10 Vintage pieces of dating advice from the 1940s that haven’t changed

May 12th, 2021

Dating in the 1940s was definitely very different to today. The internet wasn’t even looming in the distance yet, and dating typically centered around popularity, or how “in demand” you happened to be.

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cdaileycrafton/ Flickr Source: cdaileycrafton/ Flickr

There was also, of course, the war, which made securing a spouse equally more important and more difficult.

Though it might seem like a few years back, there are many aspects of dating in the 1940s that are still relevant today.

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1950sUnlimited/ Flickr Source: 1950sUnlimited/ Flickr

Let’s take a look at some of the 1940s dating advice that we’d do well to keep in mind in 2021.

1. Walk Her to the Car

There’s something wonderfully gentlemanly about greeting a woman at the door and walking her to your car. It’s an action that was far more common in the 1940s, but we say bring it back.

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nessadear/ Flickr Source: nessadear/ Flickr

2. Walk Closest to Traffic

How many of us naturally take the section of the sidewalk that’s closest to the traffic and let our date walk further away from danger? Back in the 1940s, men were encouraged to do this, “so that if there’s any mishap, he gets hit first.” This gesture shows that you think a woman is valuable, which will earn you points in the dating game.

3. Wear Dignified Attire

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Jonathan Mueller/ Flickr Source: Jonathan Mueller/ Flickr

Back in the 1940s, “dignified attire” was considered to be a tux or a suit. Today’s dress codes are nowhere near as uptight as they used to be, but it’s still important to dress smartly for a date.

4. Say Nice Things

Complimenting doesn’t come naturally for all men, but we’ve been encouraged to say nice things to women since the 1940s (and probably way before that, too). So if you like her dress, tell her so!

5. Pursue Her

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Erin Stevenson O'Conner/ Flickr Source: Erin Stevenson O'Conner/ Flickr

Even while many men in the 1940s were fighting in the war, they still made time to fight for something else: a woman’s attention. In this era, women were encouraged to believe in their value, while men should pursue their dates with this value in mind.

6. Write Notes

Writing notes is something that many of us can’t be bothered with anymore – we’ve got our phones, after all. But writing notes was the easiest way to deliver a message in the 1940s. Nowadays, because actually getting out a pen and paper takes more effort, writing a note to your date shows that you really care.

7. Protect Her

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30ya/ Flickr Source: 30ya/ Flickr

Yes, women are strong and independent, but most women still like to be treated like they’re valuable. You don’t have to be a knight on a white horse, but small actions of chivalry will go a long way.

8. Be Enjoyable

The most important thing about dating? No, it’s not money – it’s about being enjoyable. According to a piece of advice from the 1940s, if your date enjoys your company, she couldn’t care less about what you spend.

9. Send Flowers

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db Photogrphy/ Flickr Source: db Photogrphy/ Flickr

Sending flowers is thankfully a dating trend that has continued until today, and many women still appreciate the thoughtfulness behind the simple gesture. Advice in the 1940s was to remember special occasions like anniversaries and birthdays – which is, of course, still important today!

10. Think Long Term

Finally, one aspect of 1940s dating that definitely still applies now is to look at the bigger picture. Yes, your date may be attractive, but what about 10 years from today? There’s more to it than popularity or beauty, so it’s important to pick a girl who suits you for a long-term relationship.

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Community Archives/ Flickr Source: Community Archives/ Flickr

Enjoyed this article? You can find another two 1940s dating tips on this post by Good Guy Swag.

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Source: Insider, Good Guy Swag