THE BLOG
11/29/2012 09:14 am ET Updated Jan 29, 2013

Are High School Relationships Worth It?

Relationships are a delicate topic when it comes to any age group, but the high school years are often overlooked, deemed to be not particularly important. The minds of adolescents are not fully developed and therefore are not capable of knowing what is or isn't beneficial in terms of romanticism at the time. Speaking out of experience, I am nowhere near certain of whether or not my high school relationship was detrimental or advantageous for myself, and it is a question that lingers on the tip of of my tongue countless hours of the day: Is being in a high school relationship honestly worth it?

The initial answer for a still maturing young man such as myself would've been no, but rushing to such an answer is irrational. Many individuals who never experience a high school relationship may just picture two naïve teens who are taking on more responsibility than they can possibly handle, and in many cases, those people are probably right. The majority of the time, high school relationships do not last, as only two percent of new marriages in North America are compromised of "high school sweethearts." But the fact that these relationships do not last until marriage in no sense means that they do not teach those involved valuable lessons.

Going through a relationship while young can ripen a young individual's mind, while helping them discover what it is they'll want out of future relationships in life. Every person someone dates during their life will teach them what they do and do not want, and obviously that is no different for high school students. If the parties involved are mature and stable enough to realize what they have gained, or what they have learned, then it would unquestionably have been worth it. It is much better to have discovered what it is you're looking for in a partner early on in life through experience and looking back to gauge the mistakes made, rather than marry someone not suited for you when you're older and then realize shortly after that you have made an impulsive decision.

There is also the romantic's way of looking at things: the idea that it isn't entirely unimaginable that the person whom you could spend the rest of your life with could be sitting next to you in first period English class. It's the thought that love, no matter how intense, can be found at any age, despite a person's maturity level or innocuousness. It would be insensitive and pessimistic to call these romantic types blind. A romantic would argue that these things are most definitely possible, no matter how slim and desperate the chances.

Despite all the arguments in favor of high school relationships, there are an equal amount of negatives that must also be stressed. A high school environment is not a healthy place for an intense romantic affair, what with the drama involved in adolescence and the fact that a relationship takes away from the things that are truly important at such a fruitful age -- mainly a steady and focused education. Students should primarily be focusing on the universities they're going to attend and how they are going to get in, not daydreaming of what to buy a girlfriend for her birthday. Additionally, there is the chance of having to experience heartbreak at a possibly life-altering time. Someone who goes through an especially harsh breakup in high school is undoubtedly more prone to being emotionally damaged by it than an older individual, because high school students are still maturing. Falling in love and having that not reciprocated could stunt a young man or woman for the rest of their lives, disrupting their abilities to trust or feel that way towards anyone in the future.

So what truly is the answer, with so many optimistic and pessimistic beliefs and thoughts regarding high school relationships? Who can say whether or not high school relationships are positive or negative for the youth in contemporary society? It's a question that still needs an answer. The case has been made for both, and one can never really have a meaningful opinion if they haven't experienced it for themselves.

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