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“Potential partners seek to strike bargains which maximize their rewards in the exchange of assets.” Positive descriptors about appearance abound. Women are attractive, very attractive, or extremely attractive.Women stress those physical attributes, while men speak of status, occupation, or financial security.Throughout those years, and for most of her life, Appleberg has been a prolific dater.Though she is agnostic about how she found those dates, she never placed an ad in the paper.
Thinking back on it today, she laughs, “I wonder how much they were paying me for that.” All this she did alone in an office building on 3rd Avenue and East 55th Street. By the 1970s, couples were meeting at singles bars or discos—or by putting personal ads in physical, printed papers.
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.