14 Things People Romanticize From the Past That Weren’t Great According to Women

I grew up hearing all about the “better days” of America, so when I saw a recent online women’s discussion about romanticized things, it piqued my interest. Someone asks, “What things do you think people romanticize from the past that actually wasn’t very great at all?” Here are their responses.

1. Marriage

1950s wedding
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Marriage. People have this idealized view of marriages that never ended in divorce, but that doesn’t mean they were happier. It just means women didn’t have legal protection and didn’t have other options. Women often couldn’t afford to leave either. Women in America weren’t allowed to open a bank account and own a credit card until the mid-70s. Which is wild.”

2. Life Before Technology

Dewey Decimal library card catalog
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Life without cellphones and the internet. It was a hassle. Going to the library for everything you wanted to look up was annoying. Not being able to let people know you were running late was annoying. Being at home and sitting by the phone all day if you were waiting for a call was annoying. Having to communicate by letter and not email was a hassle.”

3. Driving

50s driving car
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Driving places, too! You would have to plan out your route ahead of time using a map. If you took a wrong turn or a road closed for some reason, you had to pull over and figure it out yourself or stop at a gas station and ask for directions. You also had no idea what the traffic would be like (well, you could guess based on the time of the day, etc., but it was hardly reliable). You just got in the car and hoped for the best.”

4. The 1950s America

1950s retro housewives
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“The 50’s. We got racism, sexism, and milkshakes right here in 2023, babes. I hear of ‘idealized’ 50s, and it screams of incredible power over/exclusion of women and people of color. Legally. It’s such a cruel and creepy thing to idealize.”

5. Family Life

1950s family time
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Family life. The Cleavers and the Andersons were an idealized version of 50s domestic life, not an accurate reflection. Aside from being fictional, their families worked out well because the father was a high earner, the mother was a happy and sober person, the families were white, and frankly, they had more progressive values than the people idealizing them do.

In real life, only well-off people got those sorts of lives, they only ever got them sometimes, and there’s a reason well-off women of the time were fighting to go to college and to work outside the home anyway.”

6. How Our Grandparents Met

1940s playing hard to get
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“How our grandparents met. Grandpa really Pursued grandma, even though she kept telling him no. After long enough, she caved, and they got married. She was 16! He was 23! But they lived a long, happy life and were married for fifty years. People say it was a different time — but, dang!”

7. Being Unsupervised Children

woman saying no pinup
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“The way boomers and Gen-X go on and on about how unsupervised they were as children make it sound awesome, but I can remember being lonely as a latchkey kid, and many unsupervised kids got injured. I mean, helicopter parenting is too much, but there could be something in between.”

8. Vegetable Gardening

Vegetable garden basket
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Vegetable gardening and putting up your own food. It’s a lot more fun now that you can go to a well-stocked grocery if it doesn’t work out. I’ve been proudly staring at the four little tomatoes barely half a cm in diameter, and I thought, ‘Thank God I don’t have to feed a family with this one tomato plant.'”

9. Living on the Prairie

Little House on the Prairie Landscape
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Living on the prairie, reading any of the Little House on the Prairie books from an adult perspective is nightmare fuel. It’s terrifying. I had a moment when I realized why Ma won’t let Laura hang out around the railroad camp. Those guys were drifters, criminals, and ‘rough,’ she’s not worried Laura will hear her swear words. She’s worried Laura will be kidnapped or assaulted. You also notice the racism and ‘Yay, America manifest destiny’ stuff more. It’s a bit grating as an adult.”

10. Horses vs. Cars

1800s vintage horse and buggy
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Horses instead of cars. Do you know how many horses and other draft animals it took to keep the average city going before cars replaced them?

Imagine the streets covered in a layer of manure a foot (or more) thick. Imagine the stench coming out of that as the manure went anaerobic because of how thick it was. Now imagine what happens to that manure when it rains. Also, people died from horse-related accidents. My great great grandfather died from being kicked in the head by a horse.”

11. Writing Romantic Letters

romantic letters 1950s
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Writing romantic letters between partners and prospective partners. Imagine waiting weeks to get word from them, not knowing if you’ve been ghosted in between.”

12. Classic Rock Stars

Mick Jagger
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Rockstars from the 70s/80s. There were so many who were straight-up child predators and horrible people, and the substance abuse was insane. I’m looking at Ted Nugent, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Steven Tyler, and a host of other predators.”

13. The Victorian Era

Victorian era
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“The Victorian era of the 1800s. High society and gowns can only take you so far in a densely populated London paired with poor technology. And the disease.”

14. Being a Stay-at-Home Wife and Mother

1950s family housewife
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Stay-at-home wife. Some women preferred to go back in time was men had the job of taking care of money and women took care of the family and the house. Not being able to have a job and independence was terrible. I am not shaming women that tell me they want to be a stay-at-home mom; if this is what you want, go for it. But don’t romanticize the situation and wish we could all go back.”

12 Big Things That Make Stupid People Extremely Dangerous

man holding vote sign American
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

While taking my daily scroll, I came across an interesting thread on a popular online forum. Someone asked, “What makes stupid people dangerous?” Here is how they responded.

12 Serious Struggles Men Face That Women Will Never Understand

sad man men
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Recently, a male forum was discussing what things men go through that women will never understand. I found the answers interesting, honest, and sad. Here is what they had to say.

15 Major Turn-Offs Men Confess Are Unattractive Things Women Do

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Everyone finds something unattractive. For example, I don’t find it attractive to have your entire bum hanging over the top of your pants so I can see your boxers. But people are really out there walking around like that. After someone polled a men’s forum for what it is in women that are major turn-offs, here is what they had to say.

26 Once Hilarious Comedy Films That You’re Not Allowed To Laugh at Today

Revenge of the Nerds
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Although comedy movies have always been a source of amusement and laughter, society’s expectations and sensibilities have changed over time. What was previously seen as hilarious and acceptable may be viewed as improper or offensive today. Let’s look at some once brilliant comedy movies that are unlikely to be produced or laughed at in the current cultural climate (unless you grew up watching them).

12 Sad Truths in Life That Everyone Needs To Learn To Accept

woman kissing dog
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Recently, an online discussion broke out about the saddest truths in life that everyone needs to accept. Thousands of people weighed in to deliver this authentic list of life’s realities.

Source: Reddit.

Website | + posts

Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.