Below is an article published 81 years ago in the Purple Flash, one of the last editions of this paper, that underlines the dating struggles students faced then.
It is no wonder there have been murmurs of discontent heard from every corner of the school. The girls, in spite of the depressing times, smooth and polish their lives, try to keep up on their dancing, conversation, etc. Often schools are noted for their heart-fluttering boys, at least the kind that have a smooth line. But of all the lousy, clumsy, slow, old-fashioned, awkward, putrid, messy, dumb, self-centered and just plain CONCEITED college men, we have them at Ricks College. Said swain (boyfriend/lover/fellow/young man) expects fair damsel to get a big thrill from the mere idea of spending an evening in his company. All well and good, until the evening comes ‘round and passes, the young gentleman leaves said damsel bewildered at the gate with — perhaps — a stale “goodnight.” But giving him the benefit of a doubt, suppose he is one of the more courageous; he attempts to brave his fate, with both hands clenched behind him he reaches and quickly — and, oh! — too politely pecks the party on the second part upon the cheek.
Not all of them can be put in this class, however, for we have rumors that there are still some loose that blindly jerk the girl from her feet and engage in a rough fight for one — the girl has not yet recovered from her surprise. And there is the kind that asks for a kiss; the girl properly coached will say, “no,” and pray that he won’t believe her — which he inevitably will.
The girls are wondering why the technique is slipping so — the Editor of the Purple Flash has consented to give you the same space as we have taken to tell us the solution — we’re really concerned. Does the Boys’ Club have ONE member who can return the sack?
P. S. — Even the stage kiss is losing its advantages when pursued by college men. What could have caused Reva to rush from the stage after having been kissed for the first time by the leading man in The Return of Peter Grimm?
It seems not much has changed from 1937 to 2018 when it comes to dating and the etiquette around it. The language was certainly hard to understand, but the idea of kissing and its value is very similar to what we see now at BYU-Idaho.
This 1937 article published at the beginning of that year expresses the kissing culture of that time and the frustrations with it from a woman’s perspective and ends by depicting the struggle through a scene in a play.
But to get a little more perspective, we asked a few men what their perspective is about kissing at BYU-I today.
“I think the value of kissing nowadays has become more of security or insurance,” said Alan Villa, a freshman studying political science. “When a guy likes a girl, especially at BYU-I, they want the girl to understand that he likes her. They want to kiss her, to imply the seriousness of the relationship. More than dating other girls, it makes the girl sure they are the one … we want to date.”
From a man’s point of view in 2018, it seems kissing is a serious deal, but it means many things, just like in 1937. There is not one technique or reason to kiss.
“In general, boys like to kiss girls … just to feel like they actually have the attention of someone,” Villa said.
According to an article published by Psychology Today, the earliest documentation of a kiss was found in the second century. But perhaps, just like in 1937, kissing wasn’t the problem; the way it was approached was.
“At BYU-I, it’s easy for someone to get confused when kissing is treated like a one-time meeting rather than seeking continuation,“ Villa said. “For me, when I kiss someone, it’s because I want to be with them and no one else.”
The dating culture and everything it may entail, such as a kiss, in 1937 may not differ so much now in 2018. It may just need to be approached more sensibly than objectively by both women and men.