The '90s were unique, and not just for their flowing Elaine Benes-style floral dresses and mass acceptance of people hoarding insane amounts of Beanie Babies without ending up on a self-help show, either. Even the types of crushes you had in the '90s had their own flavor, the likes of which you probably won't find (at least commonly) today. In the '90s we did everything differently, from watching television to dressing to communicating to crushing. The '90s, like every definable era, was a time unto itself. Which is why we're about to take a walk down memory lane and remind you of all the very specific, '90s style crushes you had in the decade that was.
Of course, there were celebrity-inspired crushes. There always are. But then there were crushes in your everyday existence too, ones that maybe have mirror images in each generation — but for the '90s were still super specific, and really deeply rooted in the cultural psyche. You might not have noticed these crushes as '90s crushes at the time, but when you look back, you certainly do. Even if you don't remember your crushes from the '90s in great detail, this list will definitely be the prompt you need to recall even the most obscure crush you had. Here are 12 types of crushes you had in the '90s:
1. Your Leonardo DiCaprio Crush
Everyone who was anyone having a crush in the '90s knows that '90s Leo is the best Leo. Having a Leo crush was definitely a "thing," and a very common thing at that. So much so I can safely say if you hit puberty in the '90s, a lot of that revolved around a heart-on for Leo.
2. Your Crush On A TV/Movie Heartthrob Of An Appropriate Age For You
The '90s was full of guys that were the exact right age for you. Like young Devon Sawa and J.T.T. Your appropriately aged TV/movie heartthrob crush sometimes had dimples, and always had floppy hair. These were the kinds of '90s crushes your mom was mostly OK with.
3. Your Boy Band Crush
Remember when boy bands were a thing? Not like a "thing" the way you would say One Direction was a thing, because in the '90s, there were about 30 hot boy bands for you to choose your crush from. If we're being honest, most of those crushes boiled down to Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, but you might have been like me and chosen a Sisqo (Dru Hill) to direct your attention towards.
4. Your Spice Girls Crush
Everyone had a favorite Spice Girl in the '90s, but everyone also had a crush on a Spice Girl. The two weren't always necessarily the same, either.
5. Your Inappropriate Older Dude Crush
The '90s were kind of confusing for prepubescent kids and teens. Between Uncle Jesse and Tom Selleck, all signs were pointing towards crushing on guys who could also be your dad. It was hard to avoid having an inappropriate father figure crush because, well, have mercy.
6. Your Bad To The Bone Crush
Everyone loved a rebel in the '90s. Everyone always loves a rebel, I suppose, but the '90s rebel was a little different. He was Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites: he smoked pot, had a goatee, spoke like an existentialist and was super broody.
7. Your Classroom Crush
Before you could stalk someone on social media, your classroom crush was quite a big deal, because probably one of the only places you would see them was in that exact place. So you probably only had one context for them, but it didn't matter — you'd spend the entire class drafting notes you'd never pass to them regardless.
8. Your IM Crush
When you'd spend your evenings on dial up internet chatting on IM, there was one person you'd always look forward to talking to. Maybe they went to your school or you knew them some other way, but the important thing about this crush was that you only spoke to them on IM.
9. Your Skaterboy Crush
Skaterboys were the hottest boys in the '90s. As an adult now you're probably not looking for a grown man on a skateboard, but back then, skating was hot.
10. Your "Seen At The Mall While Both Shopping With Your Moms" Crush
In the '90s you'd often get dragged to the mall with your mom (no one online shopped), and you'd always see one other kid in the same situation around the place — and you'd develop crushes from afar on one another.
11. Your Next-Door Neighbor/Down The Street Crush
Dawson's Creek led us all to believe love was right next door. So even if your neighbor or someone down the street wasn't ideal, you'd still have a crush on them.
12. Your Spin The Bottle Crush
Did you ever sit down at a game of spin the bottle and had someone unexpected sit across from you, only to notice they were the CUTEST EVER, and immediately fall in love with them? This happened to someone in the '90s approximately every millisecond.