13 Old-Fashioned Dating Rituals Most of You Have Oddly Never Heard of
They’re called “the good old days” because they were good. And dating was better back then, too. There were socially-sanctioned norms and rituals associated with meeting (and mating with) new people that make way more sense than the ever-changing dating trends and terms today. You’d know what level your relationship was at and where it was headed without having to have a tortured “Where is this going?” conversation. Parents were involved from the get-go (we know, it sounds awful, but hear us out). And couples kept their clothes on longer, which increased the sexual tension and keep things interesting longer. You may have never heard of these old-fashioned dating rituals, but we sure would like some of them to make a comeback.
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People were polite.
Back in the day, treating your date like royalty was the status quo. Manners were of the utmost importance. Everyone felt special.
Gentlemen came to call.
Until the 1960s (thanks, sexual revolution), men made visits to a lady's home to get to know her and her family. It was like Uber, but for your suitor.
Men brought flowers.
Men must have had a lot more competition back in the day, because they really made an effort to woo women, often in the form of a bouquet of blooms (which they may have even picked themselves). Feel free to revive this dating ritual, fellas. No, flower emojis don't count.
You met the parents early on.
It used to be that you'd meet the parents before the date, not several months into dating someone when you're already committed. The old-fashioned way might have made more sense; after all, who doesn't need second opinion on the person they just met? Also, meeting the parents gives you a better idea of who you're with. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree and all that.
Dances were the main social event.
If there was a dance happening, you'd be there, as would all your friends, enemies, and crushes. School gymnasiums across the country were beehives of excitement and possibility. If you got a slow dance, you were golden.
Couples talked on the phone -- a lot.
If you were dating someone, phone calls were part and parcel of the arrangement. Phone conversations were where feelings were confessed and secrets were revealed. The heart flutters inflicted by your beloved's voice can in no way compare to modern-day texts. Bring back the good old days when phones were for phone calls!
Couples went for drives.
It was tough to get any privacy when everyone lived at home with mom and dad until marriage, so couples escaped in the car. The point wasn't to reach a destination, but to enjoy the journey together.
The night ended with a goodnight kiss.
Sex on the first date was unthinkable in more modest times. You were lucky if you got a goodnight kiss, and it was really more of a peck than a sloberfest. This let the anticipation build, so that when you did have sex, it was probably so much hotter than today's dating scene, where sex is so common and casual it isn't even exciting anymore.
Going steady was every gal's goal.
Going steady was a big deal on the old-fashioned dating scene. It basically meant you were pre-engaged. A guy would give a gal a token of commitment, like his class ring or his fraternity pin. Going steady guaranteed you had a date to all social functions and also increased your popularity status at school.
Men marked their territory with letterman jackets.
If you wanted a gal all to yourself, you gave her your letterman jacket. It was a clear sign that she belonged to you, and she was tickled pink to wear it. Now, if you want the world to know who you're with, you post couple pics excessively on social media, which just seems neurotic and insecure and infinitely less cool.
Couples went to Lover's Lane.
Every town had a Lover's Lane and naughty couples congregated there to neck (read: make out) in the dark, secluded safety of their cars. The illicit nature of it all must have made this quite the thrill.
Couples were more likely to be monogamous.
Only sleep with one person at a time? What a quaint concept! It might sound outdated, but it must have simplified things. Isn't dating hard enough already? We're exhausted just thinking about bed-hopping with multiple people.
Dating led somewhere.
Perhaps the thought of marriage sends a shiver down your spine, but once upon a time, all this dating had a purpose, and that was marriage. This milestone meant financial stability for you and your spouse, pride for your parents, and overall societal acceptance. Marriage was an accomplishment that proved you were a mature adult, and it was revered and respected as such. It probably made dating a lot more bearable (and less despairing) because it was a means to an end, not an endless merry-go-round of drama and disappointment.