn't say a thing while dancing with a boy so I guess girls just need to keep their blabby mouths shut. The more you know.

Photo source: American Grafitti

If You Want To Make Out Make Sure Your Sibling Is There To Stop Your Urges

The Cool Book from 1961 knows that cool kids are tempted to start--gasp--necking during a date. Yeah, necking is the old fashioned word for making out. To resist the urge to get too hot and heave, the so-called Cool Book suggests a few distracting activities, but it also suggests getting the family involved as a preemptive strike. "Double-date with your brother or sister," it says. "If there’s anything that’ll keep the smooching down to a minimum, its the presence of a member of the family who may watch your boy kiss—and tell; who may watch the pitch—and snitch."

Uh, is that a little creepy to anyone else? Let's imagine how that worked out in real life: "Wow, I really want to make out with you tonight, Johnny, but I should resist the urge so do you mind if I invite my brother on our date to keep things G-rated? Cool." Yikes.

Photo source:

Wash Your Mouth Out

Girls should never ever curse because then they just look like complete and total animals...or something. The book She Manners states, "If you are a gal who uses frank, men's locker room language—DON'T on this first date. DON'T—EVER! Avoid shocking your date. Even if he uses such language and hears all the guys and dolls in the senior class using it, he wants his date to be better than the rest of the crowd." Is...this really that much of a deal breaker? Seriously?

Photo source: Grease

Dumb Yourself Down Because Boys' Feelings Are More Important Than Yours

Here's another sexist gem from She Manners: "To make him feel important, you have to forget your own desires for importance. Compliment him on his physical prowess, his mental acumen, his good looks, his virility. The worst mistake a girl can make is to make a man feel intellectually inferior or inadequate as a male. We men need a lot of reassurance. So lay it on thick but subtly. Stroke his ego. Let him think he's king much of the time. He will love you for it, and, you know, it will make you feel extremely feminine."

Barf, barf, barf. Basically, dumb yourself down in case you make a dude feel like he isn't smarter than you. Mustn't let him get upset, afterall! Ew.

Photo source: Dating Dos And Dont's

Staying Out Past 10:30 Is Pretty Much A Sin

Want to stay out with your date late at night? Well then, Missy, looks like you've booked a one-way ticket to Sin Central. According to The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette from 1952, "A career girl, from her twenties onward, can accept such an invitation but should not stay beyond ten or ten-thirty. An old rule and a good one is ‘Avoid the appearance of evil.'" Um, what? It's not like they're a kid anymore, they're an adult. Can't they stay out late? Let them live!

Photo source: Pinterest

Never Kiss On The First Date...Ever

Another old school dating tip makes it clear that kissing on a first date is a big, fat no-no: It was thought to be a little too loose and let a boy know a little too much about your affections. I guess a second date could warrant a kiss on the cheek but, oh, that might have been a bit too sexy.

Photo source: Bye Bye Birdie

Don't Trust A Girl Wearing A Tight Sweater Because She's A Slut

From tight sweaters to adjusting stockings, this feature from a 1952 issue of "The Girlfriend and The Boyfriend" tells dudes how to spot a flirt from a mile away. The feature is straight up called, "When A Girl Is A Teaser." In other words: Slut alert, stay away. Ugh. Listen, while some of these moves are definitely flirty in nature, the article acts as if standing within a foot of a girl doing this will cause you to catch some sort of STD. The feature calls girls of this ilk "bad" and a "baiter." WTF? Calm down.

Photo source: When A Girl Is A Teaser

Let The Man Be A Man

This ittle tip comes from a book from 1964 called The Do's And Don'ts of Dating For Boys And Girls. It suggest that boys, "Be attentive and protective. Even independent modern girls like to be reassured about mice and spiders, roller coasters, and thunderstorms.” Ah yes, girls like to be reassured that a roller coaster won't actually kill us and that a mouse is just a mouse. Yo, are we really going to act like dudes can't be afraid of those things? I'm sure we all know some dudes who will get even more freaked out than girls about a spider.

Photo source: The Blob


Which of these tips is the most ridic? Which do you think are actually pretty accurate? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!


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