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?