It’s no surprise to me that 61 percent of all high schoolers in the U.S. have been in a relationship. However, only one-third of these teens claim to be in a steady relationship, Education.com reported in a 2008 survey.
Many teens face strong pressure to date by their peers. Most romantic relationships among 12-to-16-year-olds last less than five months, Education.com says. There are some, however, that last longer. One of my best friends, junior Anna Bransford, and her Monterey High senior boyfriend, Antone Russo, have their one-year anniversary on Feb. 14.
“I like dating because you have someone that is always there for you and that you can tell anything to,” Bransford says. “It’s nice to have someone who loves and supports you through everything, who isn’t a parent.”
Dating can be one way to learn cooperation skills, socially appropriate behavior, manners, interdependence and companionship, compromise, empathy, sensitivity and how to develop an intimate, meaningful relationship.
Although dating in high school may seem like a good idea, there are also negatives. Teenagers tend to think that their boyfriends and girlfriends are better than they actually are or over-analyze the emotions involved in the relationship. This makes the break-up even harder.
“Never idealize others,” American author Leo F. Buscaglia, or Dr. Love, once wrote. “They will never live up to your expectations. Don’t over-analyze your relationships. Stop playing games. A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness.”
Breaking up is never easy. It can be particularly difficult for teen couples because of their inexperience and the heightened emotions of first love.
Luckily for many people, their friends help them get through it. Chances are your high school relationship will not last past high school. Sixty percent of high school students plan to break up with their current boyfriends or girlfriends when they leave for college, says StageOfLife.com.
Something that doesn’t surprise me, though, is the StageOfLife fact that 28 percent of high school students had engaged some form of hook-up in 2009. Hook-ups that involved sex show that 62 percent were between friends, and another 23 percent were between acquaintances.
Speaking from experience, hooking up is a terrible idea. CHS senior Nico Vazquez says that the cons of hooking up are the facts that you can develop feelings for the other person or you can end up never speaking to that person again.
“Stop and think before you hook up because one bad decision can change your whole life,” junior David Scholink says.
There are many ways to make a high school relationship healthy. One is to ensure that you give each other space. With cell phones, it’s possible to stay in contact with someone at all hours of the day, and one in three teens say they are texted 10, 20 or 30 times an hour by a partner keeping tabs on them, according to Lovetoknow.com.
Sometimes you just need a little alone time to keep the relationship fresh. Also, while your body may crave the physical contact, are you ready for the emotional impact of such intimacy?
“Dating in high school is dumb because you have more important things to worry about, like keeping up your grades and if you play a sport,” freshman Angelo Spano says. “You want to focus all of your attention on what’s important, and that is not dating.”