The lesser problem was the concern that women had that they were endangering themselves meeting strangers about whom they knew very little. Stories circulated about women being lured to their deaths. Consequently, stratagems were developed to make such encounters somewhat safer, that is, refusal by the woman to give her home address, or even her telephone number.Couples met for the first time in very public places. This was before the time of the “date rape” drugs; but women were especially careful, nevertheless, to drink very little.The advertisements in The Village Voice were different than those in the various Jewish newspapers and different, also, from those in the New York Magazine.Someone answering ads in one place might be replying to an invitation to engage in some sort of sex. Others were directed at more sober individuals who were thinking of getting married somewhere down the line.Meetings in bars happened from time to time, but were considered somewhat dangerous—at least by the women. Colleges became co-ed, and young people were thrown together informally, making it easy to meet someone of the opposite sex. Instead of couples marrying in their early twenties, they married later.Often men and women graduated college without yet entering into a serious, let alone permanent, relationship.Answering advertisements was not yet entirely respectable, but I knew of some doctors and lawyers who married someone they met under these circumstances, (including a friend, who was a psychiatrist.
These small blurbs appeared in the personals section.(Of course, I go back a long way, to a time when there were streetcars going up and down Broadway.I could buy a milkshake for a All the telephones were black.)It was common, around that time, for men and women to meet at parties or at dances.Women made the trip west with the expectation that they would marry and be happy-- more or less.And it turned out they did and were, although there is never very much evidence about whether or not a particular married couple is really happy.