The tragedy of dating in High School

High school sweethearts are sweet. There’s nothing like young love–your first kiss, first date, first everything, if it’s memorable and with the right person (like I always say). I graduated from a high school with a senior class of about 500 students and out of those 500 kids, three couples of those who were in relationships are still together almost four years later. Two of those couples began dating in middle school, believe it or not.

Within the fours years of high school there are probably hundreds of relationships ensuing from class-to-class. I remember my high school being stereo-typical, and I’m sure not much as changed. Cliques were/are prominent. The football team dated girls on the cheerleading team, not all but most. The boys soccer team dated within the girls team, etc. One thing that wasn’t much of a problem was inter-racial dating. I remember there being a Jewish girl who dated Catholic-Latino guy and they lasted for a while. I loved that.

But why do we date in high school? Is it because everyone is doing and it’s the norm? It is because of what we see on TV shows and movies? Or is it because of that natural undying attracting? Our hormones are raging and we crave to be desired and wanted. We’re in need of love and attention. Maybe it’s a combination of all.

But the tragedy of dating in high school is that even though young love is pure and sweet, many times it turns out to be a huge mistake and ends in heartbreak. Granted you learn from your mistakes and gain experiences. Yes, heartbreak happens at any age but when you date in high school you’re mostly growing up too fast and causing unwanted damage at a young age.

My first real, serious relationship was in ninth grade to a guy who was two years my elder, a junior. I remember my first date being at the movies, (a double date) which was typical for a high schooler, then he later upgraded to ice skating, dine-in-theatre’s, carnivals, etc.  Almost all of those were public outings with other people. That was mainly because my parents were against the idea of me being with a guy alone, like many parents are. I also realized that all of those dates were so stereotypical and there was never a real one-on-one dinner-date during our high school days and that might have been because of age or lack of funds. We mostly just hung out at the park, beach, walked about town, or chilled at home when I managed to sneak out or sneak him in. And of course, like any high schooler, there was endless texting, talking late night on the phone, and cute little romantic letters telling each other how much we loved each other and how it was all so perfect. You can laugh out loud now.

That relationship lasted on-and-off for about four years. He joined the military and I didn’t really get over him until I got to college. Because guess what, tragedy number two of dating in high school is that you will most likely end up breaking up because one or both will end up going to college far away. I actually didn’t end up going to college far from where I live. And he obviously went far in the military but because he always with guys, I guess that’s why he kept in touch and we didn’t cut it off sooner. Going to college though changes you and helps you grow.

When we’re in high school we think we’re grown. As a senior I thought I was perfectly capable of living on my own, make life-changing decisions, and I thought that I was independent enough that I didn’t need help from anyone. Looking at high schoolers now, I feel as if they are babies. And I’m sure some college student my age looked at me back then and thought the same thing. What’s worse is that culture now provides a platform for kids to grow up fast. The music festivals  (where it’s only appropriate to practically be half-naked when dressed in order for you to look cute), the house parties with underage drinking, and sadly the prominent drug use epidemic underway at like 80% of American high schools. Why were we in such a rush to grow up so fast? What a huge mistake, right? And then we date…

We are so immature in high school. Dating in high school or in general is fun but because of our adolescent age we get attached too quickly and too serious at a young age. You can end up making sexual mistakes and regretting it later on in life. I know high school couples who have ended up losing their virginities to each other in 10th grade, which makes them about 15 years old. And even though they both cared about each other, trust me when I say none of you, guy or girl no what hell we’re doing in high school, so why bother taking it to that level when It’s most likely going to suck. We aren’t even fully developed. Regardless if you’re in a serious relationship in high school or you’re a serial dater, your age and experience is not a match for what’s coming in college and in adulthood.

You’re too young in high school and you’re not even half-way through figuring out what you want to do with you’re life, what will happen, or if your future will actually go as planned. And speaking for girls it’s been known that we’re way to emotional and fragile. God forbid we’re with a guy for a long time who cheats on us or emotionally abuses us, it’ll fuck us over for good. That can actually happen to guys too, now that I think about it. I know a few guys whose high school sweethearts completely ruined them emotionally and it turned them into hook-up hungry, relationship haters, who do the same thing to girls that their high school ex did them, if not there’s just no settling any time soon. We will most likely become cynical and/or only invest in the hook-up culture which is now so popular and actually going on a date with someone have it be something meaningful will be an incredibly rare thing.

What I find most ironic is that when you’re in a serious relationship in high school it’s worse than just having that innocent romance with some guy or girl for a few months. Why? Because one of you can get so attached to the other, and against their wishes became overly obsessed or just refusing to let go. It sucks when one you of have moved and in college and the other hasn’t quite yet gotten over you, therefore they became so emotionally depressed they let their feelings consume the body and mental health. Even if it’s mutual, you’ve already gained that attachment at a young age and it’s hard to control. There’s a chance of your mental and physical health being a risk when you date at a younger age.

I remember I had a babysitter when I was younger. I was about eight and she was 16 or 17. One day she had a near mental break down in front of me. She screamed and cried and was arguing over the phone, so much so that it looked like she had received news of a loved one passing. It that though. She was crying because her boyfriend decided to call it quits. Sure anyone can become crazy like that at any age, but why should it be in your teens, when we’re supposed to be worrying about our SATs and being a normal kid, for example. There’s a greater chance of you acting like that when you are in your teens because our emotions are all over the place. We need to chill and quit that crap.

The tragedy of dating in high school is that it’ll inevitably cause us unwanted pain in years when when were supposed innocent and when you’re not really fully developed mentally or physically until we’re about 21. If we wait until we’re older, there’s a greater chance we’ll be way more mentally stable, physically matured, a little more wiser and educated to make wise decisions.

Image credit: Elite Daily

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