"How To Get A Man" —Advice From 1958!

Couple in West Los Angeles

Dating Advice From Our Sisters in 1958—The Good, The Bad, and The Hilarious!

If you’re sick of dating apps, take a minute to enjoy just how far we’ve come!

And Maybe Get Some Good Ideas Along the Way…

Reading a magazine in Venice Beach

 Here’s a sampling of some of the dating wisdom from McCall’s Magazine in 1958:

#5. “Look in the census reports for places with the most single men. Nevada has 125 males for every 100 females.”

 #21. “Get a job demonstrating fishing tackle in a sporting goods store.”

 #33. “Carry a hatbox.”

 #66. “Get that fresh-scrubbed look by scrubbing.”

Bathing. Why didn’t I think of that?

 #110. “Point out to him that the death rate of single men is twice that of married men.”

 #124. “Make and sell toupees—bald men are easy catches!”

If you want some more laughs, read the whole list here.

There are more cringe-worthy nuggets that remind us of just how far we’ve come:

 #11. “Get a job in a medical, dental, or law school.”

 #20. “Don’t take a job in a company run largely by women.”

 #30. “Learn to paint. Set up easel outside engineering school.”

 #40. “Stand in a corner and cry softly. Chances are good that he’ll come over to find out what’s wrong.”

 So, basically, go to the places where the smart/successful people (read, “men”) are, and act like you are broken. That will find you Mr. Wonderful, for damn sure.


Here Are My Top 3 Lessons for Today from the Women of 1958:

 1. Get Out and Do Stuff.

This advice is always good, because doing stuff just feels better in the long run. Sure, it’s always tempting to spend the weekend day-drinking and watching Netflix, but that’s a short-term solution.

If you get out of your comfort zone and explore a bit, you won’t be sorry. Many of us get stumped on the weekend by the simple fact that

We don’t know what we might like doing!

Doesn’t matter. Here’s the secret:


Now we’re back to our trusty McCall’s Magazine:

Walking on the Venice Canals

#1. Get a dog and walk it. (Or a potbellied pig. Trust me, you will meet people!)

#3. Attend night school (translation: take a class at the local community college. Any class.)

#4. Join a hiking club. (translation: try out a new sport or hobby.)

#10. Take a bicycle trip through Europe. (Or anywhere! Ride to the beach, or the park, or Starbucks!)

#23. Go to all reunions of your high school or college class. (just disregard the second part of the advice, to go because “There may be widowers there”. Yikes.)

#55. Take good care of your health. (translation: join a gym, a runner’s club, take a Krav Maga class, or go run the stairs and chat with people while you wait your turn.)

2. Be Coy (1958) or, Be Patient (2019)!

There are quite a few of those kinds of suggestions, and fortunately the days of looking for a husband by being coy and naïve are long gone, but there is something to be said for some of the advice, if you look more closely:

#85. Don’t tell him everything about yourself at the start. Hold something in reserve.

This one’s still good, but not in the way they meant in 1958.

I always advocate being open and honest, but wait first to see if it’s safe to be vulnerable.

Checking my dating apps in West Los Angeles

Don’t decide right away that this guy has to like you, before you’ve even decided if you like him! Don’t put your whole self out there for him to judge before you know he’s worth it! It’s so easy to get caught up in this even after just one date—“Why isn’t he texting me? Why hasn’t he asked me out again? Why haven’t we already got plans for the next date? Doesn’t he like me? Is he more interested in someone else? Did I do something wrong?” It can seem silly when we look at it on the page, but the truth is that it’s so easy to get caught in this downward spiral!

3. Be Open

Or, as the McCall’s Ladies say,

#70. Don’t be too fussy.

What, Amy? Should we lower our standards–is that what you’re saying? Absolutely not!!

Cutest puppy in West Los Angeles!

My modern translation is that you should re-think your qualifications, your “must-have’s”. Stop looking for a specific person— e.g., tall, plays tennis, loves Australian Blue Shepherds, listens to your favorite Spotify playlist, loves sushi and watching true crime documentaries—and stay open to who might be the one that makes you feel wonderful and supports you in being your best self. Let the universe surprise you!

Here’s an example:

Though I value honesty more than just about anything, I fell into the common trap of, shall we say, enhancing the info. on my profile. I said I was 2 years younger than I was, so that my age would end with a “9”, not a “1”, and hopefully beat the metric of some guy’s age cut-off. On my first date with my now-husband, I told him after about 20 minutes that I’d lied about my age. (Ironically, he is 8 years older and didn’t give a hoot that I’d subtracted 2 years). His response, “That’s okay, I’m actually only 5’8”— not 5’9”, like my profile says!” Again, the irony is that I am barely 5’2”, so I couldn’t even tell the difference! btw- My “type” was always taller and younger, so I’m glad I stayed open to meeting my older, shorter, entirely wonderful husband! Turns out that age and height aren’t critical factors in a relationship. Shocking.

Moral of that story:

Be yourself! After all, that’s who your guy is looking for!

Of course, if you have exhausted all other possibilities, you can always,

#116. “Paint your name and number on the roof and say, ‘Give me a buzz, pilots.’” I’m sure that will get you a very nice husband, darling.

Happy couple on bench in West Los Angeles

If You’re Frustrated Trying to Meet That Special Someone…

Therapy can help! Maybe you’ve met plenty of people, but just not the right one, or maybe you have trouble connecting in the first place, maybe you have trouble creating a healthy relationship once you’ve met someone… All of these can be improved by examining your own unconscious thoughts and behavior, and learning how to be the person you want to be— whether you are dating or in a relationship. Give me a call at 323-999-1537, or shoot me an email at amy@thrivetherapyla.com for a FREE phone or in-office consultation, and we will have a chat about how therapy can help you have the relationship you want and deserve!