Dating Through The Decades

Feb 23, 2023

It’s love month friends – our favorite month of the year! Love is one of the few things we all have in common, no matter where we live, what language we speak, or what decade we live in.

We’ve heard the cute stories from our parents and grandparents (or even great-grandparents), all about how a whole family tree was started from one successful first date. If you haven’t heard stories like these about your own family, but want to discover some, check out FamilySearch’s RootsTech conference, March 2-4, 2023 to help you get started on your own genealogy and find out how your family tree really did start!

Thinking about love and family history got us wondering, what was dating really like throughout the decades?

Back in the good ole days dating, well, wasn’t even dating. The stereotypical steps to a marriage started with your parents picking out your spouse and ended with your parents picking out your spouse (doesn’t sound super fun). Relationships were based on societal matches, or what was seen as your equal partner based on status or wealth, without much room for love or romance.

The 20s

Marrying someone you love and enjoy, what a crazy concept???

In the 1920s love was in, and societal matches were out. Finally, the days of marrying someone who would help your family climb the social ladder were gone. We saw a huge cultural shift from courting, (seeing each other with just marriage in mind,) to dating, (seeing each other because you were interested in one another!) 

Romance became a hugely popular concept and big romantic gestures were seen as the way to win over that special someone’s heart. With phones and cars being available to the public, dating and romantic conversations were now chaperone free.

This decade was the decade of new love and new technology, both of which made being in love even easier! (New technology on your phone making dating easier? That sounds familiar… 😉)

The 40s

Hand holds, 3rd date kisses, and saying “Mom it’s not a phase, I really love him!” started here.

In the 40s dating became more public and mainstream, moving away from being solely about marriage and towards finding the person you really love and enjoy being with! Weekend nights became the time to finally ask the girl in your college class out on a date. Weekdays were for showing off the sweater, jacket, or maybe even the class ring of the cute guy who finally took you out, all around campus. While the night probably still started with asking for her parents’ permission to take her out, at least there didn’t have to be chaperones.

This was the decade of “going steady”, a time for publicizing your love. (AKA the start of the “hard launch”.)

The 60s

The 60s were a huge time for self-growth and really finding out who you were before settling down in a serious relationship.

Rather than immediately marrying your high school or college sweetheart, it became common for people to have explored other options or dated a few different people before finding their person. “Dating” normally started off in a group setting rather than one on one, and most date nights were at the drive-in, bowling alley, or at a cutie local diner. While etiquette was still a huge focus when it came to dating, finally we started to see that having fun should be a huge part of it too!

This was a time to focus on not only finding someone you love but also someone who you could have fun with.

The 80s

Wait at least 3 days to call, or they’ll think you’re way too interested!

Dating in the 80s was everything fun-focused, from university dances to arcade dates and movie premiers, all of which could be done in a mullet or a side pony. This was the age of casual dates. Instead of flowers at the door and an elaborate evening of events, day dates became the perfect low-stakes way to ask your crush out. If the date was great, you’d spend the next few days waiting for a phone call to make sure they thought it was great too. 

Romance in the 80s was bright and lively, all tied up in a neon scrunchy. It’s no surprise that this was the decade “When Harry Met Sally”.

The 90s

Do you like me? Check Yes or No!

This decade was the peak of Rom-coms, and everything love related in the modern age. Love notes were the romance rage, making a mixtape was the new love poem, and three-hour phone calls on your landline were the dating norms. You could ask the cutie at the bookstore out without feeling weird, and there was a 0% chance they would stare at a cell phone while you try to make conversation on that first date.

The 90s were a great time for dating with both the traditional romantic meet-cute and the ease of modern communication.


You might think of this as the hardest decade to date in because, well, it’s ours, but in reality, we are lucky to have one of the most convenient and efficient times to be dating!

Statistics say 1 in 4 married couples have met using a dating app. We just hope it was Mutual. 😉 Dating has never been more readily available to everyone, everywhere. The key to success in this digital dating age is to focus on conscious dating. This means mindfully using features to pursue potential matches with similar interests, goals, and motivations for dating! By doing this you can cut through the traditional “red tape” that comes with dating and find a partner that shares your same intentions.

The best part about this decade of dating? It’s most likely the decade where your love story will start! 😉

Not only does our decade’s top-notch technology make it easy to start our own love stories, it also makes it easy to keep track of all of our loved one’s love stories. Want to know how your Grandpa got that second date? Or maybe you want to record how you met your special someone for your great-grandkids to read one day! Check out FamilySearch’s RootsTech conference on March 2-4, 2023, and get all of the tools you need to make it happen!

Lauren Wertner
Marketing Intern at Mutual | + posts

Lauren is a marketing intern for Mutual, where she is getting to live out all her copywriting dreams. She is currently a marketing student at Utah Valley University and will be getting her degree there this year. She’s obsessed with her internship and loves getting to be a part of a company focused on helping people find their eternal companion (and loves recommending it to her single friends even more)! You can find her at


This was beautiful to see. Nana was young once…
I’m still seeking for my eternal and I’m a Nana


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