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Scarcity was a common theme, and this mindset may have impacted dating life in this decade as well.
Competitive dating, or “The Rating and Dating Complex” (by sociologist Willard Waller) dominated youth culture.
The most important of these factors is the last…” For girls, desirability and popularity were the most important features for a girl to possess.
As you’ll recall from A Dating Tradition Worth Bringing Back?Instead the rating looked to others: ‘pass in a crowd’ does not refer to any relationship between the couple, but to public perceptions of success in the popularity competition. must belong to one of the better fraternities, be prominent in activities, have a copious supply of spending money, be well-dressed, ‘smooth’ in manners and appearance, have a ‘good line,’ dance well, and have access to an automobile.” Money seemed to be the dominant feature, and it hasn’t changed much today. The purpose of the “line” was to convince the girl he was madly in love with her.As Kevin White notes in Waller notes, “The factors which appear to be important for girls are good clothes, a smooth line, ability to dance well, and popularity as a date.But, competitive dating was rising, partially due to the financial crises in the 1930s.13-15 million workers lost their jobs at the height of The Great Depression in 1933.
A girl who could resist “going steady” was most desirable. As Beth Bailey wrote, “You had to rate in order to date, to date in order to rate.