We all know it’s an idealized version of the time period, but it’s why many of us find it so fascinating.

Every few years, a 1958 McCall article titled “129 Ways To Get a Husband” goes viral online. Some of the tips are hilariously outdated, some are downright strange, and some can still work today (with modern tweaks).

10 Tips That Would Still Work Today

Ask Your Friends If They Know Any Single Men

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s entirely possible your friends know single men they think you would be compatible with, but they’ve just been too shy to mention it to you. A blind date might seem scary at first, but you never know what can happen. It could be the beginning of a beautiful love story!

Be Kind to Others

Another tip that might seem like a no-brainer (which is a surprisingly common theme in this list) is that men like to be around kind women. Think of that instant ick you get when a guy is rude to a waiter or any type of service worker. Guys get that ick, too, so be sure to always be kind to those around you.

Drop a Handkerchief

You don’t have to drop a literal handkerchief, but there are plenty of modern equivalents to get his attention quickly. Make eye contact and smile from across a room, give him a compliment, or “accidentally” brush shoulders with him while walking across a crowded bar. You’d be surprised to see how easily this could spark a conversation.

Laugh at His Jokes

While we wouldn’t suggest pretending that his jokes are funny if you don’t actually like them, you should make an effort to laugh when he tells a funny joke. It’s likely a sign that you’re not compatible if you don’t have a similar sense of humor, but it’s a great indicator of a future relationship if your senses of humor align.

Stick to Your Moral Standards

Before you enter a relationship or even go on a first date, you need to set some boundaries. There are guys out there who don’t have the same moral boundaries as you when it comes to sex, and it’s important not to give into the pressure just because you’re attracted to him or don’t want to lose him. The right guy for you won’t pressure you to compromise your morals.

Ask Him for Advice

Masculine men love taking the lead and helping others, and something as simple as asking which glass of wine or type of dish he prefers at dinner can help boost his ego, plus, you get to bond over something. You can also ask for his advice on a gift to get your dad or how to handle a problem at work.

“Accidentally” Have Your Purse Fly Open

Is it over the top and a bit silly? Yes, but it works if you want to get his attention quickly. We know that men like to help, so let him be your knight in shining armor and help you out. Be careful not to break anything, drop a tampon (awkward), or make it too obvious, and let the meet-cute commence. 

Use Your Eyes

Eye contact is an important part of flirting and can often make or break a first date. Make sure to maintain eye contact during a conversation and to communicate your emotions through your eyes. A flirty little look in the eyes can change the direction of a date, so don’t be afraid to be bold.

Don’t Whine

We all complain or get annoyed occasionally, but it’s best to avoid this on a first date or in the early stages of a relationship. Spend the first date focusing on the positive and getting to know him. You wouldn’t like it if he spent your entire meal whining like a child, so you shouldn’t either. This goes for dating apps too!

Tell His Friends Nice Things About Him

Think of how important your friends are to you and how much you’d appreciate it if he complimented you to your friends. Do the same for him by saying kind things about him to his friends, and take the extra step of getting to know his closest friends while you’re at it.

8 Tips That Wouldn’t Work Now

Look in Census Reports

The idea behind looking in census reports is to find eligible bachelors in your area, but you can do the same today through social media, a dating app, or simply going out to a bar or restaurant. It’s not the worst tip, but it’s definitely outdated.

While we’re on the topic, how do you even look at census reports? Asking for a friend.

Cry in Public

Men like to help women, but crying in public is taking it a step too far. When it comes to being vulnerable in a relationship, intimacy and trust must be established first. If you do this just to get a guy’s attention, it will just weird him out (and ruin your mascara).

Have Your Car Break Down in Strategic Places

This is just a disaster waiting to happen. Even though there are plenty of good samaritans who will help you out if your car breaks down, there’s still the risk of running into danger. You probably won’t run into a serial killer (*cough* Ted Bundy), but you might have to pay for a tow truck to play the scene through, and that’s just an unnecessary expense.

Get a Sunburn

While this could be a good conversation starter, why? There are plenty of conversation starters you can try that don’t involve giving yourself a painful third-degree burn. No man is worth increasing your chances for skin cancer for, not even Henry Cavill. Instead, you should focus on mutual interests to start a conversation.

Find Out the Mistakes His Exes Made, and Don’t Make Them

Imagine if a guy asked about your exes on a first date. It’s a major turn-off. You’ll likely have discussions of past relationships after a few dates, but it’s not smart to go digging into why he broke up with his exes early on. Focus on forming a new relationship in the present instead of on the past.

Get Lost at Football Games

There are plenty of men at football games, which makes it a good place to meet a man, but that doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to get lost. Yes, this tip is meant to engage his protector instinct, but “getting lost” in a stadium filled with numbered sections and signage will just make you look dumb. Try striking up a conversation with a man you meet at a football game instead (bonus points if you both love football).

Carry a Hatbox

We assume this is on the list because it’s a sign of class (how rich did you have to be back in the day to have a hatbox?) and that it’s a good conversation starter, but it’s outdated simply because hatboxes are outdated.

Wear a Band-Aid

This worked when you were in first grade and wore a Spiderman Band-Aid to impress your crush, who had a Spiderman lunch box, but this tip should be retired the second you turn 8. If you want to strike up a conversation based on something he’s interested in, simply ask what some of his hobbies and interests are, and go from there. 

The other implication of this tip is that he will want to know how you hurt yourself, which, while it’s sweet he cares, also makes you play the incompetent damsel in distress (similar to the “get lost at a football game” tip) or be a liar (which is worse). 

Closing Thoughts

From cute conversation starters to simple ways to make yourself more appealing to the opposite sex, you can take a lot from dating tips from the 1950s – even if it’s what not to do.

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