Does Dating Advice Ever Really Change?

I think I am all maxed out on dating advice. I hear it from my parents, my siblings, my single friends, my not-so-single friends, the Internet, Patti Stanger, etc. The list goes on and on. After awhile, hearing “It happens when you least expect it!!!! Don’t give up hope!” gets a little on the repetitive side. I am sure that is true, but sometimes a single and bitter girl just wants to be single and bitter. Although, I know that everyone (myself included) thinks they are a relationship guru when in a relationship.
Throughout my life, I don’t know if I have ever heard anything that strays from the “norm” when it comes to dating advice and how to pick a partner. It really didn’t matter if the (usually unsolicited) advice came from my older sister or my best friend, they all pretty much said the same thing. The tips and words of wisdom that I learned when I was 16 still hold true now that I am 23.  It comes down to love, respect, and trust. Right? Once you get down the nitty-gritty of the relationship, good looks and all the superficial stuff kind of goes out the window.
If you’re wondering what the point of all this is, I will now fill you in. We here at CollegeCandy stumbled upon this website that takes a look at what kind of tips men were given in the 1940s when trying to pick a mate. Coincidentally, information from the 1940 census was released earlier this week, and everyone is eager to see just how much this country has changed in 70+ years. Basically everything has changed…with the exception of dating advice. It may be worded a bit differently, but the main message of these points are still the same in 2012 as they were in 1944. Check out some of my favorite (and still relevant!) tips that were given to men reading the book How To Get Along With Girls in 1944.
1. She is attractive, of course, but is that her chief asset? (Try to imagine her ten years from today.)
I mean, obviously there is a nicer way to put this, but think about it: looks fade. It’s true that physical attraction is the spark that ignites any relationship, but we all know there has to be more than that to make a real relationship last. If all you’re going off of is looks, you’ll probably end up single soon. Unless you’re John Stamos, who seems to get better looking every single day.
2. Do you want her because she is popular–because other men have wanted her? (Don’t be a copy-cat!)
If it’s all about the chase, then it’s not going to work out. You want them because everyone else wants them. It’s about winning. It’s about getting the trophy. The chase is thrilling, but once we finally get what we want, doesn’t the thrill slowly fade? Sometimes the wanting trumps the having, and in this case, we have to ask ourselves if we actually want this person because we truly care about them or because everyone else wants them too. Love shouldn’t be about winning and losing. It’s not a competition.
3. Does she tell lies? Do you mind?
Who wants to date a liar? And who wouldn’t mind if their partner was lying to their face? If people are lying, the relationship is not a healthy one. Honesty is key.
4. Do you have similar tastes in most things?
Common interests are also key. If you and your boo have nothing in common, what could you possibly talk about or do together (besides sex)? Yes, opposites attract a lot of the time, but that doesn’t mean they don’t share one common interest. Sidenote: Never pretend to like something because the person you’re interested in does. You can only fake loving camping for so long.
5. Do you agree on children, or a career, or both? (Better settle this beforehand.)
This is a huge bullet point when going from dating territory to marriage territory. This definitely has to be settled before there are any rings on any fingers. If you think your spouse will eventually change their mind about wanting kids down the line, you are probably very wrong and shouldn’t bank your life on that assumption. This is a conversation that was important in 1944 and definitely still important now.
It’s really amazing how the basic and most important relationship dos and don’ts have not changed in 70+ years. These tips are timeless and show that even though this world and this culture have made major changes since the 1940s, we as humans still crave a healthy and long-lasting relationship. The tips found in a book for single men in the 1940s can also be found in any dating book or relationship blog today. I think that’s pretty cool.
Katie is finishing up her undergrad at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She enjoys wasting hours on Facebook and tweeting things no one cares about. When asked the question, “Do you do marathons?” She promptly responds, “Of course! Which show?” Follow her @KatieGarrity! Or read her personal blog where she talks about Ryan Gosling and hummus a lot here
[Lead image via Kris Butler/Shutterstock]

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