The lights are dim, the room is laden with neon streamers, and you're making sexy eyes (or something like that) at your crush with the frosted tips. Ah, romance in the 2000s. For those of us who had at least a portion of our adolescence in the decade, it was a primo time to hope you'd fall in love on the dance floor to your favorite turn-of-the-millennium ballad (and then use it in a LiveJournal post that night). Of course, there were natural staples for slow dances in the 2000s, no matter what the occasion was.
It's true — from homecoming to prom night, from bat mitzvahs to that first wedding where you managed to grab some appletinis at the open bar, they all include distinct memories connected to the same goddamn songs. And now, some of them have even morphed into nostalgic standards. Which is great, if you love attending your college roommate's engagement party and having them play something that reminds you of the first time someone grabbed your butt through some taffeta monstrosity. Sigh.
But if you are sentimental for those times, join me as we dance down memory lane and revisit the essential slow dance songs of the '00s.
1"I Hope You Dance" - Lee Ann Womack
Loud "duh" on this one. It's a very important message to send a bunch of tweens who are glued to opposite sides of the gymnasium, divided by gender.
2"Here's To The Night" - Eve 6
It was the night you felt alive, and like, totally went to second base under the bleachers.
3"Hero" - Enrique Iglesias
I feel like if you're going to put "Hero" in the title of a song, it's gonna be intense, and this is no exception.
4"If I Ain't Got You" - Alicia Keys
This song played as you watched your crush forlornly from a distance dance with some chick who isn't wearing a training bra still.
5"You're Beautiful" - James Blunt
At least James Blunt thought that your gawky, brace-faced self was a vision in spaghetti straps.
6"You And Me" - Lifehouse
The kind of song that you bet hard money was on a Now That's What I Call Music! album. (It was Now 20, I was guessing 5.)
7"Fix You" - Coldplay
Actually TBH, I can't confirm if anyone actually danced to this at the Snowflake Dance. It just gives me fond memories of The O.C.
8"The Only Exception" - Paramore
Fun fact: I actually can't listen to this song past the chorus because it gets me choked up and there's no reason for it — no PacSun sales associate ex-boyfriend who declared it was "Our Song."
And blah blah blah, the video debuted in 2010, which is at best skating a line about what constitutes "2000s," and honestly I had graduated high school by that point, but I'm just getting really emotional right now, so shut up.
9"A Moment Like This" - Kelly Clarkson
Dude, you had the bravery to ask Skylar if he wanted to "dance or something," and he said yes. That's almost like winning the first season of American Idol.
10"I'm With You" - Avril Lavigne
For those of you who paired your dress with wrist warmers and bad liquid eyeliner.
11"She Will Be Loved" - Maroon 5
This was a very sweet first dance for your fresh-out-of-college older cousin's wedding, until you remember how disturbing this music video was.