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10 Things I Hate About You

Taming the wild beast isn’t ideal, and falling in love isn’t the plan, but miracles happen.

On March 31, 1999, teenagers across the nation jumped with joy at the release of a hot new movie — “10 Things I Hate About You.”

Starring Julia Stiles as Kat Stratford and Heath Ledger as Patrick Verona, the romantic comedy-drama revolves around an ill-tempered older sister and a bad boy with a dreamy smile. Even 19 years after the film’s original release, fans are still falling in love with how the male lead manages to win the attention and love of the female lead.

High school romance is like no other time in your life, especially if it involves romantic gestures. The two main characters begin their romance as a way for Kat’s sister Bianca to date before graduating high school, and unsurprisingly, real feelings stir up between Patrick and Kat as they continue to hang out.

A little coaching from Patrick might strengthen your chances of impressing your crush by following these four simple, romantic gestures.

1. Make them laugh

“10 Things I Hate About You” may seem like a hate list, but there are so many moments that make fans laugh even after all these years.

Laughter is the best medicine and the way to someone’s heart. Making your crush laugh is way more memorable than picking on them. Yes, there is the popular phrase that “if a boy picks on a girl or teases her, he really likes her,” but that isn’t always the case. Take a hint from Patrick and make your crush laugh like no one else can.

You don’t have to make a big gesture like Patrick when he recruits the marching band to help him impress Kat. You don’t even have to try too hard with your jokes.

Instead, just be yourself and have fun. An initially awkward conversation can turn into easy laughter when you both start relaxing and having a good time. It’s hard to forget nerves, but laughter goes a long way.

10 Things I Hate About You
Laughter goes a long way (Image via We Heart It)

Remember this: Making someone laugh, smile and truly enjoy the conversation is more important than teasing them every day until they ask if you have a crush on them.

If you go the former route, you both are far more likely to fall naturally for each other instead of forcing the situation by unintentionally driving your crush away with over-the-line teasing.

Create that natural conversation flow as you both grow more comfortable around each other. Don’t put pressure on yourself to tell your crush right away; just start with light-hearted humor as you move toward getting to know more about the other person.

2. Take genuine interest

Getting to know someone isn’t always the most straightforward task, especially when your crush replies back with witty comments.

In Patrick’s case, he acts sneaky in order to learn about Kat throughout “10 Things I Hate About You.” Some of his actions, such as visiting her favorite places, might be considered borderline stalking, but he has somewhat good intentions as he discovers what interests Kat. Learning about the other person’s future dreams is an ideal goal for any relationship.

10 Things I Hate About You
Take the time to listen (Image via Gurl)

Taking an interest in someone is only the foundation at the beginning of a relationship. Dare to try new things as you and your crush deepen the connection. Once you both get to know each other a little better, future dates and surprises won’t be far behind. In the end, just have fun experiencing everything with that one person.

3. Be spontaneous

Not everyone has the planning gene in them, so spontaneous dates are a common theme. Going out could mean paddle boating around the lake or checking out that new place downtown.

10 Things I Hate About You
Everyone loves a little spontaneity (Image via Giphy)

“10 Things I Hate About You” proves that letting loose and having fun is the right way to go. Dates don’t always have to have a plan and involve romantic gestures; sometimes they can be spur-of-the-moment adventures.

4. Surprise gifts

Surprise gifts can show your crush how much they mean to you. In the movie, Patrick blows Kat away when she sees her dream guitar laying in her car. The only secrets that are worth keeping are the ones people do out of love and appreciation. Otherwise, don’t hide things from anyone.

“10 Things I Hate About You” is all about the grand gestures, most notably Patrick singing to Kat through the use of the football field speakers. While extreme acts aren’t a bad thing, the film also shows that going big isn’t the only means to impress someone.

10 Things I Hate About You
I mean, just look at that smile! (Image via Pinterest)

Paying attention can really improve a relationship, especially when it involves building a real connection between two people. Besides his more ostentatious displays of winning her over, Patrick also makes Kat laugh and smile just by knowing her favorite pastime.

In an expected yet sweet ending to the movie, Patrick started out trying to “tame the beast” but ends up falling for her instead. Maybe you can pick up a few hints from Patrick and woo your boo with one of the many displays of affection he shows off in the movie.

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Emily Craig

University of North Alabama

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