Spending a couple of hours with someone who was unattractive and unappealing was not too much of a price to pay for the chance to have met someone who might be attractive and appealing.It was also possible, sometimes, to do something that was entertaining, even with someone who was unattractive and unappealing.Such a rule did not hold in my time, at least not among the people I knew. The only women any of us ever saw were women that were dating our friends.
In a larger context, this is a problem that impacts all dating situations: how to seem interested without seeming desperate.
Answering advertisements was not yet entirely respectable, but I knew of some doctors and lawyers who married someone they met under these circumstances, (including a friend, who was a psychiatrist.
The person he met and married was another psychiatrist.) There were two problems inherent in advertising for dating purposes, or answering such advertisements.
Meetings in bars happened from time to time, but were considered somewhat dangerous—at least by the women. Colleges became co-ed, and young people were thrown together informally, making it easy to meet someone of the opposite sex. Instead of couples marrying in their early twenties, they married later.
Often men and women graduated college without yet entering into a serious, let alone permanent, relationship.
The women reported to me that they did not feel threatened—although they were very likely to report that they felt disappointed. Most of the precautions I thought were important were against being stuck for a whole evening with a boring date.