Q Dear Miss Abigail:
How can I tell if a boy likes me?
A Dear Tammi:
Usually you can tell pretty much right away when I boy likes you. A certain glance, a gentle touch, a smooch on the front porch. But in case the signs are not clear, try to see if you have any of the following qualities as described by actual boys, brought to you by Evelyn Milles Duvall’s Facts of Life and Love for Teen-Agers. This is apparently what they want, so it’s about time we listen. At least if you feel the need to pretend we are in the 1950s again.
Am I the only one who’s a bit concerned with some of their requirements (“average intelligence”)? For balance, I’ve also provided you with the “other side” ~ what the girls want in boys.
1956: What Boys Say They Like in Girls
Lester Crow’s study of more than 1,600 boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 17, turns up such characteristics as these in what boys say they admire in girls:
“I like a girl who acts like a girl and not like a tomboy” (14-year-old boy)
“I like a girl who is pretty and talks nice” (14-year-old boy)
“I like a girl who doesn’t hang around with a bunch of boys or tough girls” (14-year-old boy)
“I would like her to be of average intelligence” (14-year-old boy)
“I like a friendly smile” (17-year-old boy)
“I like a girl with plenty of good sense at parties and dates” (17-year-old boy)
“I like a girl to be a good dancer, a lot of fun, and to have a good sense of humor at the right time” (17-year-old boy)
“I like a girl to be able to carry on an intelligent conversation” (17-year-old boy)
In Dr. Blood’s study of dating preferences on a large co-educational university campus, more than 80 per cent of the men said they preferred a girl who “is willing to join in a group,” “is a well-rounded person,” and “is a good listener.”
The gist of these and similar studies in other schools and colleges gives us a clear impression that boys like girls who are feminine, friendly, at ease in social situations, and pleasant persons to be with.
What Girls Say They Like in Boys
The girls in one high school study had these things to say about what they like in boys:
“I like a boy to be well-groomed” (14-year-old girl)
“I like a boy who has good manners and isn’t a show-off” (14-year-old girl)
“I like a boy who knows how to get along with people” (14-year-old girl)
“He should be neat and clean, courteous, kind, and considerate” (14-year-old girl)
“I like a boy with intelligence, someone who knows how to talk about other things beside movies and baseball” (17-year-old girl)
“At present I like all the traits my boy friend has: he is considerate, polite, ambitious, intelligent, punctual, kind, thoughtful, complimentary, just affectionate enough; and he has a wonderful personality which allows him to mix well with all groups of any ages” (17-year-old girl)
“I like a boy who is firm and stands up for what he thinks is right” (17-year-old girl)
Source: Duvall, Evelyn Millis. Facts of Life and Love for Teen-Agers. New York: Association Press, 1956.
~ pp. 130-31 ~