Dating Through the Decades

She was the best catch I ever made—I don’t know how I got her, the seasoned fisherman said beaming at his beautiful bride of over 50 years.

My grandparent’s love never ceases to amaze me. 50 years of marriage seems next to impossible in our world today and because of this our trust in lasting love has dwindled—taking with it our standards for love. Meanwhile, the hook-up culture has soared because it offers a non-committal option of love with an easy out. I decided to take a look back in time to the 1960’s when my grandparents were in college and ask them what dating was like then. Here are some insights that they shared with me.

Dating in the 1960’s:

• The main thing about the dating world was there was always a huge amount of mutual respect. All things were done by having direct conversations, face-to-face. Women would go on dozens of dates and since there was not ‘hooking-up’ it was very easy and expected to respectfully talk and end the relationship if you were not clicking. There were very few, if any, of those ‘on-off’ relationships.

• Women as a whole were the regulators of the physical side of the relationship and there was no ‘sleeping together.’ This is what changed with the feminist movement. [Women gained the power to vote and to work but they lost all empowerment on the side of love. When women tried to have the ‘sexual freedom’ of men, they ended up losing much respect from men, and were often times left alone with children—since nature doesn’t go along with this mentality.]

• Dating naturally evolved and always had intention in those days. For the first date the man would pick you up, open doors for you, pay for the date, and maybe hold your hand, but there was seldom any kiss on the first date. When you did eventually kiss, it was a big deal. After about 2 months it was then the man’s responsibility to make things official and define the relationship.

• There was also a great tie between physical affection and the love you had for that person. There was not this great separation between heart and body as there seems to be today. You would not kiss somebody that you did not truly believe you loved. [Nowadays it is much harder to tell love apart from lust because of how quickly the physical side of a relationship tends to take over. This leads to using one another.]

• Love and relationships were very public. Even talking on the phone was a public event because there was usually only one phone in the hall or in the kitchen. This social awareness caused there to be more commitment and responsibility.

• There were more clearly defined roles between the man and the woman in the dating world. The men knew how to take a woman on a date, and the women knew that this meant the man was interested in her. There was much less guessing.

This courting world of the 1960’s was less than 60 years ago, and yet many of these points are so long gone that they seem hard to imagine in our world today. However, the underlying desires of love within the human heart have not changed. None of us longs to be in a love that is uncertain, fleeting, or secretive.

My brother, who is a Junior in college, made a powerful observation when he said that holding hands with a girl means much more than hooking-up. Be someone who requires a ‘hand-holding’ kind of love. A public love that is proud to show the world that you are committed to one another and pursuing a lasting relationship. There’s no need for uncertainty, games or guessing.

Sit down and make a list of what your standards are for dating, and decide right now never to settle for less. You are worthy of a love like the one between this caring fisherman and his sweet bride.

_________________________________________
Kaylin's Head ShotKaylin Koslosky is beginning her new journey as a high school science teacher. She loves hiking and being outdoors, and is passionate about sharing the beauty of Christ and this world with others. She is the co-author of Daughter of the King: Wait, Where’s My Crown?! and co-founder of www.restoreyourcrown.com with her best friend, Megan Finegan.

6 Comments

  1. Hello Kaylin! As I wrote before, my name is Yarlemis. I am from Colombia but I live in Greece now. With other friends from Latin America we are convinced that with God all is possible, even a holy relationship. For that reason we are working in an apostleship that began in Spanish language and now we are trying to move the experience to an English page. We have known your work and it is really inspirational and useful for us. I want to ask you for help in the maner that you estimate convenient in order to reach to more needed persons of the message of the true love. You can search the page in Facebook as Holy Relationship and in Spanish as Noviazgo Santo.
    Best Regards
    Your sister in Christ. Yarlemis

    By Yarlemis Cohen (Holy Relationship) | 9 months ago Reply
  2. WOW Kaylin thank you for this powerful reminder of what our hearts truly long for: to be loved and adored in a space where respect and commitment reign…as God loves us so we too should love one another and it begins inside the interior castle…setting those boundaries and not settling for less is a note worthy forward action step onto the dating scene. I love you kk so proud of you!

    By Lauren | 9 months ago Reply
  3. Kaylin….. Thank you for reminding us all what true romance is. Beautifully written!

    By Danielle Windus Cook | 9 months ago Reply
  4. It’s so sad to say that so much has changed with dating in less than 60 years. Nowadays, we do as we please, not always dating with purpose to find your spouse. The desire of love is still present for all of us. We just need to find it, we need seek it. And I won’t settle for less to find my spouse!

    By Eve Bussière | 9 months ago Reply
  5. This was a great read. Thanks for the insight on dating, it was awesome to learn how much dating has changed. This allowed me to see why dating seems like a joke these days with people lacking that mutual respect for each other.

    By Aloisia Mafi | 9 months ago Reply
  6. The line about holding hands meaning more than hooking up was AWESOME. Might have to add that to my CatholicQuotations.com website if that’s okay with you…

    Thanks for this great article, Kaylin! Keep up the great work!

    In Christ,
    Greg

    By CatholicReligionTeacher.com | 9 months ago Reply

Leave a Reply