Tuesday, April 10, 2012

From the Displays- Dating Advice from the 1950s

Suzanne Gould Emerson's book, "Off to College", published in 1949, outlines some tips for success for the girl heading to college. One section in particular caught my eye - "Those Men You'll Date" - in which Emerson describes a few stereotypical categories of college men of the day, most of which remain fairly accurate today, at least from this college female's point of view.  Here are some highlights from the chapter (p. 66-73):

After a year or two of college, men are more suave and polished than they were in high school.  There are, of course, some who will never grow up. ... The college men described are much like caricatures - the prominent features of each type are emphasized.  You will meet these types, you will meet combinations of them, and you will meet some types for which no one can prepare you.

Mr. Rah! Rah! College!
He throws himself into everything that is collegiate.  He dresses the part, wears the loudest argyle socks ever made, follows every male fad, and goes to extremes.  He yells the loudest at football games.  You can get pretty tired of keeping up with him.

Mr. Aw... I'd Rather Stay Home
He is the bashful type.  He only dates under pressure.  His manners are often faultless and he is extremely considerate.  He is the kind of man who will amaze you because there is so much to him.  He is smart ,kind, and really a good "guy".  If you want to see him again, be as nice as you can to him and put him at ease. 

Mr. Muscles
He is so proud of his athletic prowess!  He is attractive and apt to be fun, but you had better be interested in football, tennis, basketball, and so on.  You probably won't be with the big hero more than a few hours a week.  With practice and all, he just doesn't have the time.  Be feminine, but be prepared to walk faster, run faster, play a speedy game of golf, and sit on the sidelines alone.

Mr Student
He is a hard nut to crack.  Mr. Student never seems to forget school.  You will learn much from his association, but you will rarely hear that you look nice, or will you be able to enjoy a light-hearted conversation with him.  Never make fun of a man because he works seriously and pays little attention to you. You may have to wait a long time between dates, but you will find it refreshing when you are with him.

Mr. I Had a Nice Time, But...
He is the man who is perfectly charming, fun to be with, seems easy to please; in fact, you both have a wonderful time on your first date.  He says he will call you but he doesn't.  There is nothing wrong except that he fails to ask you for another date.  There are many college men like this.  Maybe they are afraid of falling for a girl, maybe they are bashful, or maybe they just do not like a second date with the same girl.

Mr. Hard to Get
He is a close cousin of Mr. "I Had a Nice Time But...".  He may call you a second, third, or even fourth time, but no matter how well you two get along, he seems to lack interest in you.  He is hard to explain, and all you can do is knock him over by making yourself especially attractive to him.  Use all the tricks you know.

Mr. In-Between
Here is the one who attracts everybody's interest.  He is the kind that is fun, yet serious minded.  He likes campus affairs, knows what's going on, but doesn't get carried away by the collegiate life.  He has nice manners, but not too sickly sweet.  He is smart and a student, but does not give you a guilty conscience if you aren't an excellent student.  He is fun no matter what you do and is liked by your friends, by men, and by older people.  He is really tops and if you find him, hold on.  You will have to be pretty wonderful yourself to do it, but you can if you try. 
 One last note - Find more dating tips from the 1950's and a lovely instructional video featuring "Nick" and "Jeff" (pictured above) at:


1 comment:

  1. Nice post.
    I like the way you start and then conclude your thoughts. Thanks for this nice information. I really appreciate your work, keep it up.
    Dating Advice