11 Insane Differences Between Dating In The 90s Versus Dating Today

Seriously. It's a scary world out there.

young couple Norb_KM / Shutterstock

Remember dating in the 1990s? If you weren't born yet or didn't have the privilege of dating in that spectacular decade, you don't know what you were missing.

No one had their faces stuck to their iPhone, and there was no such thing as an "influencer."

Romance still felt like a possible thing back then, nothing like what modern dating looks like today.

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Here are 11 insane differences between dating in the '90s and dating today:

1. Finding a date

Then: Have your friends set you up with someone they know. You will probably not see this person until the moment you actually meet unless your friend has a picture of them in an old photo album from college, so make sure you get a detailed description of what they look like over the phone. Hope they don't lie. 

Now: You swiped right because they were hot.

2. Narrowing down your choices

Then: You could also check the personal ads in the back of your city's weekly newspaper. Look for SWM, SBF, GHM, etc. 


Now: Tinder, OKCupid, Bumble, Grindr, the list of dating apps is pretty much endless. Look for a single yet polyamorous, non-gender-conforming, #sexpositive, post-colonial, anti-Imperialist, non-capitalist, vegan, pan-sexual, multi-lingual, agnostic feminist who's cool with a little light BDSM on special occasions.

3. Discovering hidden bits of information

Then: Ask mutual friends to tell you about them. 

Now: Stalk the living crap out of them on social media to be sure they're hot/interesting/have a job/aren't catfishing you. Google and Reverse Image Search are your best friends. Then lose interest completely because, eww, he used the X-Pro filter way too much on Instagram, and suffers from an embarrassing case of hashtag abuse. And she has a disturbing number of duck-faced selfies and might possibly charge people to watch her do laundry naked over a webcam.

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4. Determining if they are your "type"

Then: What's your sign? Ooohh, Scorpio! 

Now: What's your Myers Briggs type? Ugh, an INFJ? Boring. I'm looking for more of an ENFP. Sorry.

5. Getting in contact

Then: You have to call their house to talk to them. Someone else (Roommate? Sibling? Parent?) will answer. You will have to ask if they are there. 

There will be an elaborate song and dance involving hanging up one receiver and picking up the phone in the upstairs bedroom as opposed to the one in the kitchen where there's no privacy. There may also be messages written down on scraps of paper if they aren't home.

You will have severe anxiety wondering if their little sister actually gave them the message, if it was written down correctly, or if they can read the handwriting. If you're lucky, you can just leave a message on their answering machine and hope their dad doesn't erase it. 


Now: Text them. It's way easier not having to talk to anyone.

6. Going out on an actual date

Then: Allow the guy to pick you up at your house in his car. 

Now: Hell no is anyone letting a strange dude pick them up at home? You've seen the ID Channel. Everyone is a narcissist/sociopath/rapist/cannibal-axe murderer/ISIS recruiter these days.

7. Passing the test of chivalry

Then: Do not fail the test. You know, the one where after he opens your car door you have to reach over and unlock the driver's side door before he gets in. 

Now: Automated door locks. Instead, the girl now has to offer to pay. This test goes both ways, however, because the guy must absolutely not let her. Ever.


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8. Getting to your date destination

Then: When you're driving to the place where you're going to meet, as you drive you will need to refer to elaborate handwritten directions on a piece of notebook paper that she dictated to you in advance of the date, over the phone. 

Now: Seriously? Uber that sh*t.

9. Preparing for sexual encounters, just in case

Then: Shave your legs below the knee. 

Now: Go get a full Brazilian. Even if you're a man.


10. Committing to pre-date dieting

Then: Pre-date crash diet, so you aren't bloated. 

Now: Do a three-day juice cleanse that costs $150 so you can rid your body of toxins and make a good impression, which you will not do if your body is harboring toxins.

11. Deciding what to do on the date

Then: Dinner and a movie (as in, actual restaurant and theater). 

Now: Netflix and chill

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Victoria Fedden is a writer and author of Amateur Night at the Bubblegum Kittikat and This is Not My Beautiful Life. Her writing has appeared in Real Simple, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Huffington Post, Redbook, Elephant Journal, Scary Mommy, and more.