Back in the '90s, we didn't have nearly as many channels of communication as kids and teens do today. This limited communication meant a lot of things — one of which was that the ways you broke up with your significant other in the '90s probably look a lot different than the preferred forms of breaking up these days. Snapchat certainly wasn't a thing, the world hadn't yet learned to tweet, and we wouldn't even have MySpace or Facebook until the early '00s. But, hey, you work with what you've got and, in the '90s, that wasn't a lot.
If I'm really being honest, having limited means of communication was kind of a blessing in the disguise when you were going through a breakup back in the day. Being so much less accessible granted us a particular kind of freedom. These days, it's practically impossible to get away from someone if they want to get in touch with you. Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email, text... even YouTube can be used as an avenue of reaching out to your significant other. In the '90s, you had to work a lot harder if you wanted to make sure your SO didn't ignore you.
The following ways us '90s kids broke up with our crushes and significant others back then prove we were a resourceful group, if nothing else.
1You Got Your BFF to Do It For You
We all had that one super sweet friend who was so lovable no one could get mad at her. It was like breaking your SO's heart via kitten-gram.
2You Got Your Bro/Sis/Mom/Dad to Do It For You
If you didn't happen to have a friend fitting the above description, you may have resorted to letting a family member handle your dirty work. Hey, I'm not saying I'm proud of it... I'm just saying that it happened.
3You Stopped Answering the Phone
In the absence of cell phones, we had the ol' fashioned home line kind. If we didn't pick up, our parental units would. It there was an awards ceremony for passive aggressive dumping, this would get the gold.
4You Changed Your AIM Profile or Away Message
You wouldn't actually tell them you were no longer an item; you'd just hope they got the hint from the fact that you removed the cutesy line from your AIM profile that read something like "JS + MC = TrUe LoVe." Remember those passive aggressive awards? This would snag the silver.
5Or Actually Broke Up Via AIM
If this happened in the late '90s, you had the added benefit of being able to use those fun, animated emoji.
6You Made Your Break at the Mall
The mall 'twas the scene of so many seminal memories of our '90s youth, so it only made sense we should have a few breakups there, too. Besides, if you timed it right, you could still squeeze in some shopping or swing by the food court for an Orange Julius and one of those cinnamon pretzels.
7You Wrote Them a Letter
Writing letters was the texting of the '90s — it was our favorite means of communication. And since we had elaborate systems in place for folding and delivering notes between class, it was easy to obliterate your SO's heart via a few melodramatic sentences scrawled on an origami-like piece of paper. Or, if you were feeling really passive aggressive, you could actually mail it to them.
8You Made Them a Special Mix Tape
By "special," I clearly mean "awful," 'cause this mix tape would consist of songs like "Brick" by Ben Folds Five, "Special" by Garbage, "Sleep to Dream" by Fiona Apple, "Insensitive" by Jann Arden, and "Don't Speak" by No Doubt.
9You Called It Quits at the Big Dance
Or the homecoming game. Really any big event would do, because you knew your SO wouldn't make a scene when so many people were around. This worked equally as well in your favor if you were the type who thrived on drama — then you could make a big scene with a built-in audience.
As in, you just kind of... faded away. You simply stopped calling, writing them letters, AIM'ing them, or anything else. Who said ghosting was a modern thing?