“Is He Marriage Minded?” This 1957 Real Romances Magazine’s Guide to Picking a Mate


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Real Romances magazine

Date: 1957
Publisher: Real Romances, Inc., Dunellen, NJ
The Cover Promises: “I Was a Give-Away Girl”; “Is He Marriage Minded?: A Guide for Picking a Mate,” and that canary terry-cloth hoodies will never go out of fashion.

Representative Quote:

“There are almost 11,000,000 men over the age of twenty who are available for marriage. Among them are thousands who would make ideal husbands for you.” (page 13)

Maybe you’ve on occasion gotten terrible romantic advice from your grandparents. Maybe you have on occasion wondered how they came to hold such odd beliefs about how human relationships should work. Maybe then, one day, you find a copy of Real Romances and discover that, yikes, ridiculous idea of how men and women behave were the singular element in which last-century magazine readers were suspended like fruit slices in some terrible Jell-O.

Let’s behold:

Is he marriage minded? Here’s Real Romances‘ real questions and real answers:

Is he out for fun or a warm personal relationship? If he’s still interested in the “fun” side of dates after a long while, he’s probably too immature to have marriage in mind.

Real Romances Assumption That Made Your Grandmother’s Life Worse: That inter-gender “fun” is inherently suspicious.

Is he making too much money? “In general, the more money a man makes, the longer he postpones marriage,” states Dr. Evelyn Millis Duvall, marriage counselor. ‘The study by Glick and Landau reports that men earning under $2,000 a year marry at the median age of 22.7, while for those earning at least $6,000 a year the median age at first marriage is 31.5, or nearly nine years earlier.

That means — if my math holds up — that the young woman eager to marry a millionaire need only wait until he is 2,250,000 years old.

Is he selfish and strongly self-centered? One man who was a bachelor at 34 explained his failure to marry to a psychiatrist this way: “As long as I can get girls to sleep with me without obligation, why should I support another man’s daughter the rest of my life?'”

Another question that bachelor asked his psychiatrist: “Patients have confidentiality, right?”

How hungry is he for travel and adventure? If your man’s urges indicate a restless desire to see the world, you’ve got him at the wrong stage of his development. Even if you do get him to marry you, he’ll always secretly resent you for losing him his chance to experience new countries and new women.

Real Romances Assumption That Made Your Grandmother’s Life Worse: Land that man only once he’s all sexed out!

Anyway, there’s two other traits to look for: unpopularity and the ability to send some other sucker to serve in his place.

Is he enthusiastic about his good time with his friends? Such a man is going to think six times before giving up his good times for a wife and family responsibilities.”

Is he faced with a draft call? It’s wisest to avoid men who are ‘draft bait’ for any serious romance.

The rest of the magazine follows up on those assumptions enumerated up above and many more, the chief one being that, at some level, everything wrong in a relationship is the fault of the woman. Here’s the splash page introducing a short story titled “Too Perfect Wife”:

That text says:

I looked like a woman, acted like one, but my husband knew me for what I really was … a heartless, vain, empty shell, incapable of feeling, of loving, of giving. Only after soul-shattering heartbreak did I find the true meaning of happiness.

Other pieces in this issue: “I Was a Give-Away Girl,” about a young woman who learns what a mistake it is to give it away; “We Went All the Way,” about a young man who learns he should not have let a “tramp” give it away; and “Girl On Her Own,” about a young woman who gives it away and then learns that the “payment for sin lasts a bitter lifetime.”

My favorite is a list of the dos and don’ts of “Vacation Man-Hunting.” The best “don’t” sounds like it was written by the miserably shy dude from high school who was always brooding about not finding the perfect moment to kiss his popular friend:

Don’t try to be the belle of the ball. Some girls get so involved with having as many dates and dances as possible, that they forget that one man is all that’s needed. The very one for you might actually be scared away by your popularity.

The rest is dedicated to what women’s magazines have always been best at: Shaming women into terrible purchases:

Who wouldn’t want to lose a lot of weight for the chance to go out with that guy?

Next: Why ladies should stick “Mu-Col” you know where.

This one’s at least cheerful: How about a menstruation party?

Here’s a reminder that in the days before serious test marketing executives could just sneeze the name of a douche.

Finally, here’s the only page in this entire wretched magazine that has even the slightest interest in women’s pleasure … and even that’s couched in weight-loss guilt.

Best thing about the spot reducer? It has no friends or world travel plans to interfere in your intimacy!