Dating and marriage in the 1930s

The increasing popularity of the automobile also made it possible for young couples to get away from the confines of home and the pesky prying eyes of the chaperone.

As a result women over thirty, especially educated ones, traditionally have had only a slim chance of getting married.

Going on dates to dances, soda shops, theaters, and restaurants – depending on what one could afford – became the norm.

That being said, what was acceptable and expected was still very different from today’s standards, especially for (who would have guessed? Men in the 1930’s were still supposed to be as chivalrous as they had been in previous decades. No hand-holding in public, and do not allow his arm to be around your shoulders during a film. Don’t cry or be sentimental or attempt to get him to talk about his feelings; this is distressing to him. Don’t be “familiar” with the waiter or any other man besides your date; give him your undivided attention. Don’t drink too much alcohol or be silly; this will humiliate him.

By the 1920s, many young people left home to live -- and date -- independently in the city.

As the system evolved, casual dating became the norm and mingling between the classes became more common. Without parental interference or supervision, dating choices were less affected by wealth and notoriety and more influenced by personal characteristics and qualities.