This Is How Women Were Supposed To Date In 1938


Given how dating is such a big part of our lives in 2018, it might seem strange to remember that it hasn’t been around very long. Dating first started in the early 20th century, when unattached women were moving to cities to find work. As you might have guessed, society wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of women looking for love on their own terms. In some cities the police made no distinction between dating and prostitution, and women were sent to jail for dating well into the 1920’s.

But people just kept dating, and the world slowly came around. By the 1930’s, publications were beginning to write dating guides for young women. Were these dating guides screwed up? You bet they were!

Besides having a confusing name, Click Photo-Parade magazine was a catchall periodical that was equal parts CosmoPeople, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, a really bad National Geographic, and about half a dozen other publications. For example, a copy of the May 1938 issue I found on eBay included features about spring hat fashion, kissing, movie gossip, a guy who can drive nails through his tongue, and a Bulgarian cultural practice of leaving food out for the dead.

If you ever wanted to get whiplash from reading a magazine, Click Photo-Parade is your pick.

Photo Credit: eBay

Can’t wait to see those new photos of Bette Davis–OH DEAR GOD!

This dating guide for women comes from the February 1938 issue of the magazine, and it’s one of the first of its kind. Imagine a dating guide  where onus is entirely on the woman keeping the man happy, and also, that man is literally insane. It’s hard to tell how seriously it was meant to be taken. But even if most people in 1938 rightfully dismissed these dating tips, it seems likely that SOMEONE thought they were legit. And that’s scary.

We should all be thankful we weren’t dating in 1938.

Tip #1: Be fully dressed before he shows up.

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Um, that advice might be appropriate for toddlers, not fully grown women. “Lisa, if you don’t put your shoes on, we can’t go on our date. Lisa. LISA!!!”

Tip #2: Sit correctly, don’t look bored, chew gum softly.

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First off, I have no idea why they’re lumping sitting together with gum chewing. That’s how you know this was a quality magazine.

This tip is like a rich double espresso of sexism. First you got the “Don’t sit in awkward positions” thing. We all know what that really means–keep those legs closed AT ALL TIMES!

Then there’s the “don’t chew gum loudly” part…which is pretty much the same thing as the Lady Doritos we ran a couple weeks ago. Nice to know some things never change!

Tip #3:  Don’t ruin a man’s snot rag with your gross makeup.

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You hear that, ladies? Us bros don’t want your disgusting makeup getting on our hankies. Handkerchiefs are ONLY for catching boogers , and preserving those boogers so we can look at them whenever we want.

Tip #4: A car mirror is NOT a makeup mirror.

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Fact: in 1938, the leading cause of car accidents was ladies hogging the mirror for their makeup use.

Tip #5: Don’t talk to anyone.

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Seriously, ladies. If you speak to another person or even acknowledge their presence with brief eye contact, how is your man supposed to know if you want to marry him?

Don’t talk to the waiter when he comes over to take your order. Don’t talk to the concerned restaurant owner who tries to figure out if you’re on a date or you are a hostage. Don’t talk to the cops when they inevitably show up. Don’t even talk to lawyers or judge at your date’s kidnapping trial.

Tip #6: No PDA’s.

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Got that? No public displays of affection. Especially no digging for ear wax in your date’s ear.

I know what you’re thinking: “Then what are we supposed to do on our date?” You’ll just have to think of something.

Tip #7: Don’t manipulate him with your crying. 

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Pretty sure getting someone “to say something he doesn’t want to by working on his emotions” is how they recruit people for Scientology.

Tip #8: Only talk about what he wants to talk about (i.e. not clothes)

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You might think this tip is unreasonable, but what if your talk of dresses and ballgowns bores a man so much he falls asleep and drowns in his soup. You don’t want his blood on your hands, do you?

Tip #9: Don’t get drunk.

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I mean…sure? “Don’t get so drunk you pee yourself” is decent advice for any human on a date.

But why does it have to be just women who drink in moderation?! Why can’t ladies get so drunk they run through a plate glass window and head butt a horse? #Equality

Tip #10: Once again, DO NOT talk to anyone.

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Your date will NOT like it when you volunteer to check random men for lice.

Tip #11: Don’t [fill in the blank]

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This one didn’t have a caption, but my best guess for the advice is, “Don’t fall asleep, or else you’ll disappoint your date as well as future US president Richard Nixon.”

Makes about as much sense as the rest of ’em.


h/t: Mashable