Don’t Worry, Victorian Era Dating Was Also Completely Confusing

If you think dating is complicated now, wait until you see how frigging confusing dating in the Victorian era was. Sure, there were all the constricting social rules and mores that dictated how one was supposed to behave. But there was also an esoterically complicated thing called “Handkerchief Code.” Check out the must-know hankie rules after the jump!

According to an 1871 article in the Brooklyn Daily Standard Union:

The following code of signals may be used on the street, in the car or stage, as well as the theatre, opera or concert:

Drawing across the lips–Desirous of an acquaintance
Drawing across the eyes–I am sorry
Taking by the centre–You are too willing
Dropping–We will be friends
Twirling in both hands–Indifference
Drawing across the cheek–I love you
Drawing through the hands–I hate you
Letting it rest on the right cheek–Yes
Letting it rest on the left cheek–No
Twirling it in the left hand–I wish to be rid of you
Twirling it in right hand–I love another
Folding it–I wish to speak with you
Over the shoulder–Follow me
Opposite corners in both hands–Wait for me
Drawing across forehead–We are watched
Placing on right ear–You have changed
Placing on left ear–I have a message for you
Letting it remain on the eyes–You are cruel
Winding around forefinger–I am engaged
Winding around third finger–I am married
Putting it in the pocket–No more at present

Got all that? Great! Now I’m twirling my hankie in my left hand. Bye!