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Median Age at First Marriage
  Men Women
198024.7 22.0
198124.8 22.3
198225.2 22.5
198325.4 22.8
198425.4 23.0
198525.5 23.3
198625.7 23.1
198725.8 23.6
198825.9 23.6
198926.2 23.8
Source:  US Census: Estimated Median Age at First Marriage, by Sex: 1890 to the Present
Love is...

1980 Cartoon Love is ... painting hearts on his bumper.
1980 Cartoon: Love is ... painting hearts on his bumper.


Romance and Dating in the 1980s

This is the decade when it all started to get complicated. It was confusing for boys and girls, men and women. To make matters worse, a new, terrifying disease named "AIDS" had appeared on the scene. The free love and casual sex of the 1960s and 1970s could now cost you your life.

Still, not everything was that serious and men were still scratching their heads when it came to women. Read the following excerpt from this 1981 advice column and then take the short quiz afterwards! (Sounds like one of those standardized tests, doesn't it!)

TwEEN 12 & 20

Boyfriend can impose dress code?
By Robert Wallace, Ed.D. Copley News Service

DR. WALLACE: I've been dating Janet for five months. We are not "officially" going steady but we are not dating others. I really care for Janet very much but I do not like the way she dresses. I've never seen her in a dress. It's always slacks. I casually mentioned this to her but she didn't change her views. Do I have the right to insist that she wear a dress when we go out? I will admit that she does look good in slacks. I just wish she would wear a dress or skirt once in awhile. Dave, St Joseph, Mo.

DAVE: Ask Janet if she will wear a dress or skirt for a particular occasion. If she refuses, then insist. If she still refuses then you have three choices. Select one of the three:

  1. First accept things the way they are (things are not too bad).
  2. Second, consider the slacks temporary clothing and continue to push for skirts and dresses (nothing ventured, nothing gamed).
  3. Third, stop dating her and find a girl who wears an occasional skirt (the grass is always greener).


What advice would you give to Janet?
Janet should stick to her guns and dress the way she wants to dress!
Janet should wear only skirts and dresses to please Dave.
Janet should dump Dave for being such a macho.
Janet should wear a dress or skirt once in awhile to please Dave.



Experts Say:

  1. Do I have to Give Up Me To Be Loved By You? by Jordan Paul, Ph.D. and Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
     This book was a "National Best Seller" and was first published in 1983. Their take on marriage: Personal freedom plus intimacy between partners.