The dating game – back then

The rules of engagement – as dictated by mum, dad and your date.

The dating game – back then

Sunday columnist Peter Leith is 89. He’s seen a lot of the world, a lot of Australia, and a lot of life. In addition to his observations and real short stories, he continues his series titled Vanishing Australia.


You needed to “pick a sort” who lived fairly close by. Not too close in case you broke up, but within easy bicycle range. That way you could ride over, leave your bike there and catch the tram into town together. 

If you were lucky, she would be ready and you didn’t have to spend much time with her mum or dad. They looked at you as if you were a threat to their daughter’s virtue, which you were, or a suitable son-in-law, which you were not. 

After the movie, there was not much to do in town, except make sure you did not miss the last tram home to her place. Once there, depending on how long you’d been “going together” you might have a bit of a snork.

Weather permitting, it was better to snork at the front gate rather than at the front door. If things got a bit willing at the front door, it was difficult to re-assemble clothing if her dad or mum happened to open the door and tell her it was time to “come inside”. 

If you were “going steady” and there was no cricket or footy on, you might take her to the Saturday arvo matinee at the local picture theatre. If you had been “going steady” for a while you might even get seats in the back stalls. 

There, apart from overcoming her resistance, all you had to worry about was the nosey, flaming ushers with their nosey, flaming torches perving on what you two were doing! 

Do you have an idea for Peter’s Vanishing Australia series? Send it to and put ‘Sunday’ in the subject line.

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    11th Aug 2019
    From the female perspective, you had to wait until he asked you out. Could be then be dating? Not yet. You had to wait a bit until that became clear (I’m not quite sure when that was!). Once you’d been out, he might ring you up for another date, but it wouldn’t be the very next day. He waited a few days so he wouldn’t be seen as too keen. Looking back, there were people who I now realise were gay. I have no clue how they sent signals and got a response so they could start spending time together. Fortunately, things have mostly got better for them now.
    11th Aug 2019
    Or there was the local dance. You remember, boys at the bar, girls along the opposite wall. Or the brave girls dancing round their handbags in the middle of the circle on the dance floor.
    Or the usual chat up line in the posher places where the girls sat rather than stood against the wall. Up comes the likely suitor:
    You dancing? You asking? I'm asking. Then I'm dancing! And off you'd go........
    12th Aug 2019
    That is so funny & accurate. We had to sit & wait to be asked to dance & unlike the boys who had time to size you up we had to do a quick excuse without being rude if we didn't fancy them. So glad I was a baby boomer 60s & 70s were the best.

    8th Apr 2020
    Hello man in his free time you need to make a tremendous amount of what. And the best thing to do and meet a young lady on a dating site. You can easily share personal feelings with them. I am firmly glad for you and glad click here quickflirt that it is in fact that you are ready to get acquainted on the site for dating. I will be ready to love young ladies any one

    26th Apr 2020
    Hello. I would never be able to stay with one woman for the rest of my life. Just because I'm not monogamous, and pay attention to almost all women. so that's what I want to say about, a long time ago I started to sit on dating sites, and you know I'm lucky. I started dating mature women

    5th May 2020
    Of course not all Indian women are educated just like not everyone in the western world is educated, but the majority of the Indian mail order brides on the online dating platforms are educated. The least educated has no doubt japanese mail order bride completed their high school education. With education being free in India, this is the reason why most Indian women have basic education. Most of them will value education and ensure that your children have the best education. Don’t be surprised if she even wants to further her education to better herself and the life you make with her.

    9th May 2020
    It has five-star reviews and offers you a wide range of girls from different continents, and South America tops the list. The good part about CharmDate is that it provides a search tool with filter options. It means you can search forvietnam bride Latin girls based on your preferences.
    It is also one of the good dating sites that care about safety available, and if a fake profile happens to slip through, the site tries to fight with them.
    28th May 2020
    On the site bestmailorderbrides you will see a variety of beautiful girls, one of them is waiting for you. Do not postpone dating for tomorrow, because you can now get acquainted without leaving home.

    16th Sep 2020
    Hello! Who faced with urgent dental treatment, can you suggest a good doctor?
    18th Oct 2020
    Hello! I want to share my story, it will suddenly be useful. I am 25 years old and have never had a long-term relationship. I don't like going out with girls. My friend advised me free adult chat and now I am happy because I am not alone. Try this service too
    19th Oct 2020
    Hi! In isolate, a young lady left me and I was forlorn this time. No side interests fulfilled me, and my companion indicated me top 10 asian dating sites furthermore, I got myself a delightful young lady, and we are glad. In this way, I encourage you to look here, it will help enhance your relaxation time, you won't lament, as me. Presently I will before long wed and I love this woman to such an extent!
    24th Oct 2020
    I'm a man love to enjoy bdsm lifestyle but there is less people have the same interesting, so I picked a bdsm dating site on and find a girl from CA. I remmber she is so beautiful and so sex.

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles

    You May Like