Has dating changed THAT much in the past 50 years?

Actually, this photo looks like it was taken 1954-1959, when OlderAndWiser was learning to walk and talk

Actually, this photo looks like it was taken 1954-1959, when OlderAndWiser was learning to walk and talk

Fifty years ago was 1968. Of course, some things in 1968 were vastly different. In 1968:

We did not have cell phones,

most of us did not have color TVs,

cars were bigger and most families only had one car,

Lyndon B. Johnson was the president,

we did not have computers or any digital communications,

we did not have microwave ovens,

debit cards did not exist,

most meals were eaten at home, and

the Beatles were the hottest musical group in the world.

Despite all these differences, dating in 1968 involved the following steps:

Boy reaches puberty and becomes interested in girls.

Girl reaches puberty and becomes interested in boys.

Boy identifies a girl in whom he is interested.

Boy decides on a plan for approaching the girl. This arouses much anxiety.

Boy begins talking to girl, hoping that he will not get rejected, forcing him to move to a foreign country.

Girl gives boy encouraging hints and signs but no direct statement of "yes, I like you."

Boy eventually asks girl for her phone number.

Boy agonizes over what to say when he calls but he eventually calls girl.

Boy asks girl if she would like to go out with him.

Girl either says "yes" or gives him an incredible excuse, like "gee, I'd love to but I'm planning to wash my hair Friday night."

Boy asks father for money to pay for date activity.

Boy asks father to borrow car.

Girl starts planning her wardrobe three days in advance.

Boy tells his friends that he has a date with girl.

Girl tells her friends that she has a date with boy.

On the day of the date, boy gets increasingly nervous and thinks he may toss cookies.

On the day of the date, girl gets increasingly nervous and thinks she may toss cookies.

At home, boy prepares for date and gets teased by his siblings.

Dad reluctantly hands over the car keys, boy goes to girl's home, and gets the evil eye from girl's father while waiting for girl to make her magical entrance.

At last, boy and girl leave and they are finally on their date.

Both make small talk while en route to their destination, hoping to avoid awkward silences.

At destination, they get involved in their activity (skating, dancing, dining, whatever) and forget to be nervous.

On occasion, boy and girl have brief moments of contact (like thighs brushing against each other) and feel exhilarated.

Boy finally reaches out to hold girl's hand and he is relieved that she does not pull out a pistol and shoot him, Instead, she holds his hand.

Boy suddenly feels added confidence and girl feels more attractive.

Neither wants the date to end but realize they have a curfew.

Boy returns girl home, walks her to her door, and awkwardly leans forward for a kiss.

Girl pulls out a pistol and shoots him.

No, just kidding. Girl kisses him and then quickly says, "I've got to go."

Girl goes inside and immediately calls her best friend to give her a complete report on the event.

Boy goes home feeling quite proud of himself.

The following day, boy begins worrying about when he should next call the girl.

Is it that much different today?

Has dating changed THAT much in the past 50 years?

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Most Helpful Girls

  • I mean, the idea in principle is still the same; it's still the two sides meet, they tell their friends, they meet up and there's that whole thing after of when is it to soon to contact them again. The issue is that we now have technology that has mixed things up a bit but has also taken away the fun of actually meeting someone whilst out and then physically picking them up and taking them out. Of course you also then move onto things like meeting the parents or asking for permission; nowadays, some men don't even ask a woman's parents for the opportunity to marry their daughter and I think it's a dying tradition. Then again, chivalry is running a bit dry now too so it's less likely that dating would remain the same, but that's also down to women wanting to be treated as equals to men. I don't know, just a thought but no, dating still has the same concept, it's just sort of adapted to modern life.

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  • A core date has not changed. Girls are more empowered now and and be more assertive.

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    • Thank you for getting it! All the bells and whistles have changed but - at its core it is still boy meets girl, boy wants girl, boy battles his lack of confidence, boy gets date, boy builds self-confidence. OR girl meets boy, girl wants boy, girl finds a way to attract his attention, boy asks her out, girl worries for 3 days about her hair, they go on date, girl feels more desirable.

      I;m not sure that has changed for the past 200-300 years!

    • And guys are powerless

Most Helpful Guys

  • not much different than today. the scenario you created was pretty much my life in high school. i feel like that dating hasn't changed too much. i feel like dating among adults is rather different though

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    • Yes, with a few years' worth of experience, we develop some confidence and learn to be much more direct with each other. We also learn that the new first date this Friday night is probably not the date of the century!

    • 3d

      thanks for MHO

  • I would say yes & no.

    Of course as you said technology has advanced 10 fold & that's influenced how people go about their "dating" lives, especially online.

    Just reading through some comments have given me some thoughts so here's what I think; oh & by the way i'm a virgin so you can't call me a sex driven fuckboy, i'm coming from a neutral a position as I can with my experience & knowledge.

    Yes, a lot of guys are looking for casual sex, or a casual relationship - same goes for women. We want sex & with society being shaped the current way it is, more & more people are having and WANTING to have sex (peer pressures, expectations, school hierachies etc - guys are deemed as worthless if they can't have sex & those women who don't are labeled as sluts - I don't like either at all & think it should just be up to the person to do what they wan without judgement as long as it's safe & not playing with others emotions.

    Men aren't gentleman? No, the men who approach you & however many other women aren't gentleman, they're good with words & getting what they want. There are plenty of gentleman left for you to date, you just don't want to accept that because of your previous experience with other guys.

    We're bad with communication? We barely get to communicate with women because of your unrealistic expectation & standards of guys having to be this & that, or doing this & that when approaching you so you don't completely disregard them. We can't get experience unless you let us.

    Dating still comes down to two people wanting to get to know each other from a mutual attraction, whether than intention is mutual is the biggest factor.

    What's changed is society & the influence it has on our everyday behaviour. We're still expected to pay for the date, bing along flowers or gifts, act like you're the only girl in the world & make it the best night ever, while all women do is think "he's not impressing me", or "hey I only came along for the free food". Women are more empowered & men take the back seat because it's all up to the women of what happens.

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What Girls Said 18

  • Exactly how I was raised to treat dating. I especially grew up on old movies. I like gentlemen over bad boys. I know a good amount about the baby boomer trivia. Like movies, tv shows, actors, music, history. Especially I watched a lot of western tv shows like the big valley and the rifleman which are my favorites. I wish dating was like the way you described. But it isn't anymore 😔. I wish we dressed better too like how it used to be. Women would wear sun dresses, men suits and hats or a stripped polo shirt with jeans and folded cuffs. Simpler times. I noticed wanting guys to do this way and treat women like this is considered high expectations or asking too much. I'll tell you right now guys don't act like that at all. Especially women are more liberated now of you get what I mean. Also I don't think guys would kiss the girl on the first date, it was more on the third date. If she let him kiss her on the first date it would look like she is loose. It looks bad on the girls part. The guy might get the wrong idea about her. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Also they had an issue with condoms back in the day. Young guys felt too embarrassed to buy them from the store. And young ladies couldn't get birth control from their doctors. So a lot of children were born out of wedlock. When the young women would get pregnant the parents worried about what the neighbors would think. The parents forced the daughter to a unwed mothers home to have the baby. And especially the girl wouldn't be able to keep the baby the doctor and nurses would pry the baby from her hands and put it up for adoption. They treated the women very badly back then. While the young guys walk away scot free going to knock up another girl and not worry about what will happen to his child but to have the freedom and no ramifications but in fact encouraged to have sex more. It's still like that today in some way.

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  • Online dating has made dating so much more casual, therefore not feeling the need to meet parents quite so quick but also being able to get a quick hook up is easier than ever.

    Men aren't gentlemen anymore, that's the sad reality.

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    • I have met many women online. Never was looking for a quick hookup and I still act like a gentleman. Some guys are still gentlemen. I mentor young men in college and some of them are still quite chivalrous.

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    • @Nyx_85 Thankfully it was only water, totally worth it, I needed the laugh ^_^

    • @admles Haha you're welcome :)

  • Yes. Nowadays, you are a sexist bigot cunt because you only mentioned boys and girls. What about all these other genders?

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  • instead of a goodnight kiss guys get a good night blowjob i think dating is a lot better... oh and we're supposed to pay for 1/2 of the date so even better for guys.

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  • Now, kids have boys too scared to ask them out, instead “slidin into dm’s”. Lame.

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  • Yes guys are not gentlemen anymore. You get guys that are either too fake or just bad with communication. Laughable. It sounds like a bad teen porn movie script.

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    • You want a gentleman, act like a lady. It's interesting that men are always blamed for everything and women barely admit that they've also changed and are the *cause* why men started to change. Because we're supposed to chase you, not the other way around. You define the rules, you decide which tactic is working. Being nice isn't valued anymore. All those guys acting as a gentleman would are friendzoned and sentenced to become a beta orbiter as women always wanted a "bad boy". He will get attention, he will get sex. Every single woman that says "where all the good men gone" watched/read too much Grey and thinks that she can find a man that's handsome, filthy rich and let's say a gentleman too, at least until he starts swinging the whip. It's not how the world works. That's what you secretly wanted, that's what you got. Have a taste of your own medicine.

    • @blackisnotacolour no one cares about your opinion. No I didn't read it. Pointless. Scoot.

  • Yes! It has change. My parents are one cute example of those day dating, they started dating at 15 years old, now they are in their 80's years old... still together. Now, dating is like who is next in line.. and couple dont last at all.

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  • Yes...

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  • I grew up in a traditional environment and your description of dating closely resembles the standard I was used to until I moved to Paris.

    These are the main differences I have observed:
    - Nowadays it's not implied that going on a proper date with someone means you are considering to form a serious relationship with that person.

    - Most people go with the flow and see what happens. People here can form serious relationships with their one night stand or move in with their new girlfriend or boyfriend within two weeks or a month of meeting them.

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  • yes, its different

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  • Nice take

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  • It's drastically different here.

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  • time changes

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  • Following this

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  • Nice take

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  • Yes it would be so nice to live in that persona I would say it be nice to live in that area but I'm a little attached to my technology. LOL. It would be nice for people to actually stay together or not break up over stupid things I mean dating is still the same guys are usually the initiator and they have all the battles to overcome mostly. But now I just seems like people don't stay together and it's really sad

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  • now there is tinder and superficial hookups and club culture. you are a relic of a long lost era. unfortunately.

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  • I think at that time life was a lot similar. I am sure they had their hardships and thought things were complicated then too and compared their time to another time. Times now are much more complicated because we are much more connected. We can communicate with people without leaving our homes. Plus there are people in the world who identify differently compared to people who refer to themselves as solely straight. People of today seem to have a mentality of it's about them vs the mentality most had during the time frame you mentioned above regarding family values. Many people want to get away from that and feel it is against woman and allowing a woman to leave the home to work, live their life, be independent, etc. I think dating yes has changed drastically.

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What Guys Said 30

  • "Boy asks father for money to pay for date activity."

    Not in my house! My dad would have either laughed at me or smacked me in the mouth (depending on if he thought I was serious or not). There's a reason I've had a job almost continuously since I was 11.

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  • Well, even in the late 1980s, when I first dated, it wasn't like that anymore, and of course, with social media and smartphones with GPS trackers, it's even more different today.

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    • Of course the technology is different. I am focusing on the psychology of dating and the aspects of human nature that are involved. Do you see the similarities?

    • Yeah, sure there are some similarities, but I think there was less deference to parents even when I was a teenager than in the late 1960s. What my Father told me Things were like for him is quite a bit different than what I experienced.

  • The more things change the more they stay the same. __Browneye ;)

    What we do know is that attraction and desire is not negotiable - it is either there or it isn't. It is THE most desirable trait of any suitor, either gender. Everything else is secondary.

    And we know that the FI has ruined the normal approach and dialog which initiated the dating process - a guy greeting a woman and exchanging politeness. No, the women call it harassment if you TALK to them. So there are a LOT of lonely women and frustrated guys out there. None of this has anything to do with modern communication mediums.

    There is also not a lot of upside for a guy to marry, with everything in society slanted towards the women. If it fails, he loses. Always.

    If a woman cheats or bails it's because her guy is an asshole. Even her friends and relatives will support her in this, telling her 'you deserve to be hhhhaaaappppyyyy'.
    If a man cheats or bails he is a COMPLETE asshole. It is NEVER any fault of the woman. EVER.

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  • Dating has changed drastically and fortunately more for the better than the worse and here is why i think so:

    For the better:
    - no more these chivalry things being required from us (the man doing all the work, covering all expenses...)
    - women making their own money and being employed in the workforce allowing to go paying fair for expenses like separate bills or other similar agreements. This makes things easier a lot. No more asking to get money from parents.
    - gender equality
    - dating doesn't have to cost money (besides the transport)
    - women do ask men out 😀😍 or they are there for them
    - childfree and non-marriage folks are continuously rising

    For the worse:
    - social media and women makes a toxic mixture. Especially when women don't like it when you sent a like to another woman. She could be your friend, coworker, sister in law... It doesn't matter.
    - the media and chick flicks have managed to manipulate the girls to have unrealistic expectations and standards for men
    - occasionally if not often kindness and niceness from men may be interpret as in him only wanting sex and then leaving.
    - disparity in gender attraction. I'm confident, that there are more men finding women attractive THAN women finding men attractive. I think women find only the top 20% of men attractive whereas men find the top 80% of women attractive. This is like the usual thing.
    - last but not least: Earlier it may have been considered that men were more desirable 50 years ago in dating and society since they held jobs whereas women were not really able to. Today women are vastly more desired in society and dating than men.

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  • Back then people thought in terms of finding a partner for life. Now it is find a partner till someone better comes along. I have heard women say "well if I can get 5 good years out of him I will be happy." I don't think that attitude existed much back then.

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    • I heard women say they are going to use guys for sex.

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    • But not in a creepy Overly Attached Girlfriend type of way. It's more of an internal excitement.

    • I mean like emotionally internal. That sounded bad.

  • I think, dating as a majority understands it is a quite U. S. American ritual. My youth had the same goals in respect of ''dating'', but with different - emm - procedures. I enjoyed reading your text :)

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  • Probably the biggest changes have been in the last 20 years , the 1960's was the decade of the greatest social changes , and still influences right to this day. Dating definitely has changed THAT much , esp more recently.

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  • Dating has become more varried while some people have kept a traditional approach in that dating is for the purpose of entually settling down. Men often date for the hope of sex while women do that to it's not uncommon these days for women to have up to 5 guys on a book at any give time thanks to tinder. Women these days are very much serial daters. They like to be in a relationship when it's the holidays or Christmas or valentines or their birthday or there's a big fancy wedding they've been invited too. Women these days will be dating a guy exclusively but start dating another guy a month before deciding to move on. Some women date for the purpose of free so food. The dating world is crazy espicially in cities.

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  • D'pnz what age level. N those xs folks didn't lose their virginity til' Prom Night/Wed'n Night. How Many fellas lie bout their virginity today? A ruca (female) told Me how Many fellas r nervous/lost during x, Who had said they weren't Virgins.

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  • The basics haven't changed much, but there are some notable differences that are obviously because of the passage of time. They both have fun, they have a good time, and they want to see each other again afterwards.

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  • Yeah now they dont trust ya and if You like them they think there's ulterior motives. Least in my dealings.

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  • I like what you've written.
    I wish I were growing up in that era , much simpler time and less stigma and drama in the dating world.

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    • How do we know? Everyone says "It was better back then" but many of the issues we have today just weren't talked about back then. Also I'm sure people back then had their own unique issues in dating.

  • Sounds about right but for me in the UK. I the 60s no car and house phone. It was letters , public transport and public phone. ...

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  • Fifty years ago, 40 years ago we courted. Now it is almost all hookups and superficiality.

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  • Being of a certain vintage myself, I am probably have been quite aware of the dating world for about 35 years and I think it has changed beyond all recognition - In 1983/1984 what seems so complicated is quite simple like there was never such all encompassing issues like she has messaged me, do I reply in 3 hours (no that would seem needy), is 9 hours cool or aloof, ok 7 hours but thats 4am - Right I am going to do it after 6 dates, are nighttime dates weighted more than daytime dates just so I have my formula correct - Honest to God, what happened to we were together and we had a moment. it just did or didn't happen.

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  • Well I can tell you now that everybody on a date these days are on their cell phone most of the time and that really sucks

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  • Man.. Now I wish I could go back to 1968 and begin dating.. It's so simple and easy..

    Today if a guy asks a girl out..
    Girl and her friends squad are practically deployed on a mission.
    - find about his Ex
    - check all his possible virtual platform accounts Facebook, Twitter etc
    If he doesn't has those accounts he is looser, if he has those, then begins the quest to break it down, and find his flaws.
    They won't let the girl think and make her own decision..

    Same goes for guys too..
    Dude she is a slut!
    Dude she shagged this guy that guy, half class
    Dude she sent me nudes ( although he is the pervert who asked for those) but in his opinion it's her fault.
    Dude But condoms and go for sex on the first date!..

    Today men remember to buy condoms but forget to buy a perfect beautiful rose or a corsage for her.

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  • I think it has big time...
    I had to actually talk to girls, call them... meet them... take them out on real dates... if I wanted to meet her, there was one phone call before... usually from a pay phone lol... and thats it until I was at the spot we choose

    if I wanted to get to know her, well I had to meet her... there was no other way

    today we seem to get swallowed in endless text messages, endless dating site app messages, endless pictures, endless all this bs and never actually just meet up --> it seems like there is a much more comprehensive process before we feel comfortable meeting

    but thats just the problem, you shouldn't be too comfortable either way...
    failed relationships all over the place, I'm not surprised

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    • I dated a guy recently who told me he liked that the last girl he dated wanted to chat on messenger yet how annoyed that he wanted to see him "too often". Turns out he only wants to see the person he's dating about once a week or less. Yet he's more than happy to chat daily online. It's odd.

    • *how annoyed he was that SHE wanted to see him

    • *chat online daily

  • The real differences between then and now is that now people are less likely to commit to things. Guy or girl. So all of the processes and methods involved with dating stem from that place. But dating itself really hasn't changed much. Talk to people who had a serious dating history 20, 30, 40 years ago and most of the time you'll be able to relate to them and they to you. Because the nature of men and women really hasn't changed.

    Like is wondering what to say on the phone vs wondering what to say via text different? No. But today you have the benefit of thinking about it and deciding more before sending. Vs talking on the phone and hoping for the best. The principle is the same, but the method is different.

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  • 1968... a lot of 14 year olds running away from home to California.

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