If you were one of the millions of screaming teenage girls infatuated with One Direction between their 2010 and 2016 period of fame, don’t worry– you’re not alone. Those five years were some of the best of our lives, and despite the boys’ solo careers, we’re sad the band’s magic came to a roaring halt four years ago.
Recently, a rumor of their reuniting was fuelled by a live stream from Liam, giving us serious 1D nostalgia. If you considered (or still consider) yourself a “Directioner,” here are 15 things we miss about our favorite boyband.
1. The Tumblr Fandom
Between the creative URLs, the manips, the song leaks, and so much more, the One Direction universe owes its popularity to its fandom: Directioners. Every hardcore Directioner had a Tumblr, and we all treated that account like it was our baby. This was our source for major news; this is where we made friends. This was our life, and our favorite platform for all things 1D.
Louis and Harry or Louis and Eleanor? Larry shippers vs. Elounor shippers was a feud for the ages, and everyone had their alliance. What was remarkable about shipping wars, which also extended to “Ziall” and “Niam,” were that they had the power to split the One Direction fandom in half, and even seeped over into the boys’ real-life relationships! Talk about a fandom with an insane amount of leverage!
3. Fanfic Accounts
If you didn’t read or write fanfiction, you did not live. “Wattpad” and “Archive of Their Own” pretty much topped all of our “most-viewed website” bars, and if they didn’t, you were a #FakeFan. Fanfics gave us the opportunity to feel like we had a shot of dating one of the boys, especially with the customized “(y/n)” fill in the blank that every author used. Move over, Stephanie Meyer, because we all thought we had the skills to drop the next teen romance novel of the ages.
4. Their Personas
Louis was the funny one, Harry was the flirty one, Liam was the cute one, Niall was the sweet one, and Zayn was the rebellious one. Remember “Snowflake Niall?” We’ll leave you with that. When they did absolutely anything that fueled these stereotypes, part of us died inside.
5. Drama With Other Boybands
The Wanted and 5 Seconds of Summer who? We only had eyes for these five, UK-based goofballs. One Direction reigned supreme over the boy band scene during its time, and with the recent wave of BTS, I think it’s fair to say One Direction will always be prime.
6. The Girlfriends
Before Gigi, Zayn was engaged to Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards. The now father of X Factor judge Cheryl Cole’s baby, Liam dated dancer Danielle Peazer, and then Sophia Smith. Before fathering his son with a LA makeup artist Briana Jungwirth, Louis had an on-and-off relationship with his current girlfriend, style icon Eleanor Calder (or Harry, depending on who you asked), while Harry Styles flaunted a few stints with Taylor Swift and Kendall Jenner!
While they were other ladies along the way, the only commonality? Niall was our single sweetheart through it all. Bless his Irish heart.
Even more personalized than fanfiction were One Direction imagines and preferences. We can’t even begin to tell you how many times we ran into Harry at a coffee shop or Louis singled us out in the crowd. There were even “smutty” fanfics, and we always hoped to God that our moms wouldn’t walk in the room while our horny, 12-year-old selves squealed at the thought of getting hickies from Zayn.
8. Uncle Simon
Simon Cowell: the man who started it all. He’s responsible for bringing the Fab Five together on the UK reality series, X-Factor.
9. Fan Meetups
We all had that internet friend we wanted to make sure wasn’t a catfish given how much tea we spilled on our One Direction-themed Tumblr accounts. The rule was always to bring a friend or parent if you met IRL, and always meet in a crowded place (commonly a 1D concert)! These people usually ended up being our besties.
The boys would take to Twitter periodically to answer our personal questions, reassuring us that they really care about their fans! Liam was the king of these and would spill the beans on new releases and music video news. Definitely cooler than logging onto Zoom streaming for college classes.
11. New Music Drops
When a new song came out, chances are we had heard it first on an illegal Tumblr leak. BUT! That didn’t undermine how crazy we went for new music.
12. Zayn’s Quiff
Totally random, but one day in 2012, Zayn spiced things up with a “frosty” quiff: a blonde streak showed up in his signature black hair, ringing in the “Take Me Home” era. We were there for it.
13. New Tattoos
Again, Niall is the odd one out. But the other boys used their new fame as an opportunity to get tatted up, going a little crazy. Harry’s famous butterfly chest tattoo came up during his One Direction days, and so did Zayn’s “POW.” And we all wanted them to date someone who shared our name with the tiny possibility that MAYBE they’d get their name printed on their body.
After all, we’re in this fandom for a reason. Concerts were the only chance we had to get close to the boys and try to live out that fanfiction goal of being singled out by our fav. Didn’t happen, did it? But paying $200 for nosebleed section tickets was totally worth it, and making a DIY concert sign that said “1D” on it was a good excuse to show your spirit!
15. Feeling Like A Family
Between all the inside jokes and commonalities, being a Directioner truly felt like being in a family. We supported each other through the good times and the bad, and we always had each other’s backs.