If you interpret dating tips from the 1950s with an attitude from the 2000s, it really isn’t so bad.
The Daily Mail has scans from a guide on “How to Behave in a Restaurant” published the October 1950 issue of Woman’s Own and boy does it have some classic midcentury advice. It’s pretty interesting, so we sought out other old fashioned dating tips and were kind of surprised. The most shocking aspect about these etiquette guides is not their prudishness and misogyny of it all (everyone knows the 1950s were a real bummer for women), but how practical some of the tips are, even in the 21st century.
1) Don’t eat with your hands unless you’re eating finger food. However, if someone ate asparagus with their hands now, they might get some side eye glances.
“There are certain foods which are eaten in a manner entirely different from others. For instance, asparagus is one of the few foods which can be eaten with fingers.”
2) Grooming really isn’t a dinner table activity, especially when hair is involved.
“It is bad manners to put your elbows on the table. It is also very bad manners to powder your nose or put on lipstick at the table, and unforgivable to comb your hair at the meal.” -Woman’s Own
3) If you drop a utensil on the floor at a restaurant, let a waiter know and ask for a new one. Causing a fuss and crawling around on the ground is rude and unsanitary.
“you do not start frantically hunting to retrieve [your dropped knife], ask the waiter to bring you a clean one.”
4) Don’t get too drunk. Not for the reasons in the following quotations, but just because drinking too much isn’t good for obvious reasons.
“Don’t drink too much, as a man expect you to keep your dignity all evening. Drinking may make some girls clever, but most get silly.” -Source
5) Don’t drink until you pass out, not because your date might not like that, but because it’s dangerous and bad for your health.
“The last straw is to pass out from too much liquor. Chances are your date will never call you again.”-Source
6) Wear something you’re comfortable in. You won’t be so anxious if you don’t have to futz around with your garments.
“Don’t tug at your girdle, and be careful your stockings are not wrinkled.” -Source
7) More often than not, wearing a hat to bed is weird. Nightcaps are for old dudes in illustrations for nursery rhymes.
“Ladies don’t wear hats in bed.” -Cosmopolitan
8) Don’t smear your makeup on other people’s belongings.
“Men don’t like girls who borrow their handkerchief and smudge them with lipstick.” -Source
“Sharing anything–be it a crust of bread or an idea–brings people closer together. Sharing the special interests and recreations of those we love is one of the main highways to happiness in human relations.” -How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead by Dorothy Carnegie