Q Dear Miss Abigail:
For the past two months, I’ve been dating a man that I really like. We get along just fine. His many good qualities indicate he might even make a good marriage partner for me. The problem is he sometimes asks me for dates at the last minute. I’d much prefer a day or two’s notice. How can I convince him to make plans in advance? Or, am I wrong? Is it a good thing for a man to ask for spontaneous dates?
A Dear Milwaukee:
I think it’s time to go back to basics. My collection started with Evelyn Millis Duvall’s The Art of Dating, which was published in 1967, so it is there that I look again for a bit of guidance about proper dating behavior. It appears that Ms. Duvall sides wih you for the most part, but don’t completely shut yourself out of those wacky last-minute wienie roasts! You’ll regret it.
1967: Advance Notice
The amount of advance notice recognized as appropriate in asking for a date depends upon the specific event planned. If you’re asking a girl to a party at school or church, or club, you’ll want to give her more notice than if you’re just taking her to a movie or a ball game. Try to plan your invitation far enough in advance to give the girl opportunity to prepare for the event. If you’re inviting her to a formal dance, she will need time to plan and buy her outfit. Boys, too, need time to prepare themselves for a special event. In general, it is wise to give notice of two weeks or more for a big affair. For a main prom, you might ask two or three months in advance.
Especially if you’d like to date a certain girl, it’s to your advantage to ask her some time in advance. If she’s a girl who has many dates, the earlier you ask, the more chance you have of finding her free that evening. It sometimes takes a while to get up the courage to ask a girl to a special function. But proper planning will make it a lot easier for both of you. And it will be a wonderful feeling to have your date all lined up when other boys are still wondering whom to ask, and ‘Will she go with me?’ Your date appreciates too the security of an early invitation.
Movie dates, or dates to functions where extensive preparation is not necessary, don’t require as much advance notice. At the same time, it’s good to extend your invitation a week or so ahead of time if you want to be sure of getting your date. A girl appreciates this kindness, for it enables her to schedule her week end to include your date, without having to exclude other activities which may also be important to her.
Spur-of-the-Moment Dates. This doesn’t mean that spur-of-the-moment dates are not acceptable. If you and your friends get together and suddenly decide to go skating or to a show, it’s perfectly all right to call and ask a girl to accompany you. The girl who feels insulted or rejects such an invitation just because it’s at the last moment may find herself left out in the cold eventually, missing a lot of fun. Many a girl enjoys the spontaneity of dropping what she is doing and getting into the swing of a skating party or wienie roast.
Source: Duvall, Evelyn Millis. The Art of Dating. New York: Association Press, 1967.
~ pp. 71-72 ~