“Her style is eminently readable, and she writes simply and sincerely, utterly without cheap sentimentality,” the flap copy says of Dorothy Dix, author of How to Win and Hold a Husband. This book includes such informative chapters as “What a Man Looks For in a Wife,” “It Pays to Be a Mystery,” and “The Cost of Free Love.” Maybe this is where those “Rules girls” got their inspiration.
1939: Lures Men Can’t Resist
We must not overlook those certain charms and wiles to which practically all men are susceptible. If you will cultivate these you will be fairly sure of never being dateless and of eventually making the grade to the altar with the youth of your choice. These are:
THE COME-HITHER LOOK IN THE EYE. A sort of come-on look, if you get what I mean. A look that subtly indicates to a man that a girl regards him as a great big wonderful sheik and that she is having the time of her life when gazing worshipfully up into his eyes.
No boy is going to see a girl a second time who high-hats him. No boy is go7ing to make love to a girl who is as unresponsive as a stone image. If there ever was a time when men ran after the women who flouted them it is out now. The modern man has to be lured into love. He doesn’t break in of his own accord.
PERSONALITY. Get a line. Have some individuality that will make you stand out from the crowd. Don’t copycat other girls. Be yourself. Be natural. Don’t pose. There is no other girl in the world less attractive to men than the affected one.
Remember that while some men like wild girls others prefer prim little Puritans; that while some men like chatterers others like the soft, silent, smiling Mona Lisa; and that while some men like girls who can mix cocktails most men want wives who can bake cakes like Mother used to make. So stick to your own line of attractions and put the loud pedal on that instead of trying to crab some other girl’s act.
THE FINE ART OF JOLLYING. Don’t feed men flattery in hunks, with a shovel. They resent this. But every man will eat out of your hand if it is filled with sugar. Don’t be a crude bungler and tell a man in so many words that he is God’s masterpiece. Get the idea across to him in other ways ~ by your air of adoration; by the awe with which you listen to his opinions; by the rapt expression on your face when you listen to him monologing along about himself.
Ask him why he has never gone into the pictures. Implore him to write to the President and tell him just how to settle the farm-relief problem and how to deal with the Japanese situation. No girl who is an A-1 incense burner ever lacks for dates.
ADAPTABILITY. Keep your mind as flexible as you do your waistline. A chameleon rampant, in the act of changing its colors, should be the heraldic device of every woman who wants to catch a husband and get along with him after she has got him. For in the adjusting of the sexes to each other it is a woman who must do the adjusting. Men can’t, or won’t, or don’t know how to do it.
So learn to be all things to all men. If a man is athletic play golf with him, no matter how your feet hurt you. If he is a radio hound hunt up new stations for him to tune in on. If he is bookish read up so you can discuss his favorite author with him. If he likes to eat cook him dainty dishes. Lend your ears to the man who likes to talk. Babble to the silent man who can never think of anything to say. Half of the time you will be bored to tears, but the other half of the time you will reap an exceedingly great reward.
EFFICIENCY. Learn how to do things. A girl may be as beautiful as a houri and a female Solomon in wisdom; she may have a heart of gold and a pocket full of money, and still she will be left high and dry socially if she has no parlor tricks. You have to be able to do what other people are doing and to fit into any picture in order to be invited to parties and to get any attention when you get there.
Men are selfish creatures and they will not ask you to step out with them unless you can work your passage by being entertaining. They will not ask you to dance if you step on their feet and have to be towed around like a barge. They will not play bridge with you if you trump their aces. They will not swim with you or play golf or tennis with you or bother with you at all unless you can take of yourself.
These are some of the ways to get your man. There are others, but these have the O.K. of thousands of successful husband-hunters.
Source: Dix, Dorothy. How to Win and Hold a Husband. New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1939.
~ pp. 88-92 ~