Absurd etiquette rules from the '30s, '40s, and '50s

If you think dating is hard now, you wouldn't have survived back then

Stars Insider

05/30/19 | StarsInsider

LIFESTYLE Curiosity

Dating in the modern age is a minefield, especially in the digital era with apps, texting, and entirely new codes of technological behavior in the mix. There are a lot of things to think about—you have to pick the right platforms, figure out how to properly construct your profile to attract the right kind of people, and not fall for any false advertisements. You also have to navigate texting (how soon is too soon to reply?), cope with the inevitability of being ghosted, and deal with a lot of things that are separate from actually meeting someone.

Because of all these new complications, we seem to have a romanticized idea of dating in the past. In our collective imagination, romance "back then" was filled with meet-cutes, chivalry was alive and well, and there was an added air of mystery because you couldn't stalk a person's entire digital history online. Plus, you could lie about your age! 

But in all seriousness, dating in the 21st century is nothing compared to the strict social codes permeating the first half of the 20th century. Magazine columns and entire books were dedicated to teaching young folks the proper etiquette when it came to courting and being courted. While very detailed and highly regarded at the time, those guides have not aged well in the least.

From shockingly sexist gender roles to hilariously ridiculous things that were considered in "bad taste," nearly every single one of these rules should be broken in today's age. You may be surprised at how far we've come since the 1930s, '40s, and even '50s, though it's equally surprising just how many people relied upon these guides to determine another person's character.

Check out this gallery to see the most bizarre etiquette rules from not-long-ago-enough, and revel in the freedom of dating we have today.

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