Teen Dating in the 1980s

teen dating cover

Teen Dating

Aside from the crunchy brown paper, and a girl sporting a Cosby sweater, this isn’t too bad on the teen dating advice front. Yes it is outdated, but the advice is pretty generic. Look for qualities that are about friendship, be respectful, etc. A lot of the book is devoted to understanding social situations. There are tips on throwing a party, entertaining a date, going to prom, and other group activities as well.

However, it is glaringly out of date in terms of technology and social norms. I also think it is important to reiterate how important cover art is to getting someone to actually pick up the book. Fast forward 10 or so years, and the book looks dated. After 30 years, it is a book suitable for this blog.


teen dating back cover

intro blurb

Getting to know each other

signs of interest

coping with parents

for girls only



  1. I’m guessing a dating book from the 80’s won’t even mention LGBTQ relationships or issues. Definitely a weed!

    1. I came here to say this (or something similar, lol). Heteronormativity at its worst. Cheers 🙂

  2. Do teens even “date” anymore, where they spend an evening together, but aren’t in any kind of committed relationship already? I’m not sure we even did back in the 80’s.

  3. From p. 27: “There should be a spark of sexual attraction.”

    That’s some pretty horrifying advice in a book that’s going to be read mostly by 12- and 13-year-olds. No older teen would read something with the word “teen” in the title. The implication that they should be considering whether or not they want to have sex with each person they might ask out or be asked out by seems shallow and irresponsible. Yes, of course teens are going to have sex, but to tell younger teens that this should be their mindset is some really messed-up advice.

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