Although the 90s weren’t that long ago, it seems like trends between now and then are significantly different. Technology was starting to develop — cell phones were becoming a lot less foreign and a lot more practical, the internet was becoming more of a household thing, just to name a few. Things seemed to be developing to make our lives a hell of a lot easier than it was in the past.
Fashion choices were questionable — maybe not so much since many fashion trends from the 90s seem to be making a comeback these days. However, when it came to flirting and dating, things have changed remarkably. In a way, we have a lot to thank technology for when it comes to the dating world. Everything is at our fingertips these days, making things a lot easier than it was before. In the 90s, we were paging someone on their beeper, taking them to Blockbuster, and asking their closest friends about them. These days, that’s a thing of the past. Now we have text messaging, Netflix, and social media in the palm of our hands. As a result, a lot of these flirting tactics from the 90s definitely don’t fly anymore, and a lot can come off as a bit creepy, in our opinion.
These are 15 flirting trends we used in the 90s that are no longer acceptable.
15. Send Them A Message On Their Beeper
Back in the 90s, we had the first working, practical cell phones. The only thing — they were dinosaurs, big, bulky slow dinosaurs — they couldn’t do anything besides make calls. They were nothing compared to the tiny computers that we carry around in our back pockets these days. That means, texting was way out of the question, as it couldn’t happen yet. There was no way to send off a quick text asking if they would like to hang out over the weekend. That’s when beepers came in handy. Separate from a cell phone, these tiny boxes clipped onto our belts and were able to send messages back and forth. If your special someone had one, you could definitely impress them by sending out a cute message asking them on a date or to give you a call when they can.
14. Mail Them A Letter
Honestly, one of the most romantic things ever has to be a handwritten love letter. Imagine going to get the mail one afternoon and seeing a letter addressed to you. Inside is a beautiful handwritten note from your special someone, expressing their love for you. It’s both heartfelt, and romantic, and something that doesn’t really happen all the time these days. Today we have different ways of reaching out to that person, but written, mailed letters aren’t really one of them. Not when we live in a world of technology with the ability to instantly contact someone, it seems so silly to mail a letter. In all honesty, if you tried to flirt via mailed letter today, you’d probably be shut down instantly. So we think you should put the stamps away for now.
13. Talk To Them On Their House Phone
These days if we make a phone call — which is, let’s be honest, very rare in a world of text messaging — it’s for a good reason, and it’s usually to someone’s own personal cell phone. Back in the 90s, if you or the person you were interested in didn’t have a cell phone, calling their house was like playing a game of Russian roulette. Will you get their mom? Their dad? A sibling? Will you embarrass yourself beyond belief? Who knows! That’s the chance you’ll have to take to talk to your special someone. If you really liked them, you would go for it, even if it meant suffering through a few awkward moments talking to one of their parents. Luckily for us, we get to avoid all of that and call them directly on their cell phone. It would be awkwardly weird to call their house, so definitely don’t do that.
12. Tell Their Fortune With A Cootie Catcher
If you were on the younger side in the 90s, you know how big cootie catchers were during class and on the playground. In case you lived under a rock, cootie catchers are little fortune tellers that are made by hand out of paper, where kids and teens used them as a fun way to tell each other’s “fortunes.” It’s a good way to start a conversation, and impress your special someone with your cootie catching skills. Who knows? Maybe they’ll get a fortune about their “one true love.” Today, on the other hand, definitely leave the cootie catchers in the past, and the fortune telling to the “professionals” at the fair or boardwalk. Your special someone might look at you a little funny if you whip one out.
11. Propose With A Ring Pop
Perhaps one of the most bold ways to flirt, and definitely not practical, you could make things with your special someone really official rather quickly with a “proposal” via ring pop. It’s a little silly, but endearing at most, and could definitely make that person giggle. Ring pops were one of the most popular and to an extent, really fashionable candies back in the day. Not only were they delicious, but a bold statement as well. It’s a cute gesture that’ll most likely make your special someone swoon (or laugh in your face, but that’s just the chance you’ll have to take). When it comes to present day, well, we wouldn’t approach the subject of marriage so quickly, let alone with a ring pop. It’s best you stay far away from this flirting tactic, you might come off as a tiny bit weird.
10. Ask Their Friends About Them
Today, when we have someone we’re interested in and we want to learn more about them, see if they’re dating someone, what they’re into, what interests them, all we have to do is turn to social media. We can creep on their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. Thanks to social media, our lives are basically an open book — most things we say and do are shared constantly. Therefore, it’s easy for us to find out a lot about anyone. In the 90s, however, you had to get a little more creative and put your detective hat on. When you were interested in someone, you had your work cut out for you — the only way to get information was to talk to the people closest to them and see what you can get out of them. Today, this really isn’t practical, and if gone about the wrong way, can come off a bit creepy. Definitely use caution.
9. Play MASH
If you were younger in the 90s, MASH was the ultimate game to determine your destiny. Sure, it was a fun game to play with your friends, but back then, it determined everything for you — what type of house you’d live in, who you’d marry, how many kids you’d have, everything. Yes, it seems very silly, and that’s because it is. If the person you were interested in was willing, the two of you could play together, and if you crossed your fingers, maybe you could have planned your destiny together. These days, MASH is definitely a thing of the past, and we’re not even sure if today’s kids even know what the game is. Stick to getting to know a person and taking them out on dates before you go ahead and start planning your life together in a shack with 50 children. It’s just a silly kids game after all.
8. Leave Them A Voicemail
It seems as if a lot of these flirting trends from the 90s are a bit bold, and take a lot of confidence. The same goes for this one. If the person you’re interested in didn’t have a cell phone yet, and you had to call their house, if no one was around to pick up the phone, you had a bit of a decision to make. Should you leave a message for their answering machine? Or maybe hang up and call back later? Leaving a voicemail shows that you care, in a way, since you risk someone else in their family or in that house hearing what you have to say. It’s a chance you have to take and if you want the person you’re interested in, you’ll have to take it. These days when the ever-so-rare phone call is made and goes to voicemail, many of us don’t even bother leaving one. Instead, we tend to send off a quick text and be done with it. We are a generation of texting, after all.
7. Message Them On AOL
The internet was gaining a lot of popularity in the 90s, and becoming a household occurrence. Of course it wasn’t as easy to use the internet as it is today, what with the dial up connection, and having to get off the computer when someone needed to use the phone. We definitely weren’t as absorbed in it as we are today. When we did have the chance to get on, we had the option to message our friends (and in this case, the person we were interested in) on AOL. Recently, AOL announced the end of their instant messaging system, so we couldn’t do it now even if we wanted to (and we have to admit, we did mourn the loss just a tiny bit). Besides with as many other options we have to instant message people, we didn’t really need it, anyway.
6. Write About Them In Your Diary
If you aren’t the best flirt in the world, you can always keep your private thoughts private, and write about the person you are interested in in a diary or a journal. It’s easier to express yourself and say things that you most likely wouldn’t say to that special someone out loud and in person. We wouldn’t, however, recommend taking a page out of Helga Pataki’s book. The infamous character from one of our favorite Nickelodeon shows, Hey Arnold, writes about her crush on Arnold along with actual poetry for him and about him. She took it to the extreme, including a piece of his hair and other rather creepy momentos. So no, don’t be like Helga, and keep your diary a little less creepy.
5. Request A Song On The Radio For Them
Back in the 90s, the iPod wasn’t invented just yet, and there were definitely no iPhones yet either. There were CD players and the beginning stages of MP3 players (that weren’t as popular yet) that music was played on, however, a lot of people tuned into their favorite radio stations more often than not. If you really wanted to impress the person you were interested in, you could call in to request and dedicate a song to them. The only down side? You had to hope they were actually listening and heard your shout out. With all the instant music, streaming services, as well as internet radio, dedicating songs like that is definitely a thing of the past, and you should probably leave it there.
4. Tease Them
We’ve all heard the age-old piece of advice offered to us by parents and friends, that when someone is picking on you, it most likely means that they like you or are interested in you. Take Helga Pataki from the hit Nickelodeon cartoon, Hey Arnold for example. We all know that she was infamously in love with Arnold. But instead of admitting her feelings for him, she was nothing but mean to him. She picked on him, called him names, all because she liked him. Honestly, we’re happy this flirting technique is long gone. Who wants to be made fun of just because someone likes them? No one, that’s for sure. If you like someone, act like it, don’t be like Helga.
3. Pass Them Notes In Class
Perhaps one of the riskier ways to flirt in the 90s, passing notes was a huge thing during class. You could go with a nice handwritten note, or the simple yet effective “do you like me?” And have them check a box with either yes, no, or maybe. But we’re warning you to be careful — if the teacher catches you trying to pass your note to your special someone, they’re most likely never going to get it, or worse, the teacher makes you read it out loud in front of the rest of the class. Once again with all the technology we have today, passing notes is definitely a thing of the past. Texting back and forth is now the new way to pass notes with far less risk and a greater reward.
2. Hit Up A Blockbuster
The Holy Grail of movie rental places, Blockbuster was essentially the physical Netflix of the 90s. It was the place to be on a Friday night, hanging out with friends and picking a movie for movie night, or heading to the store before date night to pick out the perfect movie to watch. Back in the 90s, there was no “Netflix and Chill,” so you had to be prepared for a movie night ahead of time, hence heading out to Blockbuster. Impress that special someone by renting their favorite movies, or Blockbuster’s newest additions to the store. Better yet, take them to the store and let them run wild — Blockbuster was a wonderland for movies and what better way to impress them then let them go crazy? Honestly, it beats scrolling through Netflix going, “What do you wanna watch?” “I don’t know, what do you want to watch?”
1. Make Them A Mixtape
One of the most thoughtful and romantic things you could do for someone you were interested in in the 90s was to make them a mixtape. There’s nothing like a physical mixtape filled with songs that a person painstakingly picked out with their special someone in mind. There’s a lot of thought and hard work that goes into something like this, and is the most perfect idea for impressing that person. Although this flirting tactic isn’t exactly off the table in this day and age, we do it a little bit differently. Your special someone might be a little confused if you handed them a cassette tape or a CD filled with songs for them. Going the digital route is the best way to go — make them a playlist on Spotify or any streaming service and send it to them, it’ll surely make them swoon.
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