Old Fashioned Dating Etiquette

by Kay Ireland

They say that chivalry is dead, but to be fair, so are the days when a woman spent most of her time devoted to her man. We've definitely come a long way when it comes to equality in relationships, but that doesn't mean you can't yearn for some of the old-fashioned values that made dating more pleasant in days of yore. In fact, adopting some old-fashioned values in the dating pool could help you win the catch of the day.

Texting Turmoil

The entire dating landscape has changed with the addition of texting and social networking, allowing modern daters to be more casual in their relationships and their intentions. In the olden days, if you wanted to contact someone, you had to pick up the phone and actually talk to the person, write a real letter or yes, even meet in person. There was more straightforward contact and less of a guessing game when trying to interpret a wink emoticon -- when face-to-face, winks are easier to understand.

Moving Slow

A woman who moved too quickly with her beau would have been deemed "fast" -- and that wasn't a compliment. Old-fashioned dating etiquette often meant taking plenty of time courting and getting to know someone before pursuing a relationship on a long-term basis. Meeting the family and going on dates took the place of one-night-stands and moving quickly from relationship to relationship.

Planned Dates

Old-fashioned etiquette meant that men were usually in charge of not only planning but also paying for any activities the couple did together. There was less "What do you feel like doing?" and "Wanna go Dutch?" and more "Let me get that." The ball was almost constantly in the man's court and he would be in charge of making phone calls and planning dates.

Wine and Dine

It's a scene you've seen many times in old-fashioned movies: The man pulls up in his shiny, just-washed car, ready to present his date with the flowers and chocolate he picked up on his way. Such gifting, wining and dining seem archaic, but a polite, old-fashioned guy wouldn't think of turning up at a date's house sans gifts.

Miss Manners

Courtship in older times followed stricter social norms and more careful manners. Opening doors for the lady, thanking the man and putting one's best face forward was the name of the game. Of course, daters still tend to be on their best behavior in modern times, only it's not as expected as it once was.

Family Affair

Rewind back to the 1950s and you'd see that dating was an activity for the whole family. Mom and dad would need to approve before you headed out for the night and family activities made up some of your time together. What's more, a less-than-enthused family could throw a serious wrench in your plans -- aren't you glad that your parents keep their distance nowadays?

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About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.