There are some things from the 2000s that should stay there. Like single-sleeved shirts, the blue eyeshadow craze, dangerously low-riding jeans, and chunky highlights. But some things about the 2000s, particularly the dating trends of the early millennia, were really a lot more special than we gave them credit to be. Some of those romantic tendencies should have stayed with us a little bit longer.
In a time when we were just starting to get used to relying on technology for communication, we were really good at using it in romantic ways and using it to help us connect to each other more deeply. Back then, relationships were well-defined both online and off. We were so much more focused on couples than individuals.
Couples were entities. They had hybrid names like Brangelina — :( — and sometimes even matched their clothes with each other or got their names tattooed on each other's arms. While it's great that we're becoming more focused on ourselves than our love lives, there are some behaviors in the 2000s dating world that we totally let go of and I think we should totally bring back — because not everything old is outdated. Here are nine of my favorite:
IMing All Night
Back in the early 2000s, most of our courting practices existed in the late night hours on Instant Messenger. We'd stay up, talking to our crush about everything under the moon. Sometimes the conversations would get so deep, we'd be embarrassed to see each other the next day, but having these intense, long chats, with a screen between us helped us to really open up.
Instead of mixtape, in the 2000s we sent our crushes MP3 files. It was always exciting when someone sent you a song because you know they wanted you to listen to it for a reason, and the reason was typically purely romantic. You'd listen to that same MP3 over and over again.
Going out with a big group of people that was all coupled-off was a super fun, low stress way to get to know your crush. Dates were always exciting and new, and never awkward. With a big group, there was always something to talk about and it was good to see how your crush interacted with other people and how they treated you in front of others, it was very telling.
In the 2000s, if you had a super brave best friend, you'd make her call your crush while you silently listened in on three-way calling as she asked if your crush liked you, too. Sometimes it was a disaster, and sometimes it led to great romances, but all of the time it was a cringe-worthy and scary.
Back in the Myspace and away message days, couples took their love to the public. If you were in a relationship and on Myspace, your partner was surely in your top eight. If you were fighting with your partner, everyone would certainly know from the tone of your away message. Back then, being in a relationship meant being willing to share it with the world. There was something sweet about the parading of love, it made us feel special.
Couples wore each other's initials on necklaces. It was super romantic and so normal that it was considered surprisingly low-key. It was a cute way to show the world (subtly) that you're taken and an excuse to add a necklace layer — because let's face it, we were all obsessed with layering jewelry and didn't really care what we had to do to get that gypsy look.
Maybe it was because we were young, but back then, we were always being surprised by our partners and planning surprises for them. Surprise visits. Flowers in the mail. Letters in the mail. We weren't so plugged in that we knew each other's every move, so there was room for mystery and surprise.
It seemed like everyone and their mother was leaning how to play the guitar in the early 2000s and possibly for the sole purpose of serenading your crush. People were more willing back then to go out on a limb, embarrass themselves or put themselves out there for love. It was so romantic and so Nicholas Sparks.
In the 2000s, my dates and I would always coordinate outfits. Whether it was matching their tie to my dress at the prom, or wearing matching beanies in the winter, we were all about looking like we're meant to be together. Now, it seems like couples have no interest in looking like a couple, they're much happier to look like individuals who happen to be together. Individuality is great, but there was something so romantic about coordinating and taking the time to do something together. Oh, early 2000s. You were a simpler time!
Images: Giphy, Warner Brothers