8 Old-Fashioned Dating Habits That We Should Bring Back

I wrote a post recently about regaining chivalry and discussed a few little gestures husbands can do to help their wives feel like the special ladies they are. Today, I’m covering another aspect of chivalry that has long been lost: chivalry in dating.

I’ve been told more than a few times what a cutie my baby daughter is and that she’ll be a “heartbreaker” someday. It’s at these times that I consider shaving her head and buying a wardrobe consisting solely of brown sackcloths to get her through her high school years. But in all seriousness, I have been thinking more about this since the birth of my little girl and have realized how much dating has changed. There are some old-fashioned dating traditions that could stand to make a reappearance.

Coming to the House
Instead of sending someone a text to ask them to come outside, people used to walk up to the door and knock or ring the bell. They definitely didn’t honk the horn!

Dressing Respectably
Somehow the idea of “dressing up” to go on a date got lost. Today, pants are worn so low, they might as well be a new kind of ankle bracelet. Maybe we need to bring grand dancing galas back so people have a reason to dress nicely.

Bringing Gifts
On a first date, people used to bring gifts — isn’t that a nice idea? It’s not about the money, the gifts could be homemade. If they’re terrible, people might still get a few “that’s so cute” points, in a sad, puppy dog kind of way.

Meeting the Family
Sweethearts used to get to know the parents before they spent time on their own. Maybe I can convince my daughter to spend her first couple (hundred) dates at mom and dad’s house.

Being Romantic
Why is romance old-fashioned? Poetry is still a nice way to communicate feelings. So is a hand-written letter. Or even an email. Today people are hooking up or breaking up over texts and Twitter! Imagine trying to get your feelings out by tweeting to somebody. Won’t people feel awkward someday, telling their kids that it was their stellar “tweeting” that their partner found so attractive?

Being Chivalrous
We could stand to remember the little gestures. Holding doors open, offering a coat if it’s cold and giving up the best part of a shared meal.

Not Assuming
Today’s it’s assumed that sex is in the equation. If not right away, then definitely soon. Imagine if that pressure was off and people could just get to know each other.

Being Friends
I don’t understand why people don’t try to become friends before they become lovers. I don’t mean getting stuck in the friend zone; I mean finding out what each others’ values are, what’s important, and seeing if values align. Otherwise they could end up with a relationship that is little more than a very long one-night stand.

What would you add to this? Let us know in the comments.

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Ethan Ruzzano Written by:

Ethan is a former musician and artist who is in love with being a dad. He balances his time between family, work and his other passions. He lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, Casie and daughter, Olivia.


  1. Avatar

    Being friends first doesn’t mean you will be stuck in the friend zone unless there is no chance of a relationship anyway. Lets be honest, two people who are friends will either just be friends or grow to really appreciate each other and want more. We want everything so fast these days, but solid foundations take time.

    I attended a friends wedding about a week ago where both the bride and groom thought they would just be good friends, dated other people throughout college, and all along just appreciated each others qualities. After college, they both found themselves single and ended up meeting up for lunch with mutual friends when the spark happened.

  2. Avatar

    The only one I cringe at is “Meeting the Parents.” I think sometimes this can give one of you the false sense of how serious the relationship is, or a false idea of the intentions of the person you’re dating. Usually, you didn’t meet the parents until things were VERY serious and perhaps marriage, imminent. I say this from experience: My parents have met all of my girlfriends and that meeting is becoming less and less important with each new woman i bring home.

    • Avatar
      Ethan Ruzzano
      May 20

      You’re right. This post was more about younger teens dating. Later on, it would make sense to wait to see if things were serious.

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