Dating etiquette


To avoid looking sweaty and red, Musson advises leaving the hot stuff for another time, when you're alone.

"A date is not the time to be adventurous with spice," Musson said.

It was during this time that concepts like going steady and getting pinned took hold as teens began dating only one person at a time, rather than entertaining multiple dates as their parents had.

Videos like provide a window into an antiquated era of teenage courtship and formal social rules and roles.

The greatest compliment you can give a person is your undivided attention. Feel free to get the door for him or her and if they get there first. Don't gush -- you always hold the door or have others hold it for you. Opting for a more relaxed date can help ease the nerves and take off the initial pressure and awkwardness.

If it's a special occasion, choose one feature to accentuate -- legs, shoulders, decolletage, but never all three. If you are uncomfortable with your date picking up the bill, offer to get dessert or cocktails at a new venue. "So forget the spaghetti and go with penne, and take the steak over the snails." Thanks to modern dating, we're less inclined to fine dine in a quiet, stiff restaurant on a first date and pick a casual eating setting instead.

Outside of the classroom, these impressions are supported by the popular culture at the time, as the 1950s kicked off an era of shows like But it’s also important to remember who was making these films—the adults.

The videos were, at least in small part, wishful thinking on the part of grown-ups hoping to shape—and control—the behavior of the next generation.

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Following World War II, America was in social upheaval.

As these titles show, dating was of particular concern in the 1940s and 50s when the romantic stakes seemed higher than ever.

By 1950, the average age of first marriage according to the U. Bureau of the Census dropped to 20 for women and 23 for men.

History Flashback takes a look at historical “found footage” of all kinds—newsreels, instructional films, even cartoons—to give us a glimpse into how much things have changed, and how much has remained the same.

The world of dating has always been perilous, but teens in the 1940s weren’t left to figure it out on their own.

"Use the fork to twirl a few strands onto the spoon or side of the bowl, and never cut spaghetti with a knife.

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