Sixty years ago, it was commonplace for for men to pick women up at their doors, bring flowers or other tokens of endearment, and arrive dressed in a suit with a collared shirt and tie, shined shoes, and perfectly styled hair.
Suits and ties might be a little stiff for modern dating, but putting effort into appearances sends a message that you actually, you know, give a damn.
A 1930s dating manual warned against women being too "familiar" with their dates in public, as "open shows of affection can be embarrassing or humiliating to him." This is a decent rule for all genders to follow, most especially on the first few dates.
What happened to the good old days when chivalry wasn't dead, people went steady, and dates lasted longer than a cup of coffee?
"I don't know if I am ever going to get married at this rate," my friend Marc wrote to me in a recent text. It's a familiar sentiment: two girlfriends shared similar concerns three days prior at brunch, when one described a scenario in which she was "ghosted" by the guy she'd been dating for five months.
The modern-day habit of lackadaisical scheduling yields sporadic, infrequent dates punctuated by emoji-filled, pen-pal purgatories.
If you like someone, at the end of the date ask for another one the following weekend. A couple texts a week, or one or two well-timed phone calls, is enough to show you're still thinking about them.
Most of us like sex and want to have it, but there was a time when people knew that going straight for the kill (talking dirty, unsolicited private-parts pics) made them look like a pervert or an ad on a flyer in Vegas.
It's not about being a prude, but it's far more seductive to have them wonder where the night might lead (and what they might see and enjoy) than to reduce your sexuality to a graphic spoiler alert.
These outings take the edge off while letting people mix and mingle with new friends... Slut-shaming is as old as time itself, but it became well known in modern culture in the '20s when parents flipped out over flappers.
Those young, corset-tossing women traded proper manners for loose dresses, booze, drinking, and dancing.
It used to be that if a man liked a woman, he would "link dates" by asking for another one at the end of the first.