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All the Single Ladies: 13 Frightening Tips on How to Snag a Man (in 1938, Anyway)

By Meredith Carroll |

Dating tips

Tip #10: Don't get sloppy drunk, because then you might violate Tip #8 (heaven forbid!)

Boy, am I glad I found someone to marry me. It’s rough out there. At least I assume it is (I’ve been with my husband for 8 years, so I wouldn’t really know, but I still kind of know, you know?).

I don’t think dating is or has ever been really easy. But I’m just grateful to not be doing it anymore, and I’m certainly thankful that I wasn’t dating in 1938. The tips single women got then to not be single anymore? F-r-i-g-h-t-e-n-i-n-g. What’s even scarier? Some of the tips kind of hold up today.

Check out this little photo guide for single women to land a husband in 1938 (think of it as The Rules: The Early Years). Times have changed, but have they really changed? Yeah, no. And, uh, ugh (all images courtesy of


nggallery id=’123876′

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Kind of.

DO YOUR DRESSING your boudoir to keep your allure. Be ready to go when he arrives; don't keep him waiting. Greet him with a smile
Wow, men used to pick up women on dates! That probably meant they had cars, which meant they had jobs, which meant they probably didn't live with their parents. Seems like the men of 1938 have at least one thing on the men of 2012 (from what I read, anyway).

All images courtesy of

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About Meredith Carroll


Meredith Carroll

Meredith C. Carroll is an award-winning columnist and writer based in Aspen, Colorado. She can be found regularly on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post. From 2005-2012 her other column, "Meredith Pro Tem" ran in several newspapers, as well as occasionally on The Huffington Post since 2009. Read more about her (or don’t, whatever) at her website. Read bio and latest posts → Read Meredith's latest posts →

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13 thoughts on “All the Single Ladies: 13 Frightening Tips on How to Snag a Man (in 1938, Anyway)

  1. bunnytwenty says:

    I love the picture of her passed out. also: I think it always is the best policy to avoid sticking your finger in anyone’s ear, ever.

  2. Kelli Hale says:

    lol Well I can say I broke nearly all of those rules and still my husband and I have been happily together for four years, married for one. I guess it was just the luck of the draw?

  3. Ahlea says:

    I love this! With a few modern tweaks, these tips still hold true today. Like my Grandma Vera would say, “men will always be men.”
    And yes, the men of 1938 absolutely had many better qualities than the boys of 2012.

  4. Kat says:

    Maybe I’m old-fashioned… okay, Im definitely old fashioned, but these sound very reasonable.. simply put, be decent, not self absorbed, and dont be a drama queen.. nothing wrong w/ that.. I agree w/ Ahlea (btw, love your grandmothers name.. Vera is the name we have picked if we ever have a girl..)

  5. Richan says:

    these all seem reasonable, basically just be polite. I think they’re meant for the first few dates, not when you know them better.

  6. nchan says:

    I actually agree with them! And not just for a date; if I was hanging out with a friend, I would expect him/her to follow many of these as well.

  7. rachel says:

    Haha I like them I think they are totally dead on for today even the subtle ones like keeping your girly stuff private. However, one correction to the translantion of “Unless” I think the magazine means unless passing and doing all these other things was a way of just going out with guy for the free dinner-no strings attached-that the guys in the photo is currently writting the check for.

  8. Darrell says:

    “Wow, men used to pick up women on dates! That probably meant they had cars, which meant they had jobs, which meant they probably didn’t live with their parents. Seems like the men of 1938 have at least one thing on the men of 2012 (from what I read, anyway).”

    Is that really that rare? Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I’ve always considered having a job as a prerequisite for even asking a woman out.

    Ladies, it may seem anti-feminist to ask what kind of job a man asking you out has, but really, it’s just a good first step to make sure you aren’t dating a schlub. If they’re unemployed and asking women out, then they’re over-grown man-children looking for someone to take care of them. This would seem to be common sense.

  9. margaret says:

    What is she doing to that guy in the next booth? Looking for head lice? The message in all of these is: “Don’t talk about yourself, don’t express an opinion, don’t have any flaws….cuz God forbid you should be without a MAN!!”. Unfortunately, lots of women still think that the only way to be happy is to be with someone. You can be miserable and lonely with a person, as well. In fact, that’s worse.

  10. margaret says:

    Re the last photo of her “passed out”. Love the way Mr. Wonderful is still intent on figuring out his 5% tip; and is the “head waiter” rejoycing or angry? Dang, those head waiters….riddles wrapped in enigmas, wrapped in cheap suits. Great article..thanks for making me laugh and be even more glad I’m single.

  11. sadie says:

    i think the guy photographed as the date is hot as shit.

  12. Dane says:

    Rule #14 Sadie…Do not refer to your date as human excrement!

  13. head says:

    I used to be recommended this blog through my cousin. I am now not certain whether or not this submit is written by means of him as nobody else know such specific about my problem. You’re incredible! Thanks!

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