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16 Things That Were Considered Romantic In The Past But Would Absolutely Not Land Today

Recently, Reddit user sabletoothtiger_ asked the community, "What was considered romantic in the past that would absolutely not land today?"

Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, and Cameron Diaz in "My Best Friend's Wedding"
TriStar Pictures

Welp, folks didn't hold anything back, and revealed some pretty cringey and problematic "romantic tactics" that are very outdated.

Will Smith and Eva Mendes in "Hitch"
Columbia Pictures

Like, imagine pulling one of these "moves" on someone in the year 2024? Absolutely not.

Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross in "The Graduate"
Embassy Pictures

So, here are some things that folks considered "romantic" but should be retired completely:

Note: Some stories include topics of sexual harassment. Please proceed with caution.

1."My dad was a hairdresser, and my mom was a client. His boss told him not to bother her, as he's a bit overbearing and the boss liked my mom. My dad got all of her details from the appointment book (her name, address, and phone number), and drove past her house every day multiple times a day. She rejected him, and he kept pursuing her, even waiting outside her work for her to finish in an alley (he'd wear a black coat and gloves). His only concern was that he'd look suspicious because the alley was between her work and a bank. I tell him he stalked my mom and that's not good. His only response has ever been, 'If I hadn't, you wouldn't exist.' Cool, dad..."

u/Reasonable-Day-3282

Dan Levy in "Schitt's Creek"
Pop

2."My mom met my dad in the '50s when she brought her car to his shop to be repaired. After fixing the car, he disconnected her battery so she'd have to come back again until she went out with him. This was a 'romantic tale' they told everyone, and got much applause every single time. But today? A woman's friends and family members would be screaming RED FLAG and urge her to call the police and file charges."

u/NickDanger3di

3."When my dad started pursuing my mom at the college they attended, he went to the records office and got her schedule (apparently, anyone could do that at the time). He waited outside every single one of her classrooms to walk her to her next class. He did this for a week — she thought it was both slightly annoying and romantic."

u/inflammable

"Today it would be considered as stalking."

u/Electronic_Alfalfa93

"Even then it was stalking..."

u/AstralLibelula

Naya Rivera on "Glee"
Fox

4."We were listening to our friend recount the story of how she met her much older then-husband. He mass-messaged all the women in a Facebook group in their area, and forgot about her for a while when he was trying to date another girl who responded to his mass message. She didn't like him and blocked him after she found out it was a mass message. But, he found out where she worked and kept showing up — so many red flags. We were horrified as the story kept going and going and going. Eventually, we had to stop her and ask, 'When does this story get "cute?" This all seems manipulative and creepy.' Still never found out why she married him."

u/11235813213455away

5."My dad followed my mom across the country. She was doing an internship where he worked, and when it was over, she had to go back home to Texas. They weren’t dating or anything — she had a boyfriend at the time. But my dad said he couldn’t 'let her get away,' so he jumped in his shitty car and drove to Texas."

u/masegesege

6."You see it in old movies. The hero grabs the heroine tight and forcibly plants a kiss (like, dude — what the actual fuck?). If my boyfriend tried that on me, he'd get a slap (and a clawing from the cat). That and the variations of the 'girl struggling to get away, but then melts into the forcible kiss.' Yeah, right..."

u/PureDeidBrilliant

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in "Gone with the Wind"
MGM

7."My dad was a construction worker who frequented the pub across the street from my grandpa's fast food restaurant where my mom worked. She was already friends with all of my dad's siblings, but didn't meet my dad until he started frequenting the place. My dad fell head over heels in love, and asked my mom out after waiting for her after she finished her shift. She lived above the restaurant, but saw him waiting for her. So, she went to ask what was up. He asked her out, and my mom said no. He was very drunk (and he's a very dramatic man), and he proceeded to lie down in the street and say that his life had no meaning if she didn't want to give him a chance. He 'might as well just die.'"

"She scoffed, thinking he'd get up if a car came. A massive truck came, driving FAST — it got closer and closer, and he didn't get up. My mom had to SCREAM for him to get up, and that she'd go out with him — he jumped up last-minute.

So, yeah: My dad emotionally manipulated my mom into giving him a shot by threatening suicide. Yikes.

They had me three years later (I was planned). But when I was 3, he cheated on my mom and gaslit her about it and emotionally destroyed her. Honestly, I think she should've just let him get run over that night. 💀"

u/spectrophilias

8."When I was in high school (it was shortly after 9/11), my mom told me that the best way to get a girl interested in you was to find out where her locker was and leave anonymous notes, poems, and gifts. And if she didn’t respond, find out where she lives and leave gifts in her mailbox. Apparently, that’s how every single one of her high school boyfriends decided to woo her, and she loved it. This did not get me a girlfriend, but it did get me a very uncomfortable conversation with a police officer. Pretty sure if someone tried to pull a stunt like that in 2024, they’d probably end up in jail."

u/NightOnFuckMountain

Ryan Gosling in "The Notebook"
New Line Cinema

9."Picking a fight with the man she is dating."

u/IfICouldStay

"The last woman I dated before I met my wife was like that. She did it so that I would 'fight for her' and the relationship. She was a lovely, kind, and generous person apart from that.

But after the third time she did that and she faked breaking up with me, I walked away. We were both in our 30s — I didn't have the time to be playing those kind of games."

u/Whitino

10."Asking a woman’s father for her hand in marriage. Why ask the man who won’t be living with you and laughing at your jokes, won’t be your friend/life partner dealing with all the ups and downs of life, and won’t be having sex with you? WTH does he know about being a wife or the right woman for you? Besides — she belongs to herself. Only she can freely give herself (or refuse to) to anyone. It’s 2024, for goodness' sake! She’s not a cow, a car, or a cooking pan — and most importantly, she’s not a bargaining chip."

u/alwaysboopthesnoot

11."Speeding over 80 mph on the road, cutting through lanes of traffic, and not wearing a seatbelt to impress her while she's riding in the passenger seat."

u/Upbeat_Tension_8077

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in "Grease"
Paramount Pictures

12."When I was in high school (due to rom-com dramas), it was very 'romantic' when a guy was mean and cold to a girl. The meaner he was, 'the better.'"

u/Klutzy-Guidance-7078

13."Standing outside their window and serenading them with songs, and following them everywhere they go until they say yes. IRL today that's called stalking and harassment."

u/llcucf80

14."Dashing through security at the airport in order to confess your love at the last moment before she boards the plane."

u/MareTranquil

"Yeah, you try that now and you'll get tackled by security."

u/KingPinfanatic

David Schwimmer on "Friends"
NBC

15."Sending unsolicited love letters or showing up unannounced at someone's home. In today's society, these actions would be perceived as intrusive or even creepy."

u/legend0920

"I read a book as a kid where the main character's parents met because he was a postman and would substitute her boyfriend's letters with his own. That would probably get you sacked (if not worse) for violating postal secret and a restraining order today."

u/tururut_tururut

16.And, "My grandmother 'fondly' recounts the story of how she met my grandfather in '50s Brooklyn. She resembled some of the women in Coca-Cola ads — she took a break from her Macy's modeling gig at the base of a skyscraper. While on break with friends, she was cat-called by a group of rugged construction workers (including my grandpa). Despite acknowledging the cultural differences of that time, she recalls feeling an 'undeniable, magnetic attraction' toward him, and they’ve been married for 60 years."

u/foodpoisoningsucks

Quinta Brunson on "Abbott Elementary"
ABC

Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.