This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Wednesday WTF: Dating tips from the U.S. Department of Health!

kim hart macneill

The rules for dating haven’t changed much in the last 60 years, according to the U.S. government. Dating, when done properly, leads to marriage and babies.

The website Two Of Us promotes marriage as “a viable option to 18 to 30-year-olds” and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Healthy Marriage Resource Centre.

The site’s design and polls are reminiscent of a 90’s issue of Seventeen magazine. Side bar polls include such old chestnuts as: do you listen to your partner and can you really change someone?

Gawker took a look at the Do’s and Don’ts from Two of Us; we looked up an old Social Hygiene film from 1949 and found that nothing has essentially changed in the world of dating advice. I’ve embedded the cringe-tastic film above for your viewing pleasure.

In the film, Woody’s mom warns him about the dangers of being late for a date. She dumped her first date because he was late, in favour of Woody’s puntcual Dad. The lesson: tardy people don’t get married. Two Of Us advises coming up with a date-night schedule to ensure you have time to get ready, drive to the date, and park  your car, and to call if you’re running late.

Two of Us also warns readers to avoid getting physical too soon, not for “moral reasons,” but because waiting gives your relationship “a fighting chance.” Woody’s date with Anne drives home this point when she actually runs away screaming as he lunges in for a goodnight kiss after their first date.

If the reason to avoid intimacy isn’t moral then why does an article titled,”Should we live together,” link directly to article on the perils of cohabitation in lieu of marriage, published by the National Marriage Project? The article includes such info as as cohabitation increases a woman’s risk of domestic violence, the risk of divorce and depression. Some of the article’s conclusions have been called into question by the Alternatives to Marriage Project.

Two of Us may offer more carrot than stick than the National Marriage Project, but their goals are the same: to encourage hetrosexual relationships that lead to marriage and babies. Marriage rates in the U.S. have been falling for the last 10 years, while divorce rates seem to hold steady. A website full of dating tips and sketchy statistics probably isn’t going to turn things around radically.

Show Comments