Saying "I love you" can be a tricky thing, but if you take some advice from '90s declarations of love, you might find that either the adorable factor, or the total cheese factor, will outweigh any awkward butterflies that might be fluttering about. Modern love tends to revolve around technology, social media and is generally a little impersonal, especially with the flippancy of dating apps. Love and romance in the '90s was a little bit slower paced, a little bit more sincere right from the outset, and filled with horrible, spew-in-your-own-mouth, lovely romance.
Let's call it "analog love". Before a time when "likes" and "tags" showed you how much "bae" cared, and a handwritten note found poking out the corner of your locker was the ultimate declaration of love. When you'd try and call the radio station for hours and hours, just to try and get your song played. Where any romantic movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio set the bar for how love should be played out. Dating in the '90s was all about sincerity and grand gestures. If you've got a hankering for some romantic nostalgia, and someone you'd like to tell you love, here's how you can declare you love someone like you would have in the '90s.
1. Slide A Note Into Their Locker
Before you slid into someone's DMs, you slid notes into their lockers. Write a love letter to your honey in the ultimate display of '90s (or any other era before texting, really) affection.
2. Play Them A Song From The Romeo + Juliet Soundtrack
When I was 12 I told a boy I liked him by playing him "Kissing You" by Des'ree. True story. This actually happened in the '90s, so you can totally do it now if you want to get some throwback love happening.
3. Give Them A Mix Tape You Painstakingly Made Yourself
It doesn't have to be a tape, because they probably have no where to play it, but also, how romantic to not only find a way to make a tape, and then hand draw the cover as you would have in the '90s. The effort and thought means much more than their ability to play it anyway. Or you could make a mix CD. Just as long as you put as much effort into it as you would have in the '90s.
4. Call Them To Speak On The Phone For At Least Four Hours
These days interactions with your loved one (when you're not in their company) are brief, and driven by text and social media. Take the time to call your lover like you would have in the '90s, and have one of those four hour (or longer!) conversations that ends with you both falling asleep after midnight, breathing into the receiver. LOVE.
5. Dedicate A Song To Them On The Radio
There was no better way to not only declare, but prove love in the '90s, than dedicating a song on the radio. It required the commitment and persistence of constant calling, which is an act of pure love.
6. Tell Them "You're My Lobster"
True '90s kids will understand that this means so much more than "I love you" anyway.
7. Give Them A Thoughtful Valentine
In the '90s, you put a lot of effort into Valentine's Day. It might be cheesy, but go back to that. Embrace romance and the silliness of it all! Or just make them an "I choo-choo-choose you card," because that's both funny and sweet.
8. Nickname Them Jack Or Rose
Romeo and Juliet, Ross and Rachel, and Zack and Kelly have nothing on the love of Jack and Rose. If you want to declare love and also proclaim yourselves to be the ultimate '90s couple, you must be nicknamed Jack and Rose.
9. Make Matching Friendship Bracelets
Declarations of love in the '90s were all about the effort you put in. Grab some colored yarn and remind yourself how to make friendship bracelets. It's apparently like riding a bike: you never forget! Plus your love will have something unique to show them how you feel.
10. Sing "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" To Them
Grand gestures were also all over '90s love. If you want to be really bold, get up in front of a room full of people and sing "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" to your love, à la Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You.
11. Compose A Long, Convoluted Monologue With Lots Of Pop Culture and Literary References But Make It Seem Ad Libbed
The '90s were also a very Richard Linklater-y time for introspective monologues that proclaimed love in the most existential, round-about ways. Craft your own '90s inspired monologue of love, and deliver it in the style of Ethan Hawke.