Dating in 2020 has certainly posed its challenges for those looking for love.
As well as the spectre of the global coronavirus pandemic to contend with, there’s also the problem of maintaining social distance while trying to find your one true love.
And that’s before all the usual pitfalls of online dating apps and making sure the object of your desire is worthy of your attention.
For now, speed dating is a thing of the past and with the new rules keeping us all safe it seems it’s never been harder to find the man of your dreams.
Well ladies, think again – it seems the 1950s was an even weirder time to be looking for ‘the one’.
Back in 1958, women’s magazine, McCall’s, published a list of the 129, yep that’s right 129, sure fire tips and tricks ladies could try to snare a husband.
Let’s just say, some of them are, by today’s standards at least, a little unusual.
From “carrying a hat box” around with you, to “sobbing quietly in a corner”, this 129 tips-strong list is filled with bizarre and quirky ways to attract the attention of a potential suitor.
How about “getting a job selling fishing tackle”, or “learning to paint and setting up an easel outside an engineering school”?
And if you think your friends could be the reason you’re finding yourself dateless, well, the list has something you can do about that too – “don’t room with a girl who is a sad sack and let her pull you down to her level” – brutal.
Another slightly sinister tactic involves “reading the obituaries to find eligible widowers”, while simply “sitting on a park bench and feeding the pigeons” could be the way to your future husband’s heart.
The exhaustive list full of tips is helpfully divided into sections to help women net their dream guy every step of the way.
It starts with ‘where to find him’, then follows on to ‘how to let him know you’re there’, next up is ‘how to look good to him’, seamlessly followed by ‘how to land him’, and finally ‘wild ideas – anything goes’.
So if you’re REALLY struggling and want some advice from 1958 – here’s the list in full.
Where to find him
1. Get a dog and walk it.
2. Have your car breakdown at strategic places.
3. Attend night school – take course men like.
4. Look in the census reports for places with the most single men.
5. Read the obituaries to find eligible widowers.
6. Join a hiking club.
7. Take up golf and go to different golf courses.
8. Take several short vacations at different places rather than one long one at one place.
9. Sit on a park bench and feed the pigeons.
10. Take a bicycle trip through Europe.
11. Get a job in a medical, dental or law school.
12. Become a nurse or an airline stewardess.
13. Ask your friends’ husbands who the eligible men are in their offices.
14. Be nice to everybody – they may have an eligible son or brother.
15. Get a government job overseas.
16. Volunteer for jury duty.
17. Be friendly to ugly men – handsome is as handsome does.
18. Tell your friends you’re interested in getting married.
19. Get lost at football games.
20. Don’t take a job in a company largely run by women.
21. Get a job demonstrating fishing tackle in a sports store.
22. On a plane, train or bus don’t sit next to a woman – sit next to a man.
23. Go to all school reunions, there may be widowers there.
24. Don’t be afraid to associate with more attractive girls, they may have some leftovers.
25. Go back to your home town – the wild kid next door may now be an eligible bachelor.
26. Don’t room with a girl who is a sad sack and let her pull you down to her level.
27. Get a part-time job in a convention bureau.
28. Change apartments from time to time.
29. When travelling stay at small hotels where it’s easier to meet strangers.
30. Learn to painy. Set up easel outside engineering school.
How to let him know you’re there
31. Stumble when you walk into a room he’s in
32. Forget discretion every once in a while and call him up.
33. Carry a hat box.
34. Wear a band-aid – people always ask what happened.
35. Make a lot of money.
36. Learn several funny stories and learn to tell them well – but make sure you don’t tell him more than once.
37. Walk up to him and tell him you need some advice.
38. Dropping the handkerchief still works.
39. Have your father buy some theatre tickets that need to be got rid of.
40. Stand in a corner and cry softly – chances are he’ll come over to ask what’s wrong.
41. If you are at a resort, have a bell boy page you.
42. Buy a convertible – men like to ride in them.
43. Don’t let him fish for your name next time you meet.
44. Learn how to bake tasty apple pies – bring one into the office and let the eligible bachelors taste it.
45. Laugh at his jokes.
46. If there’s a wallflower among the men you know, why not cultivate them?
47. ‘Accidentally’ have your purse fly open, scattering its contents across the street.
How to look good to him
48. Men like to think they’re authorities on perfume, ask his advice on what kind you should wear.
49. Get better looking glasses – men still make passes at girls who wear glasses – or try contact lenses.
50. Practice your drinking with your women friends first.
51. If you dye your hair, pick a shade and stick to it.
52. Wear high heels most of the time – they’re sexier.
53. Unless he happens to be shorter than you are.
54. Tell him he’s handsome.
55. Take good care of your health – men don’t like girls who are ill.
56. If you look good in sweaters, wear one on every third date.
57. Dress differently from the other girls in the office.
58. Get a sunburn.
59. Watch your vocabulary.
60. Go on a diet if you need to.
61. When you are with him, order your steak rare.
62. Don’t tell him about your allergies.
63. European women use their eyes to good advantage – practise in front of a mirror.
64. Buy a full-length mirror and take a good, long look before you go and meet him.
65. Change the shade of your stockings and be sure to keep the seams straight.
66. Get that fresh scrubbed look by scrubbing.
67. If he has bought you any accessory or trinket, wear it.
68. Use the ashtray, don’t crush our cigarettes in a coffee cup.
69. Polish up on making intriductions, learn to do them gracefully.
70. Don’t be too fussy.
71. Stick to your moral standards.
72. Don’t whine – girls who whine, stay on the vine.
How to land him
73. Show him you can have fun on a cheap date – but don’t overdo it.
74. Don’t let your parents treat him like a potential husband.
75. Ask your parents to disappear when you’re entertaining.
76. Double date with a happily married couple, let him see what it’s like.
77. Tell his friends nice things about him.
78. Send his mother a birthday card.
79. Ask his mother for recipes.
80. Talk to his father about business and agree taxes are too high.
81. Buuy his sister’s children an occassional present.
82. On the first date tell him you aren’t thinking about getting married.
83. Don’t talk about how many children you want.
84. If he’s a fisherman, learn to scale and clean fish.
85. Don’t tell him everything about yourself at the start. Hold some in reserve.
86. When you’re out strolling with him, don’t insist on stopping at every shop window.
87. Don’t tell him how much your clothes cost.
88. Learn to sew and wear something you have made yourself.
89. Don’t gossip about him.
90. Never let him know he’s the only one, even if you have to stay home one or two nights a week.
91. Don’t be a pushover when he’s trying to make a date.
92. Very early on in your dating, why not get a favourite song that you both regard as your own?
93. Find out about the girls he hasn’t married. Don’t repeat their mistakes.
94. Don’t discuss your former boyfriends.
95. If you are widowed or divorced, don’t discuss your former husband.
96. Be flexible – if he decides to skip the dance and go rowing on the lake, go – even if you’re wearing your best evening gown.
97. Hide your Phi Beta Kappa key if you own one – later on junior can play with it.
98. Turn wolves into husbands by assuming they have honour.
99. Resist the urge to make him over – before marriage that is.
100. Remain innocent but not ignorant.
101. Learn to draw the line but do it gracefully.
102. Make your home comfortable when he calls – large ashtrays, comfortable chairs.
103. Learn to play poker.
104. If he’s rich, tell him you like his money – the honesty will intrigue him.
105. Never let him believe your career is more important than your marriage.
106. Buy him an amusing or particularly appropriate present every once in a while – but don’t make it too expensive.
107. Clip and mail him a funny cartoon that means something to both of you.
108. Don’t tell dirty stories.
109. Stop being a mama’s girl – don’t let him think he’ll have in-law trouble, even if he will.
110. Point out that the death rate of single men is twice that of married men.
Wild ideas – anything goes
111. Go to Yale.
112. Get a hunting licence.
113. If your mother is fat, tell him you take after your father. If he’s fat too, tell him you’re adopted!
114. Stow away on a battleship.
115. Rent a billboard and post your photo and phone number on it.
116. Paint your name and number on a roof and write ‘give me a buzz pilots’.
117. Start a whispering campaign about how sought-after you are.
118. Sink at a fashionable beach of high noon.
119. Ride the airport back and forth from the airport.
120. Bribe Ferris-wheel operator to get you stuck at the top of the Ferris-wheel.
121. Stand on a busy street corner with a lassoo.
122. Carry a camera and ask strange, handsome men if they can would mind snapping your picture.
123. Ask your mother to take in male boarders.
124. Make and sell toupees – bald men make easy catches.
125. Advertise for a male co-owner of a boat.
126. If you see a man with a flat, offer to catch it.
127. Carry a tow chain in the trunk of your automobile.
128. Let it be known in your office that you have a button box and will sew on bachelor’s loose button.
129. Don’t marry him if he has too many loose buttons.