10 Seriously Bizarre Ways Adults Used To Explain Dating To Teens

UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1940s:  Teenage couple in convertible car smile and wave to viewer.  (Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/Ret
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1940s: Teenage couple in convertible car smile and wave to viewer. (Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images)

The world's a quickly changing place. I mean, 10 years ago, you wouldn't even have been able to share this post on Twitter.

But even as transportation, communication and entertainment change dramatically, one thing remains the same: Adults give teenagers questionable dating advice. In fact, how adults have attempted to "reach the youth" is so painfully awkward that it will actually make you appreciate your awful, uncomfortable sex ed class.

Here are 10 pieces of retro dating advice you should definitely not follow:

1. On "slowing things down":


"Keep a candy handy and whenever the going gets sticky, just pop a gumdrop into his mouth -- or yours. It's fattening ... but safe."
-- "The Cool Book," 1961.

Gumdrops: the world's oldest and most effective birth control, apparently.

2. On tact:


"Don't openly prefer blondes when you are with a brunette."
--"The Do's And Don'ts of Dating For Boys And Girls," 1964.

You can openly prefer them after you dump your annoying brunette girlfriend, obvs.

3. On the dangers of necking:

smiling teen couple

In the '50s, advice columnist Ann Landers warned:

"When necking becomes the major interest and the No.1 indoor sport, you’re playing with fire and you could get badly singed."

Usually, Landers said, "The trouble would start in a parked car" at a local "passion pit," a.k.a. the drive-in movie theater.

Leave room for God between those necks, guys.

4. On how a guy can spot a "teaser" kind of girl:

"When she looks over her shoulder with a lingering glance and a half smile of invitation, she is teasing ... When she drops her purse and stoops to pick up the spilled contents with her dress above her knees, she is teasing."
-- "When A Girl Is A Teaser," 1952.

Is she a "teaser," or just a friendly klutz?

5. On the risks of spontaneously sitting on his lap:


"Dear Girls -- Never sit on a young man's lap unless you receive an invitation. To act otherwise is considered rather forward in the best society if you are less than 30 years old. If you are beyond that age, naturally desperate measures may sometimes be necessary."
-- "The Day Book," 1916.

Naturally, what kind of "desperate measures"??

6. On how to respond to his "off-color story," a.k.a. fart joke:


"One popular girl just wrinkles her nose and says 'Something does not smell too sweet around here.'"
-- "Facts of Life And Love For Teenagers," 1950.

This is the '50s version of being "The Cool Girl," FYI.

7. On transitioning from small talk to deeper talk:


Here's a sample exchange meant to show the art of the conversation:

"He--'It's a grand night, isn't it?'
She--'Wonderful. Did you ever see such a moon?'
He--'Isn't that what they call a Harvest Moon, or is it the Hunter's Moon?'
She--'Hunters' Moon? That sounds interesting. Do you hunt?'"

So long as the dude actually hunts, this conversation is off to a very promising -- and not at all stilted -- start.

8. On the danger of women making noise while dancing:

retrofile dancing

"Don't talk while dancing, for when a man dances he wants to dance."
-- A 1938 "Guide for Single Ladies."

"Don't offend his eardrums by humming while dancing."
-- "Facts of Life and Love for Teenagers," 1950

He was really into her until he found out she hums. :(

9. On protecting her from her biggest fears:


"Do be attentive and protective. Even independent modern girls like to be reassured about mice and spiders, roller coasters and thunderstorms."
-- "The Do's And Don'ts of Dating For Boys And Girls," 1964.

Just to be safe, attentively assume she's afraid of everything. She'll find it very reassuring and not at all annoying.

10. On when it's OK for you to call him (Hint: NEVER):

retro teen telephone

"Don't telephone a boy, even if he asks you to. This is sure 'social suicide.'"
-- A 1960s Wendy Ward's Charm School advice book

He was testing you, and you failed. Congrats.

Suddenly, your mom's advice to "tell him how you really feel" doesn't seem so lame, right?

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