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Find a partner before Tinder & Co.  – Dating in 1990 – Home

Find a partner before Tinder & Co. – Dating in 1990 – Home

Single people today use dating apps. In the pre-digital age, finding a partner was more complicated. We found examples from the 1990s in the archives.

Two centimeters is too small

Searching for a partner through newspaper advertisements was common at the time, but it could be daunting for those who were undecided. In 1992, “Ratgeber” featured a man who was given a severe headache by an advertisement. His problem: “You write that her height is 1.72 and I am only 1.70.” Result: The man did not respond to the ad because he did not think there were any opportunities.

Kay Pflum goes 'all in'

For more extroverts, there was the “Herzblatt” television format. For each broadcast, a man or woman chooses a date from among three people behind a barrier by asking questions. Kay Pflum – who later became a show impresario – also tried his luck as a young man. He was elected, fell in love, and admitted in the next episode: “If she had said we could get married right away, I probably would have said yes.”

Blind to happiness in love

In the 1990s, a new trend arrived from the United States to Switzerland: blind dates. A report from “10 vor 10” depicts a couple who found each other thanks to the new method. The woman described her feeling of joy when he stood in front of her for the first time: “Mumul, this is wonderful!”

Scammer #156

Three decades ago, telephone services with names such as “Partnerline”, “Kontaktputsch”, “Tele-Date” and “Single-Phone” were thriving. They all had one thing in common: they started at 156, promised new acquaintances – and the call cost two francs per minute. The “cash register collapse” showed that many of the 156 numbers were intended to be robberies.

Trade as a disruptive factor

Because dating was profitable, some dating companies also played scams. Some union representatives took money out of customers' pockets with fake ads.

Meticulously designed

Looking back is also an encounter with constructs that are no longer used today. In 1990, an older single woman described what she had in mind as follows: “A well-groomed, cheerful man.” On the other hand, a younger man was looking for “a partner who would suit my life.”

The man in question organized fondue parties at his home to meet women. His take: “70 percent of connections are made in business. As a self-employed person, I never reach out to people and make invitations to make up for my shortcomings.” In doing so, he took exactly the proactive approach recommended by one of the PBS partnership experts at the time. His simple credo was: “The phone doesn't just ring.”

Today's trend

An active approach is still required when searching for a partner, but dating is less complicated than it used to be. But exactly how widespread is Tinder & Co?

What Makes Switzerland Tick recently asked: “Who has been or is currently dating someone they met on an online dating platform?” Result: 30 out of 100 randomly selected people were or are in such a relationship.