19 Romantic Songs to Slow Dance To, According To Your Middle School Self — LISTEN

I don't know about you, but for me, middle school was and, hopefully, always will be, what I categorize as the most awkwardly painful time in my life. I quite literally stumbled through those three middle school years like a newborn Bambi, unsure of myself and uncomfortable in my own, changing skin. I mean listen, I know that navigating that little microcosm of pubescent pre-teens with my recently sprung boobs, frizzy hair, and horrible, peer-influenced pop culture obsessions was a rite of passage. But, nothing seemed too "right" about junior high Nothing at all.

And, that wrongness includes all those things deemed "romantic" and "sweet" by my far too easily impressed self. So, if you were covertly passed a crumbled up piece of notebook paper reading "8th grade banquet with me? Y/N?," or, if you went to your end of year dance stag like yours truly, it doesn’t matter. There were still those particular songs so impossibly romantic that your clumsy, insecure middle school self thought were worthy enough to actually slow dance to. You know, slow dancing, as in standing a foot away from your partner, who was inches shorter than you, as he shakily gripped your hips as you strained to steady yourself against his bony shoulders.

So, here are those very slow jams that made your 13-year-old heart skip a beat:

Jessica Simpson, "Take My Breath Away"

jessicasimpsonVEVO on YouTube

The best part of this song was all her riffs, during which you could sloppily attempt to tongue your date.

98 Degrees, "My Everything"

98DegreesVEVO on YouTube

Um, because Nick and Jessica are true love. Were. Were true love.

I'm still coming to terms with it.

Ginuwine, "Differences"

abraham vega on YouTube

*Tries to snap to the beat* *Fails miserably* *Does it anyway*

*NSYNC, "This I Promise You"

NSYNCVEVO on YouTube

N*Sync really knew how to set a mood.

Evan and Jaron, "Crazy For This Girl"

EvanAndJaronVEVO on YouTube

One of those songs that switches the tempo mid sway leaving everyone perplexed... so you did the only logical thing: Speed sway. Lots of dislocated hips.

Usher ft. Alicia Keys, "My Boo"

UsherVEVO on YouTube

"My oh, my oh, my oh, my oOoh, my boOoOoOoOo."

Kid Rock ft. Sheryl Crow, "Picture"

Kid Rock on YouTube

At which point you'd ditch the dude you were dancing with to sway in a circle with your gals pals in an impassioned duet.

John Mayer, "Your Body is a Wonderland"

johnmayerVEVO on YouTube

When the thought of a bubblegum tongue was actually super enticing and not at all in a sexual way.

Frankie J, "More Than Words"

FrankieJVEVO on YouTube

*Crosses fingers crush holds his hand out and asks you to dance* *Walks right by you to ask your friend*

Vanessa Carlton, "A Thousand Miles"

VanessaCarltonVEVO on YouTube

Now this was a song to have a first kiss to.

Ryan Cabrera, "True"

Atlantic Records on YouTube

Ryan Cabrera, man. What a freakin' Casanova.

Lifehouse, "You and Me"

LifehouseVEVO on YouTube

You...and me...and all of the people. So meta, that you were making your own music video to this in your mind.

Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz ft. Usher and Ludacris, "Lovers & Friends"

460093722 on YouTube

One of those overtly sensual jams where all the chaperones were on high alert.

Frankie J, "Obsession (No Es Amor)"

FrankieJVEVO on YouTube

Because let's face it, everything sounds more romantic in Spanish.

Fantasia Barrino, "Truth Is"

FantasiaVEVO on YouTube

*Lays head on ex-boyfriend of 2 weeks shoulder* *Hopes he gets the hint*

Jesse McCartney, "Beautiful Soul"

JesseMcCartneyVEVO on YouTube

You thought if you closed your eyes and wished hard enough you could will Jesse McCartney onto the dance floor so he could whisk you away to a beach or like a roller skating rink or something.

Mario, "Let Me Love You"

MarioVEVO on YouTube

When all the unrequited lovers made their way to the dance floor.

*NSYNC, "God Must Have Spent Just A Little More Time On You"

NSYNCVEVO on YouTube

1. Get asked out.

2. Leave dance floor to retrieve your T-Mobile Sidekick.

3. Change signature on all texts to: *~* aShLey nD kyLe 4evR 143 *~*

Mandy Moore, "Cry"

Jee Lee on YouTube

Because more than a few eager couples got their braces stuck to this song.