How to flirt and chase men ’til they catch you: Seventeen magazine’s top tips for teen girls in the 1950s

Teens Sears - bus stop - Aug 1956

The Seventeen Book of Young Living book for teens - 1961 edition - Tips on how to flirt

How to chase men: Learn how to flirt fair and square

by Mary Prime

How to chase men till they catch us is something every young girl should know.

So says Enid Haupt, editor and publisher of Seventeen magazine, wife of stockbroker Ira Haupt, and mother of a grown daughter.

“Men need to be encouraged — but not pushed,” said she. “Every girl learns to flirt by the time she’s a year old. It’s instinctive. But she doesn’t always learn how to flirt fair and square. The secret is knowing when to stop.”

Mrs Haupt divulged that secret — among others — to the nation’s 8,500,00 young women under 20 in a book, “The Seventeen Book of Young Living,” published by David McKay Co. Yes, it’s for teenagers, technically. But it won’t hurt older “girls” to sit this one in.

Mrs Haupt’s first rule for boosting the date rate: bolster the male ego. You can’t go wrong. “Make the man feel like a cavalier,” said author Haupt. That will bring out his responsible, protective side. It may even bring on a proposal — but never a pass, she assured us.

How to flirt and chase men 'til they catch you - Tips for girls from the 1950s

How to flirt: What else to do when you see your “target”

Here are her next rules:

Curb your aggressive nature. It belongs to men only. Develop an extra layer of femininity.

When you see your “target,” smile. Call him by name. Say something nice — about him, naturally.

If that doesn’t work, get a friend to ask him to her house for a “valid” reason: a club, a committee meeting, a hot-dog roast. You’ll be the real reason, but he’ll never know.

Now, be fascinated with the subjects he’s interested in. This is easier if you know something about the subjects.

Get him to talk by way of prodding murmurs, such as, “That must be VERY difficult,” or “How did you learn so much about it?”

MORE: Want to find a husband? Be a secretary (1952)

Learn about his interests, hobbies, favorite sports. Find out where he shops for records (this can be adapted to habitats of all ages), swims, fishes, skis. Then you’ll know where to “run into” him. You’ll also know what new interests to develop, what tennis courts to use, what hobby equipment to ask for on your next birthday.

Once you know something about him, your subtle opportunities are limitless.


From the 1950s: How to laugh, just for girls (because what teen didn’t need someone else telling her how to behave?)

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