Whenever I got home from a long, tiring day of high school, the famous 1987 chick-flick Dirty Dancing was popped into my DVD player within seconds. My friend Natalia and I would quote the whole movie while attempting to learn the graceful moves of Jennifer Grey’s character, Baby. We didn’t just love it for the dancing and vibrant music though, but also because, let’s face it, Patrick Swayze is HOT. I became infatuated with eighties movies, not only for the fashion and atmosphere, but also for the chivalrous men who stepped out onto the big screen to steal our hearts. Needless to say, these men set the bar for what I expected dating to entail.
Here are 8 men from the eighties that turned me into a total dating snob with high expectations:
1. Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing. The forbidden are always the more tempting ones. When Johnny is prohibited from mingling with the girls other than to teach them to dance, things get heated between him and main character Baby. To be swept across the floor by him would be a dream come true. Seriously, who doesn’t want those arms around them?
2. John Stamos as Uncle Jesse in Full House. He’s caring, funny, and gorgeous. Do we really need another reason to love him? Just look at the hair! Bonus: he’s super adorable with kids.
3. Ralph Macchio as Daniel in Karate Kid. He went from knowing nothing to being the best. If you’ve got moves and you’re cute, then you’ve got me. Someone like him to protect me? Yes, please. 4. Michael Schoeffling as Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles. As Samantha (Molly Ringwald) pines over this cutie, so does everyone else watching at home. Pretty sure I melted when Jake brought Sam a cake for her birthday in the end. Bringing me food is the way to my heart.
5. Judd Nelson as Bender in the Breakfast Club. This hottie surprisingly stole our hearts by being nothing more than mean and indifferent towards his peers until the very end when he had a change of heart. I’m a sucker for a bad boy (with a secretly good heart).
6. John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything. I don’t think there’s anything more romantic than a boombox serenade. ‘Nuff said.
7. Rob Lowe as Sodapop Curtis in The Outsiders. Being cute isn’t the only thing that caught my eye about this guy. Exclusively in love with his girlfriend Sandy, he showed me that men are capable of staying faithful to one girl at a time.
8. All of The Outsiders men can marry me if they want. My favorite book of all time brought us a movie full of cute boys and I couldn’t be happier. Johnny Cade was always my favorite.
My mother made fun of me for the “80’s men” phase I went through because not many teens were obsessed with men who were contemporarily in their forties and fifties. I didn’t care though, because watching those movies made me feel like maybe I’d meet someone like those guys one day. Yes the eighties are long gone, but that doesn’t mean chivalry had to die with them. I believe that one day I’ll find my guy, and if he’s the right one for me, then I’ll get that “boombox out my window” serenade one way or another. I just have to be patient.
Featured image via screengrab of Full House