Teen Romance Done Awkwardly: 1970s Couples Photographs

Before the dance, before the date, there was always someone there snapping pictures – preserving the awkwardness and bad fashion sense for posterity. Let’s take a look at some of these photos, all taken from the early 1970s. Enjoy.


couples 1
Any guy can attest: spontaneous erections are no laughing matter. Sometimes the best thing to do is seek concealment behind the nearest plant.


couples 2

The pre-dance sweats are in full effect. Back in the day, the guy always picked up his dance date at her house – awkward photographs, nervous conversation and profuse sweating ensued.


couples 3
(L) As far as the pre-dance ritual goes, this seems like a fairly jovial scene…. unlike (R) which seems to take place in a religious fanatic’s underground lair. Carrie comes to mind (in which case, this fellow better not be planning any pranks).


couples 4

Four words: Out of their league.
I have to believe the parents were friends, as there is no way these pairings took place naturally. Adult forces were at work here, and they landed in favor of these young gentlemen.

couples 5
(L) In some circles in the 1970s, wearing a white belt meant you were sporting a “Half Cleveland”. Wearing matching white shoes was termed a “Full Cleveland”.
(R) One of the most paralyzingly awkward couples photo I’ve ever seen. She seems stricken with dread and regret; meanwhile, he makes a sadly futile attempt at holding her hand.


couples 13

Dad was probably teary eyed when he snapped this photo: his precious jewel in front of his beloved German beer stein collection. (sniff)


couples 6
(L) Awkward hand placement, dude. And either she’s really cold or he’s sweating something fierce. I’m guessing it’s like a swamp under those corduroys. (R) Hello. We’re popular. Really, really popular.


Is it just me, or is was there a surplus of smoking hot chicks dating somewhat goofy gents? For more on this phenomena, see a previous article: Beauty and the Buffoon: Implausible TV Couples

couples 7
(L) As you can tell, the miniskirt was THE attire for girls in early 70s America…. unfortunately, the Glenn Campbell haircut for boys was also in.
(R) This boy looks a bit too much like a Gerry Anderson super-marionette for me to feel comfortable.


couples 8
(L) Plaid blazers – the worst fashion trend since Chinese foot binding. (R) A nice looking couple, but where does the living room end and the backyard begin?


couples 14
His hair – shellacked, his jacket – brand new from Sears, his tie – fresh from dad’s closet…. and his date – too stoned to notice.


couples 9a

(L) The Early 70s: Era of Egregiously Mismatched Couples. (R) The Half Cleveland rears its ugly head once again.


couples 10a
(L) I included this just in case you were hoping these photos were in color – his outfit should put an end to that wish. (R) I repeat – The Early 70s: Era of Egregiously Mismatched Couples.


couples 11

(L) Her horizontal stripes perfectly complete his vertical striped shirt with diagonal striped tie. (R) It would be another decade before the arrival of the Cosby sweater; clearly, this man is a time traveler.


couples 15
(L) In his mind, he and the chivalrous medieval knight to his right are but one and the same. (R) A very cautious and conservative couple: She grasps his hand tightly, he clings to the rail, for at any moment they could fall helplessly down the stairwell.


couples 33
(L) Those pants, that shirt – why is he not touring with David Cassidy and The Osmonds? (R) There’s no question he smells like weed; whether her parents smell it is the only uncertainty.

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