Once, when Tinder and other dating apps were not available, singles advertised their search for a partner in daily newspapers. This was how adventure was sought or potential love searched for. How else was the search for a significant other?
First dates only in public
Undoubtedly, modern dating differs from the model that was popular a few, a dozen or several dozen years ago. Some aspects have changed dramatically, especially considering how women’s rights and socio-economic situation have evolved in society. What was dating in the past?
For a long time in history, dating has sharply deviated from the modern pattern. In the 1950s, group dating was popular, usually in public places, where young people mostly allowed themselves only to hold hands. It was inconceivable that a woman could invite a man, much less pay for herself. While the male initiative model is common until today, it is being broken more and more often, and in the past there was no question of breaking with this traditional approach.
The man with good manners asked his sweetheart’s parents if he could spend some time with her, of course in a public place or under the watchful eye of someone close to her. However, the pattern of dating, rooted in the patriarchal view of relationships, began to gradually change. In the United States, this was largely due to the pacifist movement and the second wave of feminism.
Feminists urged other women to put themselves there instead of putting the man and his desires at the center. This made the ladies more open to casual meetings and began to choose partners themselves. Although it was constantly said that every woman dreams only of getting married and having children as soon as possible, such messages were fought against. Women had a chance to finally show that not only men like sex, and dating and relationship does not have to end in marriage and starting a family in a short time.
However, there would be no sexual revolution without the availability of protective measures against pregnancy. The rise, legalization and spread of birth control pills and condoms made more and more women enthusiastic about dating. The days of merely holding a hand are also over.
Couples more and more often decided to have premarital sex, which met with great opposition from the Pope and conservative circles, but such voices were dismissed. It is estimated that in the early 1970s as many as 6.5 million American women decided to take hormonal contraception.
There were also more and more slogans related to practicing safe sex. Public awareness of sexually transmitted diseases and how to protect against them was growing.
Abandoning rigid dating standards, allowing more freedom and liberation, have made both women and men more open to their love and sexual lives, and this has definitely revolutionized dating and relationships.
Newspaper advertisements as prototypes of dating apps
Nowadays, singles and singles are increasingly using dating applications such as Tinder and Badoo. Anyone who has had an account there for a while, knows that the key to interest are not only our photos, but also an interesting description or simply writing a few facts from your life so that the other person knows how to start a conversation in a creative way.
Before the internet was born and the new media flourished, people also found different ways to look for sympathy. Announcements published in daily newspapers were once popular, and this is somewhat associated with today’s applications. Women most often described their appearance, and men prided themselves on education and a good job. “A 25-year-old redhead with green eyes, a secretary will be happy to meet a man with a nice temperament in the age range of 30-40. She is unsettling, non-smoker, appreciates peace” – such announcements were readily available when reading a journal. Many press titles had a special place for such content.
Sometimes it was stated at the outset that you were looking for a husband or wife. On the other hand, others were more subtle and in the beginning they focused only on dating in order to be able to get to know someone well, and only later to assess whether the candidate or candidate would meet their expectations.
Matrimonial ads became extremely popular in the US in the 1970s. Issues dedicated specifically to singles began to appear, such as the biweekly “Singles News in New York”.
Polish society was also once enthusiastic about this type of announcement. In the times of communist Poland, you could most often come across them in the so-called afternoon papers, or newspapers appearing in the evenings.
However, as it turns out, it was not an invention of those times, because much earlier, in the interwar period, searchers of the other half wrote dating ads. Separate newspapers and magazines were also created dealing with the topics of love, relationships and loneliness.
Already 50 years ago, a computer was used to pair people
Dating with the use of new technologies seems to be something relatively new, but it turns out that computers were used for the first time in the USA in the late 1960s and 1970s in order to match couples.
Two Harvard students – Jeff Tarr and Vaughan Morrill – had an unusual idea. For the payment of a fee of three dollars, it was possible to answer a questionnaire consisting of 150 questions that concerned the person answering the questions and the characteristics of the dream partner.
All information was saved on a computer, which allowed to create a database and in this way people who met each other’s union criteria were paired together. Everyone who paid, soon received a list with the addresses of people to whom he could contact to make a new acquaintance.
Musical mixes as a romantic gesture
At the turn of the 1970s and 1980s, people all over the world went crazy about cassette tapes. Their popularization was possible thanks to the creation of mini-tape recorders equipped with headphones that could be put in a pocket. The American and Western European fashion also reached Poland, and the Walkmans were permanently recorded in the pages of history.
Young dating people found that the perfect way to show someone their feelings would be to create a musical compilation for that person. Songs about love or those that were associated with the chosen one were selected. Often in this way, people also wanted to show off their music taste, so the playlists featured artists and songs that were popular or avant-garde for their time. It quickly became synonymous with romance, and this theme was caught especially by filmmakers. References to cassette tapes, compilations and dates can be found in pop culture in a number of ways.
The trend of making musical compilations for dating continued, even when the cassette was swapped for a CD. Even today, in the era of streaming services such as Spotify and Tidal, you can encounter similar practices. Now creating a playlist for the person we like is much simpler and faster, but it still has its charm.
Speed dating as a way to meet love
You get a few minutes to talk to one person. After the conversation is over, another one comes. You can meet with speed dating more and more often. Such events are organized not only in large cities, but also in smaller towns.
Ganez speed dating dates back to the late 1990s in Los Angeles, a rabbi Yaacov Deyo had an idea how to connect singles practicing Judaism. He organized a meeting where both free women and men were present. The rabbi thought that each conversation would last 10 minutes. He was counting down the time and communicating when the couples were due to change.
This idea caught on not only in the Jewish community. Soon, similar meetings were organized in every major American city, where singles from different social groups could talk or simply flirt. It became an opportunity to search for both lasting relationships and adventure.
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