Breaking up is hard to do. It brings out the worst in us. The snively, self pitying, dramatic side that's OK for a few days in the immediate aftermath, but which gets tiresome pretty quickly. If we're lucky, a breakup will also bring out the best in us: the fighter, the champion, the determined to carry on despite heartbreak side that makes us stronger and more resilient the next go around. Breaking up in the '90s was no easier or harder than breaking up at any other time. But as we know to be true of the '90s, everything we did back then we did differently, and breaking up was no exception. Yes, breaking up in the '90s was deeply rooted in wacky '90s culture.
When you were going through a breakup in the '90s, some of the things you did will probably make you cringe now. So you've been warned. Breakups in the '90s turned us into manic Dawson's Creek style existentialists, had us getting as brooding as Britney Spears not wanting to be the last to know, and generally being pretty twee about your emotions. Here are twelve things you did while going through a breakup in the '90s, some of which eased your pain, others which were just pretty weird.
1. Listening To Boyz II Men
Before there was Taylor Swift for breakups there was Boyz II Men. Boyz II Men would help you when you'd come to the end of the road, as you sobbed into their sweet words.
2. Sitting On The Floor Of The Shower Crying Like Toni Braxton In The "Un-Break My Heart" Video
If you were alive and having romantic feelings for other people in the '90s, you sat on the floor of your shower and cried like Toni Braxton at least once. It was your special heartbreak indulgence.
3. Consulting Your Cootie Catcher About Next Steps/Possibility Of Getting Back Together
We didn't make our own decisions in the '90s. We asked our cootie catchers instead. And in the wake of a breakup, it was the magical cootie catcher that would tell you whether you should move on, or if you'd be getting back together.
4. Going To The Mall With Your Friends And Deeply Lamenting Your Ex The Entire Time
Remember Mallrats the movie? That was basically your life post break up. You'd go to the mall with your friends and discuss your break up in deep, pained, existential ways all day, over intellectualizing almost every aspect of it.
5. Cruising By Your Ex's House/Work/Class/etc. To See What They're Up To
The equivalent of stalking your ex on social media was actually stalking them in the '90s.
6. Calling And Hanging Up As Soon As They Answered
Considering no one even calls each other to talk any more, people probably don't do this post break up. But in the '90s, just to hear your ex's voice, you'd call them and hang up as soon as they said hello, like some weirdo.
7. Going To The Hairdresser And Getting "The Rachel"
Part of breaking up is making yourself over, because at some point you realize you want to be your most fabulous self to let your ex know what they're missing. In the '90s, this meant getting "The Rachel".
8. Starting To Wear Cute Outfits Like Floral A-Line Dresses With A Flannel Tied Around The Waist To Get Your Ex's Attention
With the beauty makeover also came the wardrobe make over. It was very Shannon Doherty, very floral, very flannel.
9. Watching Romeo + Juliet, Before Sunrise, Reality Bites And Titanic While Sobbing And Snotting All Over Yourself
Before we had The Notebook, we had Romeo + Juliet. The '90s had plenty of brooding introspective, hyper dramatic movies about love and relationships and loss to keep us sobbing into our pop corn post break up.
10. Destroying The Couples Friendship Bracelets You Made For Each Other
Post-breakup you have to destroy all reminders of your ex, and in the '90s that meant cutting up the couple's friendship bracelets you'd lovingly made for you both.
11. Starting A Witch Coven And Doing Love Spells
A good way to deal with your post break up feelings in the '90s was to get your friends together and do a spell. Seriously though.
12. Changing Your IM Name To Something Cryptic But Also Completely Pointed
Either a quote, or a cryptic title, you'd change your IM name so that it was just cryptic enough you wouldn't look like you were being dramatic, but pointed enough that you were being dramatic. It was the '90s version of the subtweet, may it rest in peace.
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