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How to Romance like: The 1990s

The Hairpin

Via: What It Was Like to Date in the 90s - The Hairpin

Dating is hard at the best of times, but what was it like in the 90s without our smartphone apps? Today we will be going back in time, 23 years to 1999 when the internet was still new, video stores were still billion-dollar businesses, and the most popular toy was an electronic pixel creature inside your pocket. 

Renting A Movie 

Renting A Movie

Via: Blockbuster Video Party Game Will Rewind You Back to the 90s (movieweb.com)

If you wanted to stay in and watch a movie or tv show of demand, this meant a trip to the local blockbuster video store. 

I miss the days of being able to leave the house and go to a place where you could be surprised by a movie title you would have looked over otherwise. And the counter person often was a movie geek, so they could offer the best advice on the type of movie you were after.

Then when you get home, after getting some movie popcorn from the same video rental place, you can enjoy a romantic evening with superb VHS quality on a CRT.

Online Dating

Online Dating

Via: History of Online Dating - Dating Sites Reviews

If you are stumped for dates, this was the decade where online dating started. Before the invention of the internet, people did meet through other means such as dating services, newspaper ads, and of course, in person. However, online dating took it to the next level as it was free and international. 

One of the earliest dating websites was Matched.com, and countless stories have been told about couples that met and started dating on this website. I even know of people who met on here, moved to MMOs such as Runescape, and eventually married.

Dating Game Shows

Dating Game Shows

Via: 15 ways dating was different in the nineties | Metro News

Dating game shows have been around since the mid-1960s, with shows like ‘The Dating Show’ Chuck Harris set up to match participants with perfect dates. However, in the 1990s, this reached a whole new level as people could participate in truly raunchy public TV. 

Popular shows included any shows by Jerry Springer and ‘Blind Date’.  So if you wanted your moment and fame and a chance at having ‘true love’ thrown at you by tv execs, then this was a great option (s).

What to Wear on a 90’s Date?

 90’s Date

Via: ALL ABOUT 90s Fashion (Over 100 Popular Trends & Ideas) (thevou.com)

Girls in the 1990s wore various styles, so this will be a quick overview of what they might have worn on a date. 

  • Soft knitted tops paired with pleat jeans, a large belt, and lace-up boots were a popular combination. 
  • Denim dresses. Pretty much denim on denim was a style in itself! 
  • Cottage ‘peasant-style’ dresses with belts.
  • High-raised ‘mom’ jeans.
  • Oversized sweaters!
  • Preppy pencil skirts with blazers.
  • Neon gym clothes.
  • Puffer Jackets and canvas shoes. 
  • ‘Jelly’ shoes.

As for the males' style? They matched bright colors and oversized sweats with their 90s spin.

  • Baggy Jeans.
  • Over-sized pop culture or brand printed shirts.
  • Overalls.
  • Sleeved polos.
  • Basketball sneakers.
  • Basketball shirts.
  • Baseball hats.
  • Leather jackets

What to Watch?

What to Watch

Via: Best 90s Movies of All Time — An Awesome 90s Movies List (studiobinder.com)

So what to watch in the 1990s on a date? Soo many great movies came out in this decade, with some old classics. If we stuck with a recent release, you might also go to the theatres to see it on a date. We have honorable mentions. 

  1. The Matrix
  2. Titanic
  3. Forest Gump
  4. The Truman Show
  5. Scream
  6. Groundhog Day
  7. Any 1990s Disney (Lion King and Toy Story)
  8. Nightmare Before Christmas
  9. Jurassic Park
  10. Silence of the Lambs

What to Ride?

What to Ride

Via: The best cars of the 1990s | Auto Express

Even in 2022, many cars we still see on the roads today are from the 1990s, but what was popular during that decade? We used America as the case study to answer this question.

  • Dodge Caravan (1992)
  • Ford (F-Series) (1992 - 1996)
  • BMW (5-Series) (1987 - 1996)
  • Honda Accord  (1989 - 1993)
  • Acura Integra (1994-2001)
  • Ford Mustang (1994-1998)
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata (1989-1999)
  • Jeep Cherokee XJ (1984-2001)

90’s Gift Ideas

90’s Gift Ideas

Via: Best 1990s Stocking-Stuffer Gifts | 2020 | POPSUGAR Love & Sex

You want to romance like the 1990s, but what can you get that was popular during this decade? We will give you a quick list of the popular toys and gadgets that could provide some inspiration for this question.

  • Tamagotchi
  • Jelly pens
  • Trollz
  • Hair jell
  • Electronic Doodle devices 
  • Patterned from famous Nick cartoons such as Rugrats
  • Stickers
  • A mobile (Nokia 9210)
  • A subscription to Windows95
  • A Manual on ‘how to traverse the internet.’
  • Aqua music CD
  • VHS player
  • A personal compilation of songs on a CD.
  • Elder Scrolls Daggerfall
  • DOOM for Windows DOS

The Best 1990s Food!

Best 1990s Food

Via: 90s treats | 90s food, Old school candy, Snacks (pinterest.nz)

We often look back fondly on previous decades with a smile on our faces forgetting some of the downsides to being without what we have now. Such is also valid with food and candies. So what was on offer for food when it came to dating?

What could you buy at Mcdonald's in the 1990s?

  • Even if you were an adult, you would want a kid's meal to get their vastly superior children’s toys.  
  • You could get an all-day breakfast, so if you wanted those hashbrowns for dinner, you could!
  • Chicken tenders
  • Bagels
  • Onion nuggets
  • Meat-soaked fries
  • Hula burger
  • Fish mcbites

What were popular candies?

  • Any Wonka-related product.
  • Razzles
  • Chewy Runts
  • Mini-Burgers
  • Bottle pops
  • Warheads
  • Hubba Bubba 

What to Jam out to?

Jam out to

Via: 90s Music: What Defines The Decade That Doesn’t Fit? | uDiscover (udiscovermusic.com)

So you are laying back in your room with your CD player primed and ready with your date just about to arrive, but you are stumped at what to play. What would likely be on your music shelves in the 1990s?

  • Aqua
  • Cher
  • Spice Girls
  • TLC
  • Haddaway
  • Rickey Martin
  • Ace of Base
  • Backstreet Boys
  • NSYNC 
  • Dr. Dre
  • Smash Mouth
  • Oasis

Dating Venues?

Dating Venues

Via: Why Dating in the '90s Was the Best - Thrillist

If you wanted to date, but not just hang around at home, what were the prime spots in the 1990s? You didn’t have the luxury of VR to meet new people, so the only way to physically speak across the same space without waiting for a reply via letter or email was to leave the house.

  • The Arcade: Play a few rounds of classic Pac-man to see who can get the highest score, then enjoy a drink at the milkbar, and the loser pays.
  • The Cinema: See the latest romantic movie, perhaps it is 1995, and Clueless just came out, you can share each other’s popcorn and ‘accidentally’ touch hands simultaneously.
  • Skate Park: See who can stake the best, or maybe one wants the other to teach them how to ride? It's an excellent pre-date activity. 
  • Coffee Shop or Bar: Get a drink and chat as you get to know each other (not so different from 2022!).
  • After school or after-work clubs: A great way to meet new people and show an interest in your partner’s hobbies if you are dating.
  • Road trip (and getting lost with only a shoddy paper map!): Before the invention of GPS, if you wanted to go on a road trip, you needed a map and some level of ability to read it. Often dates led to people getting lost, but that was part of the fun and adventure of not knowing where the next turn might lead them.
  • The Mall: A once-great American pastime was the mall. Still, at the height of its popularity in the 90s, many dates would take place in these prominent places full of shops, eateries, and all types of entertainment venues. You could virtually live a whole life in some of these megamalls. 
    • Early Online Games and Chatrooms: in 1997, you could virtually chat and play with your partner in online games such as Ultima Online. Service providers also had chatrooms for the internet run through AOL (America Online) to chat via email and applications.   

    Rings of The 1990s

    Rings of The 1990s

    Via: 28 Types of Jewelry From the '90s You Were Obsessed With | Childhood memories 90s, Childhood memories, Childhood (pinterest.nz)

    Rings were an iconic part of the decade, particularly those made of plastics to match neon-coloured clothes. You could get plastic rings as kids to wear on every finger and toe, and you were indeed the talk of the playground.

    What about mature wedding rings? 

    By the 1990s, most brides got real diamond rings for their engagement and wedding bands (some say up to 90%). So you could say diamonds were truly a girl's best friend in the 90s.

    Gold bands were popular in the 60s and 70s, but by the 80s and 90s, white gold and platinum rings became greater.  And for the shape of these bands, they were bold and distinct cuts, as was the rise of having large show-off inlaid gems. The bigger the stone, the better.

    Learn more about A History of Rings – Thorum

    Final Thoughts

    The Top 10 ‘90s

    Via: The Top 10 ‘90s Teen Romance Movies to Remember - Ranked - RETROPOND

    We cannot go back to the decade unless time travel becomes a thing, but we can still pretend that we can still replicate precious decades through small moments with a little effort. 

    Romancing in this decade was not so different from today. Sure, we have developed significantly in all aspects of our lives, but there's still something familiar. As a result, we can feel connected more to this decade and its dating rituals than the 1950s and earlier, which still feels alien to me even if I have studied a lot about the subject.

    Check out: How to Romance Like: The 1950s – Thorum

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