Chicago Public Schools student reminds us--teen romance ain't forever

Chicago Public Schools student reminds us--teen romance ain't forever
Image courtesy of Simon Howden /

Relationships in high school are typically deemed to never ultimately work out. There are situations and scenarios that prohibit the relationship to further prosper – welcome to high school. There are so many things teenagers experience during their high school years, it becomes predominantly difficult to maintain and manage, not only their academic life, but it also becomes difficult to maintain their romantic-personal lives.

Of course, not everyone in high school finds relationships as stressful as others – some high school relationships truly do work out – in fact, according to Steven Sypa of Elite Daily News, 2% of high school relationships result in marriage. What students should take into consideration is that having relationships in high school seemingly is unimportant. With the stresses of keeping a good academic record and qualifying to be admitted to the best college that suits them, students shouldn’t worry about prioritizing with dating. There’s more to high school career than dating.

Having a relationship as a teenager can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be very high maintenance. Teenagers have a tendency to stray away from their academics for the things they enjoy and become highly distracted.  Like video games and television, high school relationships also play a big role in time consumption.

But the worst part is teenagers can cling on to their significant other and become very serious about their relationship -- this is common among teenagers. Dating for a couple months is most definitely not a determining factor or whether someone knows their significant other. We've all seen that couple in the hallway exchanging kisses and telling each other how much they love one another, but the likeliness of that couple remaining together throughout the rest of high school and beyond is low. There are various things that go on in a relationship that can really strain its potency and become dysfunctional. As it is mentioned in an article entitled “Teens and Dysfunctional Relationships” by Global Post, Kay Ireland says that a relationship without a healthy foundation can result to a teen having low self-esteem.

A serious long-term-ongoing relationship requires much responsibility and much support from one another. During a time period like high school -- where academic ambition is vital -- supporting a serious relationship is complex and can cause backlashes that will affect the couples' academic performance. It should be taken cautiously.  It should be made sure that the couple can successfully continue to strive in school and that their grades aren't slipping.

One of the biggest misconceptions of serious relationships is that the couple won't need anything, or anyone else, but themselves -- that they will succeed in the eyes of one another  and live happily ever after. This kind of life-planning is misleading. There are definite warning signs to this kind of behavior. Global Post’s article “Teens and Dysfunctional Relationships” explains that it is a major red flag if teens are isolating themselves from friends or family to only spend time with their partner – or if their teen is making excuses for their partner’s bad behavior. Of course, other typical warning sings include changes in mood, decline in grades, and lack of comfort around their partner.

If a relationship truly is becoming dysfunctional, the couple should find common ground to fix their issues. Unfortunately, not all teens have the courage to address certain problems due to their detrimental partner. In an information brochure about teen dating entitled “50 Things Everyone Should Know About Dating Violence” by Laurie Slothower, it is mentioned that some people stay in relationships because they think the person will change, but without help, the violence (if dysfunctional to that extent) usually gets worse. So it is very important that parents encourage their teens to address conflicts before they worsen.

Though high school relationships typically do have fall outs, there certainly are admirable factors. Having a relationship with someone can be intimate and romantic. It can show high admiration and appreciation for one another and can be fortified with time. Some relationships can be so remarkable that new found glory is discovered; deeper friendships are brought to the surface within their intimate relationship.  It can really expose how wonderful the significant other really is... and of course, it can sometimes expose the true colors of a person which might not be so favorable.  But above all, relationships can bring about a sense of purpose and happiness.

Teens shouldn't undergo complete clinginess towards their relationship; distance makes the heart grow fonder.  In Kay Ireland’s article “Teens and Dysfunctional Relationships,” she mentions that the healthiest of relationships are built upon mutual admiration and respect, and equal effort from both parties.

Students shouldn't feel discouraged to date during high school, but they should definitely take into consideration the difficulties and pressures that arise from teenage relationships -- sex being a major one. Today, more teenagers are having sex. This generation of teenagers are far more sexually active than any other past generation, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of high school students in America have had sex at least once.

Sex should not serve as the basis to having a relationship with someone. Surely, teens are very curious, and according to an article entitled “Doctors and Teens Both Avoid Talking About Sex and Sexuality," Nancy Shute, a writer for National Public Radio, says sexual curiosity is the one of the leading factors to teenage and pre-marital sex. It's crucial to remind ourselves that lust is not the same as love.

High school "love" is merely an example of puppy love. Relationships throughout high school may not always work out, but through experience and maturity future relationships will have greater prosperity and, thus, greater happiness.

What are the differences between a functioning and dysfunctional teen relationship?

What are the advantages of not having a romantic relationship in high school?

By Dan Wijas, Hancock Senior

Image courtesy of Simon Howden /


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