What Was AOL Instant Messenger Used For? It Was Basically The First Dating App Ever & People On Twitter Are Sharing Their Love Stories

AOL Instant Messenger is dead and I don't know how to handle it. Well, it will be dead as of December 15th, according to a recent announcement. AIM was a defining part of my teenager years— and the teenage years of most of my friends. We talked all day at school, then set up times to log onto AIM in the evening. It helped ease the lonely transition from high school to college. It kept me in contact with friends around the world. But, more than any of that, it was basically the first dating app. Teenage romances lived and died on AIM. And so it's no surprise that people are taking to Twitter to share their AIM-based love stories. OK, maybe love stories is a little strong. Really people are sharing their excruciating crush stories, which seem fare more appropriate for AIM.

Because that's what it was really about— your crush. Sure, I had huge fights with my first boyfriend over AIM after he went to college, but that's not what stands out in my memory. It's the painstakingly chosen bio quotes meant to signal something to the person you liked, it's the cheesy lyrics in an away message that you hoped would goad them into messaging you. How you danced with joy when you crush logged on and felt completely devastated when they left again before you had a chance to speak with them. And, if you were anything like me, you sent way too many messages 'by accident' in order to start up a conversation. It all felt so important. So let's take a moment of silence for all that AIM gave us.

Phew. Alright, now just to prove that I'm not alone in my pathetic attempts to get people's attention, it's time to see how many other people did the same. Because if #RIPAIM is anything to go by, my experience was all too common. AIM was one of the best ways to establish contact with your crush— and, for that, it was really is the mother of all dating apps. Just with way more song lyrics. Take a look at these memories.

Check out Bustle's 'Save The Date' and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

1. This Important Use Of Quotes

Chris Kooki-noose 👻 on Twitter

So many of my first relationships were really way more like "relationships". And AIM was a huge part of all of them.

2. This Brief Courtship

Yosh on Twitter

AIM was the safest way to ask someone out. Fact.

3. This Full Circle Relationship

Berit Mansour on Twitter

It is the beginning— and the end— of all of us, really.

4. This Lasting Romance

Ben Dee-knee on Twitter

AIM was the best for flirting because you couldn't always "LOL JKJKJK" your way out of any awkward situation. Or at least you could try.

5. This Conversation We All Had

Alyssa Tripp on Twitter

I mean, that literally could have been any of my attempts at flirting.

6. This Burn That's Still Stinging

Matt Croteau on Twitter

We've all been there. Alllllll been there.

7. Crafting The Perfect Away Message

dratula on Twitter

"This will get my crush's attention... definitely. Definitely."

8. So Cryptic

Myke on Twitter

My personal favorite was: ICFTFA. Secret code for: I can't fight this feeling any more. I had a lot of feelings. I didn't really try to fight them.


Will Reeve on Twitter

Seriously, it was panic stations in the best possible way. I had ALL OF THE FEELINGS.

10. The Old Bait And Switch

Xander Schultz 🤼‍♂️ on Twitter

Same, Xander. Same.

11. "Sorry Wrong Person"

sade baderinwa on Twitter

It was never the wrong person. It was never, ever the wrong person. It was all part of the plan.

12. This Cry For Help

#DCSports Playoffs on Twitter


13. This Crushing Pain

Jackie 🍚🥑 on Twitter

I do remember. Oh god, I do. You knew you missed your chance and you just couldn't forgive yourself.

14. Your Got "Hacked"

Ben Rajadurai on Twitter

... I got "hacked" a lot. Like, a lot.

15. This Parent's Nightmare

R.D. Evans on Twitter

The original cat-fishing opportunity.

AIM was a huge part of my romantic development— stumbling through flirting attempts, having relationships spats, and riding a rollercoaster of emotion. Maybe I haven't used it in close to a decade, but I still can't believe it's gone. RIP, AIM— and thanks for the memories. The cringe-y, cringe-y memories.