Boys bands have been around for decades but the 90’s and early 2000’s saw a substantial boom in the amount of boys singing and dancing in sync (N’Sync?), wooing girls across the world, and embedding unrealistic expectations into our fragile, pre-pubescent minds. If it weren’t for them, maybe this generation of twenty-somethings wouldn’t have such high expectations when it comes to relationships (and break-ups).
1. God must have spent….a lot less time teaching guys romance.
Since we were about eleven, us girls have been watching MTV in awe, memorizing song lyrics and dance moves from our favourite music videos, and hoping to one day find a guy who would tell us that he would love us “More Than That”. We started believing early on that romance is possible and that if a guy really loves us he’ll dress up in white and tell us “God must have spent a little more time on you”, babe. Sure guys like this do exist, but for the most part, boy bands of the 90’s made us believe that we’re unlucky if our boyfriend or husband doesn’t smoothly caress us while gently singing “I’ll Make Love to You”. The truth is, you probably have a great partner even if he doesn’t show it to you the way you imagined he would. If he helps you, cares for you, and remembers the little things, then stop thinking you’re getting the short end of the stick. If you have a regular guy who is showing he cares in a regular way you should simply feel blessed to be loved.
2. It’s an All or Nothing World
Growing up in our generation, we learned through music that when guys like you and they want to be with you they will confess this to the world. We began to yearn for a guy to swoop in after an awful breakup and profess “I’ll never break your heart” (and really mean it). When we grew older, we thought it would be sexy for that boytoy we’re kind of playing to just come right out and tell us he wants it “All or Nothing”. Straight up with a side of Ashley Angel. Boys bands taught us early on that when guys are in love, they will always express it. The truth is, anyone with half a brain knows that men can be incredibly hard to read and deceivingly cryptic, meaning 90s pop is all just a sweet, sweet fantasy. Sorry to say but you will most likely never date a guy who tells you he loves you via choreographed dance moves in the middle of a forest. And if a guy is man enough to come right out and tell you how he feels about you, know that it might have been hard for him to do. Appreciate it and don’t brush it off as nothing.
3. Because of You… Girls believe break-ups are not the end
If 90’s pop taught us anything, it was that guys always come back after a break up. We began to think that after a spat with our man, he’d show up at our doorstep telling us how he couldn’t live without us. Preferably something along the lines of “You’re my sunshine after the rain, You’re the cure against my fear and my pain, cause I’m losing my mind when you’re not around, it’s all because of you” or maybe he’d rather go deeper and tell us “Although we’ve come to the end of the road, still I can’t let go”. Either way, when Millenials go through a break-up you can be certain they’re thinking about how he’s gonna find a way “Back to Your Heart”. While it is true that getting through a break-up is hard for all parties involved, you shouldn’t bank on him coming back in full romantic force, even if he does “Miss You Like Crazy”. If he does, by all means, you have a keeper so take the guy back!
4. I’ll Be Loving You Forever…means FOREVER
No wonder so many people in Generation Y can’t let go of their exes. Silly us, we thought that when boys said forever, they meant longer than a couple of years! Hearing some of our first boy band crushes swoon “I’ll Be Loving You Forever” actually encrypted all of our minds with an explosive device which has led to many giant explosions in the wake of break-ups worldwide–terminating some women’s belief that forever could even be real. Forever does exist, happily ever after can come true, and if your guy says “This I Promise You” accept his words and don’t be disappointed if he doesn’t precede it with “And I will take, You in my arms, And hold you right where you belong, Till the day my life is through”. That’s just pushing it. You can still dream though.
5. If You Get Down on Me…. No wonder we’re so sexual
It really is no surprise that Millennials, for the most part, are much more sexualized than generations before us. We learned all about sex on the radio with our parents in the same room. Back then, we kinda knew the lyrics meant something dirty but listening again now, it’s no wonder so many girls think that guys only want one thing (which is only true part of the time). We’ve been exposed to what happens “When the Lights Go Out” and we even found out early on about the give and take of sex: “If you get down on me, I’ll get down on you”. How romantic. We even learnt which type of guy would do it best: “If You Want It To Be Good Girl (get yourself a bad boy)”. Oh yes, we Millennials were all but destined to become a generation of sexy people. Just don’t believe it all. There are some good guys out there who may be even better in bed than the “bad boys” and the best relationships don’t always start in the dark. Don’t let those sneaky boy band lyrics make you drop your panties too soon–even if that’s what we’ve all come to terms with.
Between 98 Degrees, New Kids on The Block, BSB, N’Sync, Five, and O-Town, our expectations for what relationships should be like sure got fucked up. While it’s always great to fantasize about your soul mate, dressed in all-white, crooning Boyz II Men to you, don’t hold out on creating your own reality with a regular guy who may love you more than any of those songs could ever convey. When all else fails, pray that Justin Timberlake divorces Jessica Biel and runs into you at the grocery store.
Your 90’s Girl,
The Love Hawk