Oh, to be young and have a crush! Life seemed so much simpler back in the days before OKCupid and Tinder. Still, though, there's no denying that the '90s was a decade filled with weird things you did with your crush. It may not have been the same as swiping right, but we had our own quirky ways of relaying how smitten we were to the objects of our affection.
Luckily, crushing in the '90s came easy. We had loads of crushworthy celebrity icons — Kurt Cobain, Liv Tyler, Jared Leto, Devon Sawa, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Brandy, Danielle Fishel, etc — to hone our crushing skills. Plus, we had some extremely cool '90s couples to provide endless romantic inspiration. Think Kurt and Courtney or Reese and Ryan. However, none of the stellar examples we had adequately prepared us for the often confusing but always exhilirating roller coaster of emotions that was mutual crush-dom in that raddest of decades.
So sure, our methods were a tad eccentric. We sometimes showed our affection by being mean to each other. We learned to hate the things our crush hated and love the things they loved. But, mainly, we relied on the following weird things to demonstrate to our crushes (and the rest of the world) that our hearts were taken for the time being.
1. Send Love Notes Via Beeper
Now there are a million and a half ways to send a digital message to your crush, but in the '90s we had one main form of cutting-edge communication by which to flirt: the beeper. If you were lucky you'd get an 823 ("thinking of you") or a 56 ("sweet dreams"), but the holy grail of beeper crush conversing was 143 ("I love you").
2. Gift Each Other Grains Of Rice
When ads for these novelty jewelry items started popping up on the back of our favorite mags like YM and Sassy, they seemed like the coolest sentimental swag on the face of the planet — and if your crush was willing to wear one with your name on it around his or her neck, you just knew you were destined to be together 4 eva.
3. Talk On The Phone For Hours
What's so weird about talking on the phone, you say? Well, nothing really, save the fact that virtually no one just sits around on the phone chatting up their love interest anymore. Today's romantic conversations largely occur via social media apps like Snapchat or through text messaging. But, lacking these in the '90s, we were committed, roughing it through parental interruptions and lack of privacy to say next to nothing for hours on end.
4. Hit The Roller Rink Together
Part of the reason roller rinks were so cool in the '90s was because they felt so retro. Looking back now, kind of laughably so. Still, I'd strap some inline skates on and repetitively roll around in circles again in a heartbeat just for the feeling I got when my middle school crush made googly eyes at me beneath the disco ball. (Side note: Why did all roller rinks have disco balls?)
5. Rent Movies To Watch
Netflix and chill? Please. '90s kids were all about the art of Blockbuster and chill. That's right — we would head to a brick-and-mortar video rental store, walk up and down endless aisles to find the perfect romantic flick (Romeo + Juliet, anyone?) and then head back with VHS tape in tow to watch from an awkward distance apart on someone's parents' sofa.
6. Update Your MySpace 8
Before Facebook ruled the world, MySpace was everyone's jam. And if you and your crush moved each other into your respective "Top 8" section, the whole world knew you were officially a thing.