Pick-up art from the nineteenth century. Real advice to men from 120 years ago

Do not know how to attract the attention of the desired person, awaken his feelings and turn flirtation into a lasting relationship? We strongly advise against consulting 120 years ago. However, if you are very desperate, here are 8 recommendations for men lovers guide Issued in Warsaw in 1903.


Do you like strange girl? Don’t even dare approach her on the street or any other public place!


guide for lovers From 1903, by J. a. Zwadzky, instructed: “[należy] With all the tact and meticulousness of a polite man, he extracted from her acquaintances everything that was abstract. So, first of all, about her family and property relations “. After all, these issues, by the standards of the XIX century, are the most important …


Getting to know Virgo herself is, at best, a secondary matter. Not her, but her parents must be won over. After all, it all depends on them.

Flirt on the cover of “Colchi” from 1896.

Speaking to the chosen one’s father, it is appropriate according to the guide “Without waiting for the other party’s questions, proceed to a clear and honest definition of your position, property, income, family relations, deputies and future intentions”

In a word, nothing should be hidden! Unless you have debts. Zawadzky advised to enumerate them only “at the express request of the father”.


A separate tip concerns the first contact with a potential mother-in-law. Primo: We don’t accept the hand. “Of course, you should bow your head a little before the lady of the house, but refrain from kissing the hand unconditionally. It is an ugly bourgeois build-up, long ago expelled from elegant salons, and watched closely by only old bachelors ”- says A guide for lovers.


By the way, I don’t know why, but you shouldn’t take off your gloves during your first visit.


Did your parents kiss you? So here’s a dating tip – don’t drink too much! Zawadzi wrote:

Running every period to the buffet, and especially binge drinking on those spirits, which then “come out” with an unpleasant odor from the mouth of one of the competitors – they should definitely be removed from the game program.

Confused man among the ladies.
Confused man among the ladies. Cover of “The Spikes” from 1914.


A problem many men have: are you going to the store with the lady of your heart? Do not pay for it under any circumstances! And if you pay – ask for a refund. Anyway, this is what the 1903 manual says:

Going to stores with errands, maybe [kawaler] Temporarily settle bills for it. However, upon returning home, the bride must immediately return the money given to her by her fiancé, and he must accept the refund without any reservations or waking up (…). He should also keep this in mind that the fun of pushing will be on his side right after the wedding.


something important. If we don’t find our chosen one at home, we should never ask her parents where she’s gone.

But God forbid that the young man ask the reason for the absence of the housemaid, or ask them directly: “And where is the girl’s daughter?” First of all, it would be a very generic, vulgar and insulting word for home.


Are you thinking of giving your chosen one a gift? According to J.A. Zawadzki, you should not under any circumstances – as many say – diamonds for a girl.


“For a girl, we advise you to choose a ring, but not with diamonds (because in the symbolism of lovers it means tears)” – he explained in Lover’s Guide.


In the end, there is also an embarrassing problem, however, which must be mentioned (as MA Zawadzki did not fail to do so). According to the rules of the 19th century, you should never talk to a girl about sex!

The groom should “avoid ambiguities, allusions to wedding moments, etc. – in short, avoid anything that might embarrass the bride or cause her face to turn red.”

Noble behavior on the cover of Spikes from 1880
Noble behavior on the cover of “The Nails” from 1880

And even more so, you should not allow yourself to have fun in any way. On the groom at dinner:

During the conversation, do not lean too much towards her, do not push her (even accidentally with your knees or stepping on her shoes for informational purposes). Needless to say, all hand manipulation under the tablecloth is completely out of the question.



  • Zawadzki MA, Lovers’ Guide, or How to Get Happiness in Love and Success in WomenIskere, Warsaw 2007.

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