The Reality of High School Relationships
Originally Published: December 1, 2015
Revised: December 8, 2015
As a graduating senior, I look back at my high school career and see that the reality was far different from my expectations. For one thing, it was nothing like High School Musical. But when it came down to relationships, it wasn’t quite what I anticipated, either.
Going into high school at 14 years old was exhilarating. My friends and I talked nonstop about cute boys or girls, and everyone couldn’t wait to be in a serious relationship. I was no exception. I believed that high school meant love, relationships and all the physical elements that went along with those things. And as far as Mean Girls would have me believe, every teenager in high school was going at it like rabbits, or at least trying to. However, I soon found that these things aren’t really what they seem.
A few months into my freshman year, I jumped right into a relationship. However, I didn’t know the guy well and soon found out that my infatuation was short-lived. After that experience, I realized relationships aren’t just things that happen. You need to put a lot of work into them if you want them to last. And at 14, I just wasn’t ready. Even now, as I am 18, I have no real interest in dating. High school brings different things for everyone, and that includes relationships. Yours don’t have to be the same as your friends’, nor do they have to match up to expectations formed by movies or books. There are a lot of fairy tales about high school, but here is the reality as I have learned it.
|Everyone in high school is having sex.
||Only about half of all high schoolers have ever had sex.
|I will date in high school.
||Lots of teens don’t date during high school, and, in an ideal world, no one would judge you for it. If someone does judge you for it, that’s there issue, not yours.
|I’m supposed to have sex with my partner.
||You can date but may still not be ready for sex and any respectful partner will be OK with waiting or abstaining.
|I will be in lots of relationships in high school.
||While there is no limit to the relationships you can have in high school, developing a deep connection with someone won’t happen frequently and may not happen during your high school years at all.
|I will fall in love in high school.
||Finding someone who is 100-percent compatible with you is difficult and may not happen during high school. However, that doesn’t mean you will never fall in love!
|My partner and I will never argue.
||Whether a relationship is good or bad, one thing is certain: arguing happens. This is inevitable and doesn’t mean that you make a bad couple.
|My first time will be magical.
||Sex isn’t always great the first time, and sometimes it isn’t great when it’s the first time with a new partner. Sex is all about communication, and a bad first time doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed to fail. Nor does it mean there is something wrong with you.
|Everyone has sex after prom.
||The common movie trope of a couple grabbing a hotel room after prom is beyond far-fetched. Everyone isn’t having sex after prom. Yes, maybe some people do, but for me prom was about having a good time with my friends.
It’s no surprise that my high school love life didn’t quite meet movie standards. I didn’t fall in love, my friends weren’t always telling me about their “sexcapades,” and I found out that first times aren’t always a storybook ending. But that doesn’t mean I have regrets. High school is what you make it, and I dedicated my time to working hard and forming meaningful relationships with my friends rather than significant others. Whether you choose to date a lot, a little or not at all, whether you choose to have sex with many partners, few partners or none, there is no right or wrong way to date in high school. As long as you feel comfortable, do what makes you happy and make healthy decisions, then you are doing just fine.
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