15 Ways Dating In The ’90s (And Early 2000’s) Is Different From Dating Now

Dating today is so complicated. Not only do you have to figure out how to interact with the person you’re crushing on in-person, but you also have to figure out how to best interact with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, texting… ugh. Remember when life was simple and the only way you could talk to your crush was in-person, on AIM or on the phone? I do and I sort of miss it.

There are a lot of ways that dating in the 1990s and early 2000’s was different from dating today. I mean, for one thing, there was no Facebook, so you can only imagine how that affected things. I put together 15 ways dating back then was different from dating now. Check it out and let me know if I missed anything in the comments.


You talked to your crush/BF on AIM all night instead of texting or Facebook messaging them all night.
aol aim
Because Facebook wasn’t around yet and if texting was, you probably weren’t allowed to have a cell phone. (Those were for adults)


You had to wait for your parents to get off the phone so that you could get on the Internet to talk to your hunny (or vice versa).

Oh, dial-up. I don’t miss you.


You had to deal with the total embarrassment of leaving voicemails on landlines. 

the little mermaid gif

Source: Tumblr.com

Because, like I said, you guys didn’t have cell phones yet so you couldn’t text call me back. You had to actually say “call me back.”


A mixtape or a burned CD (with music courtesy of Napster) was the best gift you could get. 

Now you can’t exactly give an iPod full of cute love songs to someone, can you?


You didn’t have to deal with any Facebook drama like shady wall posts. Because there was no Facebook. 

facebook gif

Source: Tumblr.com

Or Twitter. Or Instagram. Or Vine. You get it. Instead, you dealt with AIM profile drama.


You actually had to talk to your crush/SO to find out things about them. 

modern family gif

Source: Tumblr.com

Because you didn’t have social media sites to stalk to already know everything there is to know about them on your own.


When you were getting ready for a date, you didn’t jam out to One Direction or Selena Gomez. You listened to the Backstreet Boys. 

backstreet boys gif

Source: GifSoup.com

Or *NSYNC. But NEVER both.


A perfect date or place to meet a guy? Your local roller rink. 

roller skating gif

Source: Tumblr.com

You know, where you and a dude could hold sweaty hands while rollerblading around and around a circle filled with other teens. YOU KNOW.


You rented your movies from Blockbuster, not Netflix or Redbox. 

And you got a VHS. Not a DVD.


Private phone conversations were virtually impossible. 

freaks and geeks gif

Source: Tumblr

Back before iPhones were a staple for everyone in middle school, we didn’t have the luxury of private cell phone convos. Instead, you had to stretch your house phone cord as far as possible to get away from your evil brother.


Your dream dude looked like Jonathan Taylor Thomas or Devin Sawa. 

jonathan taylor thomas gif

Source: Tumblr

Ryan Gosling who?


Playing MASH or with a Cootie Catcher determined who you would marry. 

cootie catcher

Source: Tumblr

My little sister doesn’t even know what a Cootie Catcher is 🙁


You added your BF (or crush, if you were brave) to your Myspace Top 8. 

new girl gif

Source: Tumblr

And the world knew you guys were “a thing.”


To look super fancy for a date, you wore butterfly clips, frosted eyeliner or platform sneakers – or all three.

saved by the bell gif

Source: Tumblr

Very fashionable, those times were.


A really sweet romantic gesture was to call a radio station and dedicate a song to your crush. 

Charlie Brown Gif

Source: Tumblr

Why does no one do this anymore? 🙁


What else do you remember about dating in the ’90s and early 2000’s? What did I miss? Which of these examples do you remember the most? Tell me in the comments!

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  • Balanced

    Omg you took me back to the good old days the 1990’s, everything in my opinion was better back then, the music, the fashion, the people, this generation nowadays are lost and heartless or quick to judge, dating was more straightforward no complicated social media to deal with, so people really couldn’t stalk you much lol, people was way more active, internet was nothing like it is now, people actually got out the house and did things, in all honesty today’s social media and advancement of the internet ruined things, now all people want to do is sit behind some computer screen, or on thier cell phone texting all day, its an evil world online all that hate and evil and judging, that wasn’t present in the 1990’s, beautiful times I would give anything to go back 🙂

  • Knowitall

    You should write one about the 70’s!!!

  • dee

    i miss knowing if im on a date or in an actual relationship.seems to me that today the lines are so blurred its hard to tell whats goin on.

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