Friday, July 12, 2013

Old Dating Advice for Men that Still Works

Ooo baby. Stylin' in 18th century clothes.

The more dating changes, the more it stays the same

Ever wonder how you should talk to a woman? Men have wanted to know how to behave and what to talk about on dates for centuries. A book called A Gentleman’s Guide to Etiquette was published in 1875, and some of the dating advice for men is still pretty good. Sure, you have to get past the old-fashioned language. But the 138-year-old dating advice for men tips still ring true, which proves that if your great-great grandfather were alive today, he might be able to help you become a babe magnet.

So let’s have a look at some dating advice for men from 1875, and tweak it just a little to make it relevant dating advice for men and women in 2013.

When on a date… “It is ill-bred to put on an air of weariness during a long speech from another person, and quite as rude to look at a watch, read a letter …  or in any other action show that you are tired of the speaker or his subject.” In dating advice for men and women in 2013, that means put your damn cell phone away and pay attention to what your date is saying.

 “If you have traveled … do not be constantly speaking of your journeyings. Nothing is more tiresome than a man who commences every phrase with, ‘When I was in Paris,’ or, ‘In Italy I saw…’” In dating advice for men in 2013, this also applies to the name-dropping of famous people. Do not mention Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lopez, or any other celebrity just to make yourself sound cool.

“A man of real intelligence and cultivated mind is generally modest. He may feel when in everyday society, that in intellectual acquirements he is above those around him; but he will not seek to make his companions feel their inferiority, nor try to display this advantage over them.” Amen, baby. If you try to sound superior, you’ll sound like an a-hole.

“To be a good listener is as indispensable as to be a good talker, and it is in the character of listener that you can most readily detect the man who is accustomed to good society.” Don’t bogart the conversation, men. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. You should listen twice as much as you talk. If your date is shy, ask some questions about herself to get her started.

“Never notice it if others make mistakes in language. To notice by word or look such errors in those around you is excessively ill-bred.” Well, you’ll probably notice poor word choice and improper pronunciation, but don’t make fun of it. You ain’t no Einstein yourself.

“Avoid boasting. To speak of your money, connections, or the luxuries at your command is in very bad taste.” That’s still good dating advice for women and men. If you try to impress a date with your money and possessions, you will end up with someone who only cares about money and possessions.

It is extremely rude and pedantic, when engaged in general conversation, to make quotations in a foreign language. Or better yet, don’t speak in a “foreign” language unless your date also speaks the language.

A lady of sense will feel more complimented if you converse with her upon instructive, high subjects, than if you address to her only the language of compliment. In the latter case she will conclude that you consider her incapable of discussing higher subjects, and you cannot expect her to be pleased at being considered merely a silly, vain person, who must be flattered into good humor.” In other words, don’t talk about Fast & Furious 6. But if you get a hankering to talk about the Big Bang, go for it. (The Big Bang Theory, not the Big Bang TV show.)

This is Chad Stone, author of Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet, signing off in a time-honored, respectful way.

(Thanks to Chiara Atik at for sharing these dating advice for men gems from 1875!)