LIFE

People Are Horrified By This 1958 Magazine Article Listing ‘129 Ways To Get A Husband’

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

Can you believe the 1950s were almost 70 years ago? Time flies, and things have changed a lot over the years — particularly when it comes to dating.

If you’re at all in doubt about that fact, just take a look at this article full of dating tips from 1958.

Kim Marx-Kuczynski of Madison, Wisconsin, shared photos of an article called “129 Ways to Get a Husband” on Facebook. She found the article in an old 1958 issue of McCall’s.

“My boyfriend John Bascynski spotted it at a rummage sale and pointed it out. I bought it for a dollar,” Kim told Bored Panda.

After realizing how fascinating and hilarious the article was, Kim took photos of the text and posted them online.

Her post now has over 2,700 comments, and when you see these dating tips, you’ll understand exactly why.

“In the United States today there are sixteen million women over the age of seventeen who are not married,” the article begins. “Presumably the vast majority of them would like to be.”

Then there’s a list of 129 dating tips, many of which are, frankly, absurd. Some highlights include crying softly in a corner, carrying a hatbox, and stowing away on a battleship. Single women, take notes.

Kim Marx-Kuczynski bought a 1958 issue of McCall’s at a rummage sale in Madison, Wisconsin. The cover advertised an article called “129 Ways to Get a Husband,” and it was exactly as hilarious and outdated as you’d expect.

“It did not disappoint,” Kim wrote of the article on Facebook.

She posted photos of the article in full, which racked up over 16,000 shares on Facebook.

Sections include “Where to Find Him,” “How to Let Him Know You’re There,” “How to Look Good to Him,” and “How to Land Him.”

The article begins with this simple tip: “Get a dog and walk it.” OK, that’s never a bad idea, but what does that have to do with getting a man?!

Tip No. 6, on the other hand, is straightforward but extremely morbid.

The tips just get more and more amazing from there, from bafflingly vague (No. 16) to creepily specific (No. 21).

Based on this article, you can win a man by setting up your painting easel outside of an engineering school, which is obviously where all the single men are!

 

Then there’s Kim’s personal favorite: “Stand in a corner and cry softly. Chances are good that he’ll come over to find out what’s wrong.”

Along the same lines, the article advises just wearing a Band-Aid. Why? Because “people always ask what happened.”

Some of the tips are definitely from another time, like baking an apple pie, wearing high heels because they’re “sexier,” and laughing at a man’s jokes.

But some of them are honestly confusing, like No. 62: “Don’t tell him about your allergies.”

And then there’s a whole section at the end titled “Wild Ideas – Anything Goes,” which is pure gold.

This section recommends going to Yale (easy), stowing away on a battleship (also easy), making and selling toupees (sooo easy), and offering to sew on bachelors’ loose buttons. I honestly can’t tell if the writer is pranking us or not.

Was anyone really desperate enough to use this advice in the 1950s? Possibly, according to the article’s introduction.

“In the United States today there are sixteen million women over the age of seventeen who are not married. Presumably the vast majority of them would like to be,” the article begins.

“McCall’s decided to try a technique called ‘brain-storming’ to see if there were any fresh ideas on the subject. Brain-storming is being used by business, industry and our armed forces to sell goods, solve production problems and plan strategy.”

Mind. Blown.

The magazine recruited 16 people to “brain-storm” for the article, including a marriage consultant, a housewife, a psychologist, a newlywed, and a bachelor.

Kim told Bored Panda that she bought the magazine for just $1.

“I think the article is reflective of the social mores of the era,” she said, “and I found the comparison between what was acceptable then and what is acceptable now fascinating. It also made me grateful that so much progress has been made.”

Commenters on Kim’s post had varying opinions on the dating advice.

Many couldn’t help but mock the tips in the article.

Some actually thought there was some good advice in there.

Others completely disagreed.

Either way, you have to admit that many of these tips wouldn’t fly in today’s dating scene.

“I’d like to read about someone’s attempts at trying out everything on the list though,” Kim told Bored Panda. “They would either end up with a degree from Yale, in federal prison for stowing away on a military vessel, or in an intervention meeting with friends who’ve been very concerned with their recent behavior.”

What do you think of these old dating tips?