Articles on dating trends
(Correspondingly, the men seem to have fudged a little—many listed their height as at least one inch above the average.).
The paper, Appleberg says, was fashioned after an English singles magazine.
Many of the seekers were divorced, and looking for an alternative to the carousel of what the authors of “Courtship American Style” call “the tedious and meaningless …
round of bars and singles’ clubs.” One ad says the writer is looking for “a little fun and excitement and a lot of deep down feeling but not wedding bliss (I’ve gone that route).” “The ads in this paper read a little like the ask-bid columns of the New York Stock Exchange,” wrote those authors, Catherine Cameron, Stuart Oskamp, and William Sparks.
“There were about 25 or 30 responses to the 40s ad,” she says, “but there were over 200 to the 20s one, including doctors, lawyers, and several from prison.” In her paper, men’s ads skewed a little older, women’s slightly younger.
was the first, and largest, “singles newspaper” in the city, and promised “real ads… real responses…” from “100’s of eligible singles.” A fresh romantic life could be yours for just 75 cents a copy.
Across the country, comparable publications sprung up like mushrooms, eager to capitalize on a wave of singles and divorcees looking for love in a time of increased sexual openness.
One such of these copycats on the West Coast, the , was the subject of a 1977 psychology journal article, “Courtship American Style: Newspaper Ads,” which attempted a deep dive on what it called “a fascinating new development in the field of courtship and marriage.” Coastal differences and similar names aside, the two papers were remarkably alike, and provide a revealing window into heterosexual dating at the time.
Shortly before the release of the first issue, Appleberg placed two “dummy ads” in the to get a sense of who her customers were likely to be.
She’s now on Nick, her fourth companion of the breed, who caterwauls with joy as he hears her climbing the stairs.