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10 ways dating was different in the past

It's Valentine's Day and we've been thinking about how different dating was in the past to how it is now. Is chivalry really dead? Do loved ones now prefer to sit together in silence, noses buried deep into their phones? Gransnetters have shared their very personal anecdotes and opinions, here are some of our favourites...

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 1. Dating took a slower pace in the past

 couple milkshake vintage

 "In the '50s, nice girls didn’t kiss on the first date. These days people have sex without even dating."  


2. Potential suitors were sent ominous letters... 

vintage man writing letter

 "I’ve got a letter written by my husband’s grandfather giving permission to a young man to call on his daughter. It’s such a lovely tongue-in-cheek letter but with that slightly protective edge."


3. Women regularly dabbled in espionage 

woman waiting bus stop

 "Before I started dating my husband, I used to try and time it so that I would catch the same bus as him, without him realising I was madly in love with him. Years later, he told me he found it amusing when he saw me skulking round corners, trying not to be noticed."


4. The dreaded introduction to family...

 scared man

"Oh yes, that ordeal of taking them home for inspection. I dated a couple of lads who were taught by my dad, and each time he came into the room, the lad would jump up to attention." 


5. Prejudice was widespread

 multiracial family

"There's less ignorance nowadays, which can only be a good thing." 


6. Hanging on the telephone

woman telephone box vintage

 "Not having social media, waiting for the only telephone in the street to ring and hoping it would be ‘him’." 


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7. There were no impersonal dating apps

girl tinder dating app

"I think a little of the romance has gone out of dating these days. With dating apps (which seem to be based solely on appearance), a quick swipe to left or right and a choice is made... it seems quite clinical and impersonal."


8. Patience used to be a virtue

vintage couple picnic

"Everything seems so rushed these days - my daughter says I am old fashioned but makes me laugh when she says my granddaughters will not be allowed boyfriends until they are in their 30s!" 


9: Oh, and the Internet didn't exist...

woman online dating

 "Dear St. Valentine, please take away all the dating sites and bring back instinctual, natural love..."


10. Family got a little bit too involved!

vintage couple cycling

"My generation broke off a number of promising friendships too soon when mothers or aunties starting hinting about the contents of our 'bottom drawers' or asking directly whether we were still going out with 'X'?"

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