Why High School Relationships Fail

Image via akronchildrens.org

Sometimes, I’m a cynic. My belief in the inevitable failure of 95% of high school relationships to last until marriage exemplifies this.

The majority of high school students want to fit in. It’s human nature – at this adolescent stage of life, fitting in is as important as getting good grades or scoring high on the SAT. Even more important, to some. I don’t believe in the stereotypical groups presented in television shows: the jocks, the preps, the goths, loners, nerds, etc. However, I do think that there are variances to those archetypes that accumulate in what I like to call the “high school caste system”. More about that in a future post.

So what does fitting in have to do with relationships? It’s simple – if you’re in a relationship, you fit in, but you don’t try to fit in. It’s killing two birds with one stone. The typical teen will assume that their boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t care about looks, or what other people think, and my personal favorite – loves them for who they are. So the individual in the relationship will assume that they’re free from their peers’ expectations, but they’re actually falling right into them. Just look at television shows like Degrassi or Glee or Smallville. All of these feature teens in unrealistically happy relationships – but then again, it’s reality television: where reality is equal to exorbitant drama and partying on the beaches of  Jersey Shore.

Another reason high school relationships fail is due to the fact that to the people who are in them: teenagers. This is probably going to earn me criticism from my peers, but honestly, we are not the most mature bunch. Some of us, anyway. I’ve separated the people in high school relationships into three categories (inspired by my brilliant Latin teacher):

Those who care about themselves intentionally: These are the people who date because they want the relationship, not the other person in the relationship. I see this more than I would like to, but in a myriad of cases the feeling is mutual among the participants of the “relationship”. 0% of these relationships survive, because essentially, they aren’t relationships to begin with.

Those who care about themselves unintentionally: This is a difficult category. Here’s how my Latin teacher explained it: imagine two people dating. They’re going to be Joe and Janice.

Joe: Oh Janice, I love the way you make me feel! You make me so happy!

Janice: Oh Joe, all those sweet things you say to me and the gifts you buy me make me just want to die! (of happiness, I guess)

Notice how prominent “me” is. I obviously exaggerated this to prove my point, but in a lot of relationships – not just those found in high school – person A will claim to care about person B, but in fact person A only cares about person B because they’re trying to satisfy themselves. Think about it.

Those who care about the other person: This is where I make myself doubt that even 5% of high school relationships truly succeed, because getting to this level of trust with another person is impossible until one possesses significant maturity and independence. This group is reserved for the love between parent and child, sibling and sibling, and other rare circumstances – imagine how much time you would have to spend with a person until you could achieve that with them. Certainly more than four years. To love someone to the point where you would sacrifice your own well-being, truly sacrifice it, not just “I would catch a grenade for ya” sacrifice, but promising eternal faithfulness and unconditional understanding – that is the zenith of a relationship.

Thinking about that hurt my head a little, so I’ll move on to other more simple reasons why these relationships don’t last:

Image via Cynaide and Happiness

Sex. Violence. Drinking. All of those detract from the depth of a relationship, and because those things are so prevalent in high school, they decrease the amount of successful relationships. Not to mention college – I might write a post later on about why long distance relationships fail, if I have time. Basically, you can promise your significant other that you’ll love them even when you’re miles, countries, or worlds apart – but it’s easier said than done.

Teenagers also tend to think that their boyfriends and girlfriends are better than they actually are, or over analyze the emotions involved in the relationship, instead of actually, well, dating. This quote explains what I’m trying to say:

“Never idealize others. 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.” – Leo F. Buscaglia.

Well, that was fun. Maybe I should start a series called “Sunday Morning Cynicism.”

I want to end this delightful post by saying that I do not intend to offend anyone – I have several friends in relationships and wish them the best. This is just my personal opinion, and others are free to argue. I hope they argue, actually, because if not the world would be depressing. I consider myself a romantic person, and yet here I go writing this… what a two-faced freak.

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138 Comments

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138 responses to “Why High School Relationships Fail

  1. I know I have a tendency to reply to your posts, but I did have a strong inclination to respond to this one specifically because, as a slightly older individual, I can say that I agree with your observations for the most part, particularly that relationships were a part of fitting in. Because of this, I feel that a lot of the relationships that I watched from the sidelines in High school failed. In fact, I can’t think of a single one that’s still going. They’ve all separated and gone with different people.

    I hate to say that I remember these feelings, because it just reminds me that I’m getting older and closer and closer to the mundane life of a “real adult”, but at 20 I do remember how much I felt out of place in High school because I was one of the only one of my friends who had not been in a relationship. It bothered me greatly, and made me very unhappy for several years. Looking back at it now, it feels absolutely ridiculous, but I suppose it was the psychological influence of the relationships I was surrounded with. We, as humans, naturally crave attention and socialization, it’s a part of how we develop healthily. Even worse, those teenage years begin the raging hormones that tell us only one thing: you can now reproduce and preserve your species. While the conscious human mind has developed a sense of moderation and uses birth control, the unconscious human mind is driven to seek that company and relationship and others and also becomes somewhat offended/hurt when we see those around us successfully “finding mates”, even if our current state of being is so fickle that the relationship isn’t meant to last. I also believe that when first assaulted with those hormones, the human mind has not had time to learn to control them. It becomes more about that drive for sex and less about the conscious ability to control one’s hormones and moderate them. I wouldn’t say that students in college have it completely under control (there are several videos that say otherwise, usually advertised for sale after midnight) but I believe that the human mind needs time to develop that sense of control for a relationship to have an honest chance of survival. The only relationship I remember from high school that I gave a chance of surviving involved someone not altogether preoccupied with sex.

    However, I’m not saying that high school relationships are pointless, on the contrary I believe that my friends have developed a bit more because of them and now know more of what they DON’T want in a relationship, but I also know how many of my friends have been or are currently pregnant. It comes with its risks, risks I am happy I avoided.

    I didn’t find a real relationship until I was 19, and it’s been going almost 5 months strong now, but I feel like this relationship is more stable than any relationship I could have had in high school simply because my boyfriend and I are both mature enough now to know that certain things have priority: graduation, degrees, recipes for a successful adult life. When I was a teenager I rarely saw that kind of thinking going on.

    Overall, High School relationships, and just High School years in general, are overrated. I enjoyed them, yes, and sometimes I miss them, but they aren’t that big of a deal, to be honest. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have those relationships, just that you shouldn’t become to worked up about them. The most upsetting things I saw were people who decided not to go to college, or to go to a different college, just to be with their high school beau. It was sad, and such young relationships shouldn’t drive your actions, particularly actions that can determine the success of the rest of your life.

    Alright, enough ravings from me; I’ve always been a little more serious than my peers about these things. It makes me feel old.

    Long story short, I agree with you. XD

    • Wow, thank you for the detailed, thoughtful comment!

      You’re correct about the scientific aspect of relationships, especially regarding sex. I suppose that everything I mentioned in my post could be encapsulated in the simple science stated in your comment – that the hormones running rampant in teens’ bodies cause them to seek out relationships and as a result end up heartbroken and single, wondering what caused them to like their ex in the first place (a Taylor Swift song might say blue eyes and tan skin, but like you said, it’s the chemicals within the human brain).

      “I wouldn’t say that students in college have it completely under control (there are several videos that say otherwise, usually advertised for sale after midnight) but I believe…” – This supplied me with a good little chuckle.

      I wholeheartedly agree with what you said about how teens in high school don’t think about things like degrees, graduation, and adult life. I feel distanced from my peers because I’m already pondering things like whether I should double major, what job field should I forage in, etc. It’s great that you’ve found someone with similar views as you – that doesn’t come about often, at least in my experience.

      I also know of people who have followed their boyfriends or girlfriends to college and then decide the relationship isn’t working anymore – then they regret the decision they’ve made. It’s a sad sight to see.

      Don’t worry – I’m pretty sure I’m younger than you, and I think about these things all the time. If anything, it just proves that you have a mental depth that is desired by many.

      Once again, thanks for the comment. It inspired me to think about what I wrote in my post from a different perspective, which I’m grateful for. (:

      • Oh I’ve seen my share of similar events IN college. Sadly, the constant dating/break up scene follows you into college, and sometimes the drama is just SO much worse. It’s sad, because these people are supposed to be adults, and yet watching them reminds me of High School oh so often.

        Also, I note that some of my comments seem pretty lengthy, but I have a tendency to go on. XD My grandparents used to say, when I was little, that I had a certain number of words I HAD to use every day, and I would use them, whether people were listening or not. I suppose that’s still true, but the number of words has increased. :)

  2. I’ve heard that from some people, but the college I wish to attend is well-known for its intense academics and accepting and inclusive student body. So I hope I won’t have to deal with drama and those unnecessary things once I graduate – it’s unfortunate you still have to see it on a daily basis. ):

    I enjoy reading your lengthy comments, it makes me happy that someone is taking the time to read what I have to write in the first place. By all means, write as much as you want (:

    • Well the drama is irritating, yes, but I do rather like my college experience so far. Except for the food… The food here sucks, to be plain. It’s just terrible. Oh my god, I wish I didn’t have to eat it. But other than that my college isn’t bad, it’s simply the people that go here that have the issues, and while they are mature in most ways (particularly since some of them are in their mid 20s or getting close to graduating) some of them just don’t seem to have matured in that sense. There’s still a lot of break ups and hook ups, and clinging and bickering and just general immaturity. I suppose in a way we’re all capable of a little immaturity, I just wish it didn’t run so rampant at this point in my life.

      And by immaturity I mean the snide comments, the smug attitudes and annoying behaviors, the tantrums and fits and name calling and all that… Because, I’ll be honest, I have an immature sense of humor. I giggle when people mention genitalia and I can be a bit crude sometimes. I also have, as many creative minds do, a sense of A.D.D. in that my mind tends to (quite suddenly) wander to something nearby. However, I can not abide useless “he started it” fights, I can’t stand attention seekers who create problems in their life so they can draw attention to it, and sadly I tend to see that, even though some of these people are older than I am.

      I know I’ve gone off on a tangent rant (I did mention /quite/ suddenly my mind tends to wander), but it does have to do with maturity, and while I think people are more likely to form stable, lasting relationships at my age, they are also just as capable of being complete and utter boobs.

      • So what you’re saying is that I should change this post’s title to “Why Relationships Fail for People Under the Age of 25… and then some” (;

        Seriously though, I feel your pain, and I’m sorry that you have to go through all that. It sounds like some of the people at my high school, and if I had to experience that for the next six years of my life… let’s just say you would have to read a lot of rants on this blog.

  3. Being a cynic isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s simply reality. I actually really enjoyed reading this because it completely reminded me of my life (welcome to high school..)
    I mean right now, going to boarding school and all, high school is kind of a bubble. You don’t think about the future and what will happen, but rather what you want to happen in a week or so. Long term isn’t the most prominent word on teenagers lips. It’s kind of depressing to think that all these people you’ve grown to love will slowly disappear from your life… including your undeniably evanescent relationships. Sorry, slight tangent throught there.
    anyways, good reading, good distraction from homework. you’re right.

    • Thanks, I’m glad that this connected to another person going through high school. It’s difficult to think about how what you’re doing now will affect you in later months and years, and if your actions or relationships will even change your future at all. Food for though, eh?

  4. Just Another Face

    Of course I can agree with and understand your points of view and beliefs in this department. I just feel like making some comments.

    This is rather hypocritical coming from a person currently in a relationship, but I understand that the majority of high school relationships don’t last. I know probably two couples that have lasted over a year, and one over two years. I applaud them. I know that teen years are stressful, and that there are a lot of other things better spent with this time than a relationship, but they’re not completely worthless. In the two I’ve been engaged in as of late, I’ve learned that some things I thought I wanted in a guy I really don’t, and some things I thought I didn’t want, I learned to like. These are the years that people are “discovering themselves” and “finding out who they are”, so I know a lot of people that lost friendships and made new ones, etc. Another reason why a relationship isn’t the brightest idea; because the person you think you like could change just like that. Of course, teens are always willing to take that risk. It’s an experience though, and all experiences make you even just the slightest bit more insightful.

    I’ve never had the intention of falling truly in love early. I’m very in tune with my emotions, and I know that certain events can confuse happiness or pleasure with affection. It’s true when they say “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”, because I was in a small angry funk after my first sorta heartbreak, but once I got over it I realized I haven’t felt that great or free in ages, and that the breakup was the best thing for us.

    I talked to my older cousins about this topic, and though immature, they know what they’re talking about. They tell me that in high school, it’s alright to date and be in relationships, just not to think about the future too much or get really, really serious or anything. It sounds very immature and childish, but I agree with them, and I’m having a lot of fun with the guy I’m with now.

    People always say to learn from your mistakes. With each (good) relationship, you learn more about yourself and others. Hopefully, if I’m doing things right, I’ll have better and better relationships over time. I sound immature and probably having promiscuous intent after that last statement, but believe me I’m not a frivolous flirt. I hang out with friends, I spend time with my boyfriend, I workout, I got a buttload of things to do with family, yet my grades are still at an all-time high. I just think of my relationship as something fun. We don’t talk about the future much at all really, we just focus on the right now. We’re being young. I’m enjoying my life, sue me. I’m not expecting a lifelong commitment, I think of us as two people that make each other happy.

    Guess we’re “those who care about ourselves unintentionally”, hm? It may not be a good thing, but I definitely don’t think of this as a bad thing.

    • Thanks for your insightful comment! I had to think about what you said for awhile before responding – you bring up a lot of great points.

      I understand that relationships in high school aren’t completely pointless. I wrote this strictly as “why high school relationships fail”, and in that regard, you seem to agree with me.

      Now if you’re in the relationship just to have fun, learn about yourself, and enjoy your teenage years, good for you! However, when I think of a relationship, I assume that the people in the relationship want it to last for a solid amount of time, and maybe even lead to marriage or something that will last a lifetime. Of course you’re not going to immediately propose to someone once you meet them, and I suppose commitment is difficult for many people, but either way the purpose is to find someone trustworthy, someone who will support you, etc.

      I’m sure you can have fun dating in high school – but in the long term, how will you benefit? Maybe a little bit of self-discovery and learning about your preferences here and there, but those things would probably come naturally once you’re a little older (and a little more mature, hopefully). That’s why, instead of wasting time “dating for the fun of it” (aka, engaging in a relationship you know will not last), why not read a good book? Study for your SATs? Start a school club? Volunteer at the local library? All of these things will contribute to your success in the future as opposed to a high school relationship that you’ll forget about once you’re 30.

      Here’s something Lady Gaga said that I absolutely adore, even though I’m a guy:

      “Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.”

      • Tori

        Although you bring up a good point (in saying that people should wait until they’re mature enough to be in a very functional relationship), I think that’s somewhat nearsighted. Many people that are in relationships in high school are building foundations for relationships that will come along later, without those foundations (realizing what you expect from yourself and your partner whilst in a relationship, etc.), it’s very difficult to have a relationship later in life if you don’t have any experience whatsoever. Personally, I was cynical of high school relationships working out as well (possibly because I had only dated awful guys that didn’t actually care about me..) but I’ve recently changed my views. I know that the majority of high school relationships don’t work out and result in unhappiness if they do lead to marriage but, with the ability to mature as individuals while in a relationship as well as lots of work, some (functional) relationships could work out. Of course, these would be in the minority but they will exist.

  5. LATIN!!!!

    DOCTOR CAMPBELL!!!

  6. Your Viet next door neighbor

    I tottally agree with this post and gaaaah your post is so well written plah. makes me feel like a failed asain :> jk xD thx for sharing

  7. WOW. This is someones actual facebook post that they just posted: “I love you, not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I’m around you. ♥”
    I kind of get what they’re trying to say and how they wanted it to be sweet, but ironically they’re completely supporting everything you said.

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  9. SophomoreWithHeart

    I agree. Your opinion has given me something to write about in English Class. Thanks!
    Also, I’m in a high school relationship, at 15. Seems crazy, right? But, we’ve been together for seven months this weekend. And, i’m hoping we’re part of the 5% that make it through high school, into marriage. ♥

    • You’re welcome! I’m glad that what I’ve written has inspired you to write something for your class. Maybe you can share it when you’re done? I’m curious as to what it is exactly. (:

      And with the right level maturity and perseverance, you’ll make it. Good luck!

    • Tori

      I have that hope as well (I’m a junior and my boyfriend is a sophomore), we’ve been dating for over 8 months, I’m really glad when I see people that actually have that hope as well. We’re continuing our relationship as I move about 5 hours away and I know that we’ll make it through (with perseverance, a lot of work, and lasting love). Best of luck to you and your boyfriend.

  10. Marcella

    I was just reading your article that popped up and I felt I should possibly reply. Your article is very very correct under most circumstances, as I currently observe in my daily high school life. The relationship I currently am in is approaching it’s two year mark in December. It didn’t start becoming easy until the past half-year but it sure has been worth it. He’s the first person I have been serious with, and hoping it lasts. Thank you for your inciting article :)

  11. Nikki

    I agree with your article on so many levels. I have many friends that are in relationships right now, and they’re always complaining to me about their problems and dramas to the point where I’m just sick of it. I even have friends who have to always be in a relationship, because it makes them happy. I mean I just don’t get it. You don’t need someone else to make you feel happy; happiness should come from within. The thing is, I bet their relationships won’t even last til after high school, and we’re in our senior year right now. I mean it’s understandable that they’re “in love”, but they’re already planning about marriage and ignoring their plans for college. I mean come one, I really hope they’re not serious.

    • I see what you mean. I can relate to how your friends complain about problems or drama about their relationships or how happy the relationship itself makes them feel (as opposed to the other person in the relationship). Some times I wonder whether people who incessantly complain about their boyfriend or girlfriend truly care about them, or if they only care about the status the relationship is supplying them with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you can’t complain about your boyfriend or girlfriend every now and then, but those who do it to the point where you hear about it during every conversation you engage in need to reevaluate their relationship and whether it’s right for them.

      I wish more people would realize that high-school relationships are not worth sacrificing family commitments, college, and essentially your future for. Once again I do not think it’s a horrible idea to have a high-school relationship, but it’s important to set one’s priorities straight, like you said.

      Thanks for commenting and reading!

    • Tori

      The majority of my friends that have been in long relationships have all broken up within the last month (due to cheating, fights, etc.), all of them had been together for over a year. I feel bad for them but I’m slightly glad that they didn’t try to make it work when it wasn’t going to.

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  13. Dude (you can ignore the surfer talk that tends to slip out),I totally agree with you that high school relationships don’t last. though I’m a fine one to talk since I’ve never been in a relationship before, not that I’d mind and I could care less about what people say about that.

    To me it’s kind of a not-so-great time to get a girlfriend/boyfriend because it’s this time of our lives where we should be concentrating on our educational foundation and we’ll only be distracted by a relationship being added on to other distractions and also because many of us teenagers are rather emotionally unstable at this time and a relationship now would only serve to increase stress.Failing grades, withdrawal and I’m sure you’ve heard of teens committing suicide because they broke up with their boy/girl friends.What a waste of life.

    However, it does give us experience as in finding out what we really look for in a person.But aside from that I can think of many things that we should spend our time doing than crying over a broken heart.I’ve seen enough drama in my days of high school that I don’t need reality television.

    But I’ll have to be honest and admit that there are rare exceptions every now and again and cheers to those whose relationships lasted!
    I don’t feel that I’ve fully justified my opinion, sorry my heart just isn’t into it today…it’s one of those days…

    • Don’t apologize, your comments are all deep and insightful which I appreciate. That’s probably why it takes me awhile to respond to them, I like really reading and digesting what people have to say in response to what I’ve written.

      All of your points are solid, even the one about teens committing suicide because of their break ups – that really breaks my heart, because these teens are most likely caught up in the moment and don’t realize that they have so much to offer in the world.

      For the most part romantic relationships during one’s adolescence will not last, but I agree that there are exceptions. It’s not like there’s a rule that states “if you’re younger than 18, all of your relationships will fail” – there are rare relationships that work out, like you said, which is why people shouldn’t hesitate to act on their feelings if they believe their emotions to be compassionate and genuine.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • You’re too kind:) and no problem, you’re posts get me thinking and clears away the cobwebs gathering in my head so much that I’m a regular here at The quiet voice;)

        Living in the moment has it’s consequences I must agree, sad but true, no matter how great it feels at the time.But I’m really happy that there’s counseling available today so that there would be less kids trying to take their lives, but do you think they are willing to take it, the counseling? I expect that the ones that are in deep would be in denial.

        • My hope is that those who are in denial and not willing to get counseling would have someone – a friend, family member, teacher, etc. – that would push them to do so or get them help themselves. Otherwise… maybe time would heal their wounds, though counseling really is the best thing for those who are suicidal. Even just talking to someone about it could tremendously.

  14. its the media's fault

    I have a group of friends that have been in high school relationships and have found that they are not only stupid but leads to great heartache and disappointment. Yet, they tend to complain about how “lonely” being single is and not having someone to text and talk to; all the while having a circle of friends who genuinely care and are supportive. Personally, I blame the media for all our high school problems and obsessions with love, romance, and all things mythical. Again and again, teens directly and indirectly (hearing it all the time) experience the hurt that comes from fully being involved with someone at such a young age but the media continuously feeds the message that its all worth it, that love prevails in the end. Teenagers need to think logically and realistically at their past relationships, their friend’s relationships or even the teens they see on TV. Most of those relationships not only end, but cause emotional scares that personally, are not worth it. And since this is real life, love in the case of high school relationships would most likely not prevail. Instead, teens should be focusing on personal development and future accomplishments that may actually last after four years. As a sixteen year old high school junior, I’ve found that staying away from the “relationship scene” and nonsensical reality TV shows does much good. Call me cynical, I’ll wear it as a badge of honor if it means going through the rest of high school not being stupid. Anyhow, I think this is a great article and more teens should read it.

    • I totally agree with you. Like you said it’s important that students focus on school and attaining good grades so that they will be able to date and establish healthy romantic relationships in the future. Of course they should have fun with their friends and having hobbies like sports, reading, etc. but for the most part relationships (especially the damaging ones) are simply a waste of time during these formative years.

      Thank you for the compliment and for commenting, it really means a lot to me that you were able to respond in such depth!

  15. Dienna

    Very deep post!

    High school relationships have a short shelf life because teenagers are still growing, evolving, and figuring out who they are. Who they were at 15 may not be the same as they are at 18, 25, or 30.

    People need to figure out who they are first before jumping into relationships.

  16. Eileen

    I do agree with the bulk of your post- teenagers are generally too shallow and immature to have long-lasting, committed, romantic relationships. However:
    – “This group is reserved for the love between parent and child, sibling and sibling, and other rare circumstances… imagine how much time you would have to spend with a person until you could achieve that with them. Certainly more than four years.”
    My relationship with my best friends, one of which I have known for only two years, is better than the one with my brother and with my parents. I realize a romantic relationship is incredibly different from a platonic one, but I don’t think time is necessarily a factor in any kind of relationship.

    -I had more to discuss about teenagers, their feelings, and how society views them, but I’ll save that for my own tumblr, and for when I have a proper amount of time (especially since it wasn’t really relevant to this post…) :)

    I am a cynical, hopeless romantic too! What a contradiction. When ever a couple gets PDA-y, I mentally roll my eye; but I will read hours and hours of romantic fan fiction about one couple and flail about them.

    (I’m kind of scared of a being in a romantic relationship, actually, for various reasons. Which I will post about, eventually. )

    • Eileen

      I just realized that you wrote this in April. Whoops. :P

      • Hm… two years is still quite some time. While relationships don’t necessarily strengthen over time, time can improve the quality of a relationship – if you have a positive relationship with someone and spend more and more time with them, you get to know them better and vice versa. So I see what you mean in that more time doesn’t equal more love, but time itself can better a relationship depending on the circumstances.

        For the cynical romantic part, I feel that we both aren’t interested in romantic relationships we know won’t last (like the majority of high-school relationships), but real romantic relationships like that in books are appealing and squeal-worthy (real relationships in books, what an oxymoron).

        Thanks for reading and commenting Eileen, and please share with me your tumblr posts after you write them! :D

    • Tori

      I know that I’m far closer to the majority of my friends than I am to my family. This is probably due to the fact that all of my family judges and scorns me..

  17. AsianWithHope

    I really enjoyed reading this article; as a freshman, I didn’t need to stay long to understand the bulk of what you’re saying about relationships, because you’re right. Other kids have such a skewed look on relationships, viewing them as marks of status or fitting in. And the whole point of going out with someone just because they’re relatively cute is also a factor of why relationships fail within the first week. Why go out with someone because their hair is nice only to find out they are a complete jerk? Don’t waste your time.
    I’m actually hoping that a little spark of a sort of relationship starts in time with my best friend who I’ve known for years, like in elementary school. We’ve already confessed that we like each other, yet we both agreed to wait a little to start dating because none of us feel ready to. It just seemed weird in context because I’ve never really heard of any other kids being mature like that (not to brag or anything). I’m sorry if tis comment seemed really rambling but I felt like I should say something. Here’s something worthwhile comes out of this!

    • I know, I hate to say it but a relationship carved purely out of one’s desire for social status or for another person’s attractiveness is bound to fail (unless both people are in it for that reason… which wouldn’t be really fulfilling anyway).

      Aw, that’s sweet! I think you guys are making the right decision to wait until you’re ready, it may seem more mature or beyond your years when you look at all the other teenagers around you, but don’t measure yourself by their standards. People do change and what may feel like a mutual interest now could fade, on the other hand, your feelings could develop into something bigger – only time will tell.

      Good luck, and thanks for reading and commenting!

  18. Gabrielle

    Wow! What an interesting post – your thoughts and the comments alike! It’s just so great to hear this sort of stuff – this in-depth discussion from others my age.
    Throughout my college years here in New Zealand, and even prior to that in Intermediate, this sort of topic has always been a re-occurring thing for me. I’m always asking myself – should I just go for it? Go out there and find myself a boyfriend, open myself up to all the possibilities at this age, knowing how likely it is for the relationship to fail? Knowing how, in the end, I’ll probably come out heartbroken? It’s so hard.
    On one side there’s my friend who has had a seemingly successful relationship, which begun in 2010 (even though there has been a few ‘break ups-then get back togethers’ between them) – she’s mentioned they’ve already talked about having kids down the line!
    Then, on the other side of me, my other good friend has recently gone through her first real break up and is struggling to recover and move on. I’m talkin serious heartbreak there. I’m always telling her not to worry, that there will be others who will treat her better and to just treat this whole situation as a good experience that, as a result made her stronger.
    But then I feel bad for giving her advice, thinking that since I haven’t been through it myself, I can’t really talk.
    Ahhh, I don’t know. Teenage problems, huh? :P Definitely agree with what’s been said about the media. We all get these false expectations that set us up for disappointment (most of the time). It’s so hard not to want all of it though, reading all these romance novels telling the sheer loveliness of it all and usually ending in a ‘Happily Ever After’.
    Teenage years are definitely about experimenting and ‘finding yourself’ though… so if finding a boyfriend/girlfriend is what it takes to find that deeper understanding in yourself, then I guess I’m all for it.
    I would say though, not throw yourself in the deep end too soon with this type of stuff at this young age. It’s all about balance, and if it means sacrificing doing well at school and being successful at other important things like that, then well… it’s not really worth it in the end.
    Haha, now I’m rambling. I’ve never replied to a blog before and It’s all spilling out of me now ;P Really glad I came across your blog! Will definitely come back! ;) By the way – really enjoy your reviews on Goodreads!

    • Hey Gabrielle! Sorry for the late reply, but yes, it really is wonderful how many people have responded to this post and how thoughtful they’ve been in their comments.

      I have one friend (who I hope doesn’t mind if I bring her situation up) that went all the way in her relationship emotionally – she truly felt that she loved the guy, and spent a lot of her time with him and talked about him constantly. However, things turned sour toward the end of their relationship and at that point he was causing her more harm than good. When they broke up, she was, of course, heartbroken – probably like your friend. However, after a little bit of time she picked up the pieces and moved on… and yes, she is a lot stronger now.

      I think your proposed solution works out the best. You can keep yourself open to high school relationships, as long as you stay focused primarily on schoolwork and don’t get too emotionally invested in your boyfriend or girlfriend. That may seem a little cold, but realistically it’s what’s necessary so that if you do end up breaking up you can recover with enough heartbreak to be stronger but not enough to ruin you.

      Thank you for your kind words and I look forward to hearing from you in the future!

  19. Karla

    I read this and I agree with most of what it said. But say we change the situation to how it is for me. I’m a junior in highschool and he’s a freshman in college. We’ve been together for a year now and I made it very clear that this relationship could be simple or serious. He chose the serious route but I still have a year of highschool left. How do you think things will play out? We’ve had a bumpy road so far not always the best but we seem to make things work.

    • Okay, first of all let me tell you that what I say here is not going to determine your future and the future of your relationship. Obviously I do not have enough context about you or your boyfriend to foresee what will occur exactly, so, take what I say with a grain of salt (though consider what I’ve written in my post).

      I’ve been meaning to write a post about long-distance and college relationships for a while, but the gist of it is that you’re going to be in for a very difficult ride. You guys will have to constantly communicate, trust each other completely, be compassionate, etc. – essentially, everything people engaged in normal relationships must do but to the max. I don’t want to say anything negative because I don’t want to place further doubt in your mind, but know that your freshman year of college is like attaining an amazing level of freedom one has never experienced before (is this 100% true? I’m not sure, because I’ve not in college yet, but I’ve done research) and thus it will place strain on your relationship. I suppose that if you two truly care for each other, like if you have a deep and profound level of devotion, then it could last… but it won’t be easy. I’m not saying that you should break up, but carefully consider whether the myriad of cons in this type of situation is worth remaining in the relationship.

      I hope this helps, and thanks for reading and commenting!

  20. (Warning: This comment is a bit long. Sorry.)

    I personally believe that serious dating should only be to those who are ready for long-term commitment (for instance, marriage), mentally, emotionally, physically, financially.

    I’ve been in at least three relationships in high school and early college, and nobody lasted with me for more than 2 months. I think my first guy lasted for two weeks. And I was always the one to break up with them.

    One funny thing was, I never got to see any of them personally. It was really lame, and just for the thrills. But all of them seemed so serious. Some of them even cried on me over the phone. I felt some slight guilt but I’m just too confident they’ll get over it pretty soon.

    I never saw them as someone whom I would share the rest of my life with. That would be suicidal. I guess they were not thinking of it the same way, and they got lost through the “thrills”. We were strangers, for crying out loud. Not to mention we were too young.

    It was pointless really, and it became a bit unfair to them. I just hope we all learned from it.

    To be quite frank, I though it was dumb that they got hurt, and never really got to see it coming. I doubt anyone of them really considered long-term commitment seriously.

    Now I remember my younger brother who recently told me how hurt he was to find out that his first girlfriend already found a new boyfriend. It was surprising that he opened up to me like this, but I thought it was a good thing.

    I got to tell him the things I learned from my past relationships, and how right our parents were about their objection to such kind of relationships. He used to hate them so much about it.

    Actually, it’s not like they were simply being dogmatic, old-fashioned and stuff. They were just right, and very concerned. I think now he understands.

    Now I guess he figured out I’ve never involved myself in any relationship since the last, and that I’m still not planning to have one until I get a stable job, and most importantly a stable emotional state.

    He used to be so cynical with me about having a boyfriend, but after that conversation, he just stopped. We now have a mutual understanding that whenever he’d tease me about having one, he doesn’t mean anything serious. And that felt better.

    I hope I didn’t bore you with my rambling. I guess I can actually be talkative in writing. Lol.

    Have a nice day. And as always, nice post, Thomas.

    • Your thoughts are intriguing. What I attained from them the most is that sometimes when you were in relationships you and whoever you were with didn’t exactly expect the same thing from the relationship – you weren’t in it for the long term while they were heavily emotionally invested. From your experience it seems like you’ve discerned that an important step in solidifying a romantic bond with someone is to make sure that it’s clear on what level you want the bond to form, lest someone get hurt unintentionally.

      Also, it’s great that you and your brother are open about relationships and dating! It’s also wonderful that you’ll be there to support him through his relationships (like you have been) and vice versa.

      Sorry for the super late response, I’ve read your comment a couple of times now but didn’t want to reply until I had thought it out. Thank you for taking the time to craft such an in-depth response to my post!

  21. Cat

    Hi there.
    I guess I just wanted to say I agree with your post. As a freshman, so many of the relationships I see on a daily basis are just… superficial. People are in relationships for the sake of being in relationships. I do, however, think that you can find a meaningful, mature relationship in high school. It depends on who is involved, of course, but it’s possible with a bit of luck (and careful selection). Maybe I’m just pointing this out because I’m in a relationship now. Maybe I’m one of those people you’re writing about here, the unrealistically happy ones. But I’m not happy because I have a boyfriend who loves me for who I am, or doesn’t care how I look or act. I’m happy because I have a boyfriend who is happy to have me. When he’s happy, it makes me happy. I think that’s the most important part of a relationship: it doesn’t come down to age, intelligence, or even maturity. The essential element is just to genuinely love your partner, and after that everything else might fall into place, with a little elbow grease.

    • Beautifully stated! The last part of your comment could really be applied to all relationships, it reminds me of the idea of unconditional positive or regard or simply loving someone with no strings attached. Major respect points for you, and I hope everything works out well!

  22. "That One Asian Chick"

    I definitely agree with you. As a freshman in high school, I see relationships start and subsequently end because of the stupid superficial reasons stated in your post. I would also like to add that relationships often end because people, teens especially, have this unrealistic picture of love. They fail to realize that Love is something that, while beautiful, is too complicated to comprehend. Their idea of “Love” is a perfect and whole relationship, complete with sexual appeal. But Love is, in truth, far more complex and primal than that. In reality, Love is a symbiotic relationship, in which both people are two parts of a whole. The whole that is created between the two people, and functions like a physical body, when one part is malfunctioning, the whole falters. Likewise, when both parts are on the same wavelength and function properly, it creates an overall sense of happiness for every faction of the body. When one side is happy, it softens whatever stress is on the other half. This is the function of love. Creating happiness from the other’s happiness, and sharing in the sadness. It is both symbiotic, dependent, and independent all at once. Maybe it’s because I’m in a happy relationship right now, but I believe that if both sides adhere to the true definition of love, then there is hope for the overall relationship. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’ll be one of those relationships that end after two months because of a dumb reason. I’m crossing my fingers hoping that he and I are mature enough to stay together for a while.
    This aside, great post! It really brought to light the more painful truths of this “love” in teenage years.

    • Sorry I’m responding to this comment almost a full month late, but your explanation of love hits the head on the nail! I’m not sure what I can add besides saying that your analogy comparing love to a physical body fits perfectly with what I was attempting to establish in this post! It’s not one person and another person separately seeking each other in a shallow way, but a whole working together to create happiness for itself. Basically, what you said.

      I remember reading a line in Cicero’s De Amicitia that went something like “for friendship halves the burden of sorrow and doubles the pleasure of happiness” – that’s not an exact quote or anything, but this idea also relates to what you were saying. And a truly loving relationship includes friendship – though perhaps at a deeper level – as well.

      Thank you for your wonderfully-written comment! I wish you luck on your relationship, though with your mature mindset I’m sure you and your boyfriend will not succumb to any of the reasons enumerated in this post.

  23. JenJen

    An extremely intriguing conversation . It is comforting to know i am not the only one with an opinion of this type. I don’t normally respond to posts but i feel it my duty to recognise this conversation. It was a riveting read! :D

    • Thanks Jen! While it may not be a common opinion, as you can see from the number of other commenters you should not feel like an outcast or anything like that. Thank you again for taking the time to read and comment on this post despite your tendency not to! (:

  24. Erin

    This article really got me thinking. It helped me get my priorities straight. I am a 15-year-old freshman in high school, and currently in a relationship that has lasted for 8 months. I know I’m young, probably too young to be thinking about my relationship to be lasting for the rest of my life. However, from my point of view, I don’t think all teenagers can be classified in this “hormonal monsters” category that everybody seems to put them in. I consider myself pretty mature for my age, and I am definitely not one of those girls who will shut out the rest of the world and revolve their life entirely around their boyfriend, only to be completely heartbroken and left with nothing when it doesn’t work out. School is incredibly important to me, and if it gets to the point where there is a descision to be made between school and a boy, I will most likely choose whichever benefits me more in the long run. But don’t get me wrong, I love my boyfriend very much and am very happy in my relationship. However I will not let that completely blind me from what really matters. I realize how little of a chance we have of lasting past high school. But I know who I am and what my priorities are, and I know they won’t be changing anytime soon. I really feel like if I do what I need to, and the relationship works out no matter what, then it was meant to be.

    • I’m glad that this has helped you get your priorities straight! You seem to be self-aware enough that you know what you’re doing and you definitely don’t fall into that “hormonal monsters” category. Within high school it is wonderful and often overlooked to have priorities, and it’s a great thing that you are able to understand yours and live your life by them. I wish you the best of luck in your relationship as well as in your studies. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  25. kjinoue

    I’m a late bloomer with regards to high school dating. In fact, I had sworn myself not to date in high school due to the high rate of break ups of my friends in previous years. Last year in October however, I fell for one of my good friends and seven months later, we have surpassed couple after couple, after couple. Here’s the reason why: we both have the same level of maturity with regards to relationships. It turns out that he takes dating incredibly seriously and as do I; we’ve gone through rumors (it’s high school, what did you expect?), parents’ disapproval (mostly my mother who did not approve of me dating at first), arguments, heck, we talked about sex for almost four months before we finally did it and we continue to be safe and protected every single time. We’ve had many ups and downs that would have probably broken up high school couples but we’re doing pretty well, I think! The great support we’ve had are our parents and it is with their help and knowledge that we are able to handle our relationship as mature individuals. In college, we’ve decided to go to where we really wish to go–with him going to Canada and me to Boston but that doesn’t mean it’s over. We have both decided to go long distance and despite what others are telling us, we’re willing to give it a shot. We’re not clueless, our end goal has been settled and if it all works out after graduation, 2016 will be the year we will move in together. Sure college is going to be difficult, but if the past few months have been the most enlightening and truly wonderful time of my life, why give it up, right? It was from him that I learned the importance of communication, the importance of waiting for the right person, accepting and understanding differences–there are so many things I have learned from this relationship and I know there are plenty more I have to learn. High school relationships typically fail because teenagers cannot grasp the concept of an actual relationship or they’re just not ready to date seriously. A relationship will always have its ups and downs and at times, it may even get boring but the love, respect and support should never go away. Most teenagers are too young to want to be serious, there’s too much “fun” to be had and that’s completely understandable. Luckily for me though, I’ve found something too good to let go so I’m sticking it.

    • Ah, wonderfully articulated response! I feel like quite a few of these comments are somewhat rebuttals to my post, in that they are showing that high school relationships can be worthwhile and last – not that I mind that, because it is a great thing to see.

      It seems like you have found the right person to be with and that you two have overcome numerous obstacles without falling out, so, I cannot blame you for taking on the task of surviving a long distance relationship. I’m sure that if you handle everything with the same level of maturity and open-mindedness that you have presented in your comment, then things will work out just like you want them to.

      Good luck, and thank you for reading and commenting!

  26. Help please

    The post is really a master piece.I’ve learned a a lot from it but still I got a problem.I’m in the 10th grade in a Nautical Officers college.Of course here are girls but they don’t “fit” me.Therefore I’ve been searching for a partner,outside my base/school..(or call it what ever).Now I’m in a relationship with a girl which is in the 8th grade.The problem between us it the fact she is a little shy and closed.Of course we’re doin’ all the GF~BF things(kissing,hanging out,discuss etc…).I also want to mention; we are in a relationship just for 1 week.
    Should I take the relationship to the next level? I mean to start inviting her to my house..meet her parents family..
    If yes how I’m asking her those things?
    Sorry for my bad English I’m not and American

      • Hm… while I don’t want to give the impression that I dispense dating advice on a lot, I would recommend perhaps going on a date somewhere more neutral before going to each others’ houses. Like going to the mall or a museum or some place with her family, so that you are in public and you have things to do other than just talk (in case things get awkward). One size does not fit all though, so if you feel ready, go ahead, but if you know you’re not, stay at where you’re at.

  27. Alphonso

    Ah, this post made me rethink about entering a relationship, I
    kinda realized that I’m actually happy with the life I had, and the
    things I’ve seen in school so far did happen according to the
    negative reasons of having a relationship. I’m in my junior year
    now and I’ve had a very good friend of mine, we’ve been best
    friends for a year and a half now, I thought that I’d take the
    chance of entering an intimate relationship with her. Now about
    myself, I’m a simple guy(yes REAL simple), I’m not the typical teen
    who loves going around the city nights(though I do hang out
    sometimes), I usually stay at home and chat to some friends, I’m
    really a straight forward guy, I pretty much don’t talk when I
    don’t need to(probably bad for a relationship anyway, I’ll explain
    later on), I’m very mature on alot of things, my friends and
    family think I’m wise enough to start a relationship like this, I
    honestly think I’m a bit more mature than my big brother(though I respect him, and that’s about it.
    Now about her, she’s shy and often very soft with actions, she’s
    quiet(a little too quiet, bad combination of a quiet person with a
    quiet person), she’s not a typical teenage girl with these
    unrealistic problems and sadness(sorry if I offended anyone)
    and lastly, she’s into anything Korean(especially the music).
    So yeah, now I’m not really lonely for not having someone or
    not “fitting in” but it seems my confidence is pretty low, I wanted
    to test myself if I could handle such responsibilities, I’m not in
    it to make my life “happier”, I like her alot not because I she’s
    pretty or anything(but she is!) or I just said that, I can show
    her that we can truly love each other(not that fake cheesy love
    that just focuses on making out in public places) anyway, this is
    my first time entering one, I even told myself that I won’t have
    someone with me not after college(How ironic). Now I was really
    looking forward to study hangul just for her, I think having a
    decent conversation in hangul with her would be nice.

    Enough of that, hopefuly if things turn out right, we just make
    it beyond college as more than just friends.
    I’m still unsure of myself if I should give things like these in
    life a go, I mean I’m still pretty young and should be thinking
    about my future.

    Sorry if I was a bit spazzy here I don’t really post stuff this long.

    • Alphonso

      too many typos sorry about that

      • Don’t worry about the typos! And of course there are exceptions to the “all high school relationships fail” mantra – you seem mature, and if you two are both mature enough to carry out a communicative, trusting relationship then by all means go ahead and try. I know that it is important to think about your future, but I’m sure you can continue to study hard and think about college and stuff while pursuing this potential interest. If you are aware of the pitfalls and problems I wrote about in this post, I think that will give you more than a fighting chance in succeeding. Good luck, and thank you for reading and commenting!

  28. Ryan

    Thanks for putting this up. I agree with you on everything you say. But I would say there’s a forth category, one that I’m in. my girlfriend and I know each others feelings, but we don’t kiss or do anything in that sense. I’ve had a great few Weeks just being someone who can rely on her and who she can rely on, and feeing to know her. our relationship isn’t fast, but I think that the best relationships start off as solid friendships. in my case, it’s been 4 years since we meet eaach other, and we haven’t fought and we talk things through. I help her and she helps me. it’s been a great relationship so far and she’s now my best friend, and more.

    • That’s great! I think the fact that you talk things through and that you guys improve each other are two wonderful traits to your relationship that make it strong. I’m sure you guys would fit in the third category (not to categorize your relationship or anything like that) because it seems like you care for each other. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  29. Koree

    While I can certainly agree with the majority of your argument, I simply have to chip in my two cents. I’m not exactly a cynic, just a realist. You could say I’m more mature than the average High School Senior. In fact, I know I am. It’s all in how I was raised and what I dealt with growing up. Anyway, enough about me…relationships are definitely complex in every sense of the word. We’ve all heard the sayings “Its a two way road”, “Its give and take”, bla bla bla. But what I love about humans is that every human is completely unique. Sure, we can make classifications and general observations, but they simply don’t account for everything.

    Likewise, relationships are the same. I like my boyfriend for who he is AND how he makes me feel. It’s important not only to be in love with your significant other, but also make sure they feel the same about others (ei: abusive relationships often involve one person loving the other while the love is not returned). My boyfriend is my best friend. And whether we stay together or not, he will remain my best friend. We’re not exactly the same, nor are we polar opposites. We don’t think about the future as a foreboding, evil thing. We both wish for the other to reach for and accomplish his/her dreams, no matter what it entails.

    Of course, I completely agree with the “fitting in” aspect. My first relationship a year or so ago (before I moved far) was, in retrospect, my effort to exercise a newfound right. As soon as I realized that I was in the relationship to be in a relationship, I broke it off. My ex claimed I “broke his heart” which is utterly ridiculous because we were sixteen. I realized what an injustice I’d done him by sticking around for 3 months.

    With that knowledge, I was able to be happily single for half a year. The next relationship I entered was not out of desperation or social pressure. In fact, we can’t even figure out when we became a couple. Anniverseries and labels aren’t important to us. And though I’ve seen only a few other relationships like ours, I know it’s more than 5%. Have a little faith in us. We learn with our mistakes. Maybe your first relationship wil notl work out. In fact, it probabl won’t. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t find someone you truly connect with in high school.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, people shouldn’t set themselves up for failure. Forget what statistics say. Forget what other people say or do. All that matters is you and your significant other. Make sure you’re in it for the right reasons and make sure you’re in it for real.

    So that’s my (rather long) tidbit to add. I really enjoyed your perspective!

    • Koree, thank you for taking the time to write out your story and your thoughts regarding high school relationships! I apologize for the delayed response, I didn’t want to simply skim your comment and respond rashly.

      What I got from your comment, besides its general intelligence and eloquence, was that you went through a “bad” relationship before the one you are currently in. As in, you went through a break-up, that made you realize the proper reasons for being in a relationship, or something along those lines. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish with this post (and I’m getting a lot of help from the comments too) – if people are aware of these things, like why one should be in a relationship and that everyone is unique, perhaps there would be less unnecessary heartbreak or wasted time on superficial bonds.

      Trust me, I am a romantic at heart. I love, love, love reading romance novels and I deeply believe in true love and many other things some would consider gushy. Perhaps the “5%” may be off, but then again, it’s my guess at how many couples stay until marriage, not just stay together for a long amount of time. Who knows? Hopefully there are a myriad of people out there like you who are in it for the right reasons and who are cognizant of the copious amount of factors involved.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, you made me think!

  30. Jessica

    Sorry this might be a bit long, but this is my story.
    I’m a 14 year old girl currently going out with a 15 year old guy (he is my first and Im his first girlfriend).

    I honestly don’t know if we are gonna last or not, I remember when we started going out I really was worried seeing as we were friends before we started going out, and I really didn’t want to ruin our friendship. I even considered asking him if we should just stay as friends (But I never did- didn’t have the guts to). I must say that your post it entirely true so many girls in my school will go out with someone just for the relationship, I know a girl who has been out with at least 7 people from each year of our school!! I never actually realized that people said things like- ‘I don’t love you for who you are, I love who I am when I’m with you’ until I read your post and I looked around on face-book and saw that at 90% say and write things like that!

    To be quite honest I would never say that, because to me I love my boyfriend for who he is, but loving myself is a totally different matter, I don’t need anyone for me to love myself (if that makes sense). Before I tell you more you should know that before i started going out with him, I quite literally made a pact for no boyfriends- many guys have asked me out ( I have no idea why, at my school I get bullied quite a lot, so now I can’t look into a mirror without seeing my flaws and feeling ugly- bullying ruins lives so much) but when we stared going out I could tell that it was different.

    I have known him for nearly a year now but we have only been going out for 3 months, I have seen him around school and been in clubs with him but I never even thought of us two being together because at that time people who had boyfriends to me were crazy :D We started having a real friendship about this time last year, we used to see each other after school a lot because of the school play, everyone used to tease us there about how we are perfect for each other even the teachers. I think I started having a crush on him towards new year 2012 time, and I do think he liked me a lot then. I know a crush is when you like someone for their looks I don’t mean that, I can’t really say love because that would be lying but I just liked him a lot a lot :D I wont go into much detail but we ended up going out thanks to our music teacher.

    The first few weeks were awkward and I feared our friendship was over, he is in the year above me and works extremely hard, he and 2 more people in our school are considered the child geniuses of our school.
    I care about my education a lot but I think I would be considered as average. We never spoke at school, If I tried to talk to him in school I would get a shrug or a short answer, he never realized how much it hurt, all his friends were giving him lectures XD but out of school he is really sweet only recently he is more comfortable talking to me at school – everyone tells me that I should tell him that it hurts, but I have tried but I think he thought I was joking. All my friends keep telling me to break up with him they really don’t like him, It’s because when ever my friends and I pass him he will act like I’m not there, and my friends are getting really annoyed by that.

    We both agree about drugs, smoking and alcohol. I never in my life am going to do any of them, I promise you that, and the wonderful thing is he agrees with me. He has a friend who is my friend too, they have known each other since primary school and she is smart and intelligent, but for the past 3 years she has become a goth and likes to go out clubbing and acting like a slut she likes to get drunk ect, but she is a nice girl and sometimes I get a bit jealous because they are such good friends, and I honest to god can’t help it. I haven’t been jealous with anyone for at least 10 years or so (I don’t get jealous that easily)

    The thing is I think as we get older, we will both follow our dreams, I have a dream that I have been working towards my whole life, I have worked soo hard I’ve worked 3 jobs at the same time ect. I know that we will work hard toward our relationship. I hope we stay together, we have good times together,but I can’t really say seeing as its only been 3 months.

    my father is against my dream and so is my granddad and grandma, and they don’t want to help me toward it, they want me to become a doctor instead :/ I have been through soo much that I can’t give up on it now, my parents have been through a divorce I have been abused, I have been so close to committing suicide or at least thinking about it- not because of my boyfriends but because all all the shit that goes on, My father, me getting bullied and just soo much more, I know I wouldn’t dare kill myself though, because I have put so much into my life it would be dumb to waste it all :( I also think I suffer from an eating disorder, It stared only a few months ago when I got sick of the bullying so I over ate and made myself sick, I have done it a few time, and sometimes I can starve myself for days, but not go fully anorexic, I used to be happy the way I looked but then I started getting bullied and now I can’t help feeling ugly and unwanted, I want to be as skinny as my boyfriends friend (the one who goes clubbing) I hate to say this but I wish I was her or looked like her. I’m getting a bit better starting to eat again, my friends support me, but recently I lost about 4 kilograms aka 8.8 lb in less than 2 weeks…

    My dilemma is I don’t know whether to tell my boyfriend that I have an eating disorder I have no idea how he will take it, He saw me with the headmaster and saw me crying and has been really worried, he keeps on trying for me to tell him whats wrong, but I don’t know if I should I don’t want to change things I have never been this happy before, my life is finally getting a bit better,people are leaving me alone, I have made my self less sick so maybe I shouldn’t tell him??

    I really care about him that’s it why I’m not getting annoyed for him ignoring me, anyway the school is nearly over so I can see him in the summer, My friends keep telling me I’m worth more, but if you want a good relationship you can’t just dump the other for a tiny stupid reason, that’s what a lot of teens to now a days. And really what a lot of guys and girls want is only sex, a girl in my year got pregnant and still had sex while she was pregnant!! I believe in marriage before sex.

    We have never spoken about our future, we just wait until what tomorrow brings, the only thing that makes me annoyed is that I feel like I’m the only one trying now, I have to go ring on his house, he never calls – doesn’t ever use his phone anyways, and he is studying a lot so he doesn’t even write on face-book. I do my best to get him out at least once a week, but maybe I should ring on him more often??
    What do you think, I’m soo sorry this is soo long, I just really needed to tell someone :/

    • You (as in, original commenter) stated that you deeply love your boyfriend, so I don’t know why you would hesitate to tell him about your possible eating disorder and the other issues in your life. Your boyfriend is there to support you and to help you through the things you’re going through. If you are discontent and you need help then I don’t think the relationship is perfect – irrespective, I would strongly suggest reaching out to an adult about the bullying, or relying on your friends and your boyfriend. They will stick up for you and help you get through it.

      You have to love yourself before you love others. I had a difficult time with this concept as well, but when it comes down to it, if you are insecure and you feel threatened then how is it possible for you to fully love someone else when you’re too busy worrying about yourself? It’s important to resolve the issues in your life that you are struggling with before worrying about what your boyfriend thinks. Once again, he should be there to support you!

      Please don’t hesitate to update me on the situation as it progresses, and please reach out to the people who you trust and who are your friends! They will help.

  31. Carolina

    My apologies for the very late reply, but I just finished having my 3 year anniversary date with my boyfriend and decided to look up some articles/debates/blogs about long term relationships in high school-we’re going to be seniors. I would just like to suggest to the people who are very biased towards long term high school relationships that in every statistic, there is always an outlier. My boyfriend and I have never been on or off, broken up, nor have done any of the actions in the “crazy teenager” category. What also vexed me was how a certain opinion stated that 20-year olds are mature and know what they need to succeed in life-when in reality-2 years of age difference is not an accurate “maturity test”. The logic is simple. If you love yourself, you can love another. According to Erik Erikson-developmental psychologist- adolescents are discovering their true identity and have a personal role-confusion. Once you are out of that stage, you are pratically guarenteed a healthy long-term relationship no matter how old you are. But that’s just my opinion.

    • Ah, yes, I agree. I’m sure the individual who stated the 20-year-old thing was generalizing and trying to get the point across that maturity can help a relationship flourish. I have studied Erik Erikson, though not in depth, and interestingly enough the stage after identity versus role confusion is intimacy versus isolation, which I suppose solidifies how relationships are meant to be made during that time period. And it shows how some people can struggle with it.

      Yes, of course there are outliers, and I applaud you and your boyfriend and wish the best for you guys! Notice that in Erikson’s study of psychosocial stages that he said identity versus role confusion approximately lasts from late adolescents into the 20s, and the next stage (aka, the one where people are ready to take on real relationships) lasts from the 20s through the early 40s. Once again, not everyone will fit perfectly into that mold, but I’m just citing his research. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  32. Unfortunate

    Does anyone really know what love is though? And how young is too young to be in love? But I guess the end of relationships between high school and university is inevitable. The ugly truth I suppose. It makes me sad that people are so “to the point” and blunt, that yes, it will end.

    • I wrote an entire post on what I think love is, interestingly enough. It is such a wide question that I cannot hope to answer it in one comment, but in my opinion, it is essentially being completely open with another person and possessing a deep level of trust in them, appreciating them for who they are, being able to rely on them, and knowing that you would sacrifice your own well-being for their safety/success/happiness. I don’t think there is a single age that would be too young to be in love – it’s not like “okay, you’re 16, but the cutoff age for being in love is 17, therefore you’re not in love.” There are many shades of grey (cough, over 50 of them).

      I disagree that the end of relationships between high school and university is inevitable. Nothing (well, very few things) are inevitable, and love is something that can overcome even the most threatening obstacles. If your love is true and it is deep, of course it stands a chance of surviving.

      Thanks for taking the time to throw in your two cents!

  33. Marissa

    I don’t necessarily think that these relationships are a waste of time unless you do spend all of your time on the relationship. Now, I’ve been in a lot of “relationships”, and none of them have lasted very long. I don’t consider them to be a waste of time because I learned so much from each one. These lessons led me to where I am today, in a happy relationship with someone who I care about.

    My biggest lesson was in the beginning of freshman year, when I broke up with my boyfriend of almost a year because I realized how much he was dragging down my grades and my independence. Although it was hard for me at the time, I consider this to be a major turning point in my life and I would not have become the person I am without going through this experience.

    I’m hoping I can justify my opinion that relationships aren’t always a waste of time. I’m extremely content with my current relationship. Earlier this year, I became friends with this guy. Throughout our friendship, I dated and liked other people, and he always supported whatever made me happiest. That level of caring is so hard to find, especially among teenagers. After a while, I got fed up with dating people and stayed single in order to work on loving myself. My friend still supported my decision not to date anyone although he liked me a lot at the time.
    By the time I felt fully secure in the person I was growing into, we started talking more, and after a few months and a few dates, we decided to make it “official” – at least to ourselves. We don’t want our relationship to be ruined by others’ expectations. At this point, only a few people know that we’re dating, so it’s not a “social status” thing.
    He is honestly one of the greatest guys I’ve ever met, and I enjoy every second I spend talking with him. We have fantastic communication, and when we disagree on something we always find a middle ground. We push each other to do better constantly. I care about his success and he cares about mine to the point where we promised to break it off if either of us felt “held back” by the other person in any way. Being in this relationship has opened new doors for the both of us. Since we’re both very intellectual, we often discuss things like politics and science; I firmly believe that we are making each other better students and more moral people in general.

    Maybe it’s just me being a typical teenager and thinking my relationship is perfect, I’m not sure. For the first time in my life, I’m not concerned with how long it lasts. I’m happy where I am now and I’m as successful as ever; our relationship is just the icing on the cake. I know that if we broke up, I’d be sad but it wouldn’t ruin who were are as people because we’re both strong and independent. If anyone wants to offer up their opinion about our relationship, go ahead..we’re always looking to improve ourselves and getting opinions from older people would be awesome.

    TL;DR: I hope my point is clear; tons of high school relationships are a waste of time, but they aren’t a waste if you’re already a stable person on your own and you genuinely care about the other person.

    • Aw, I love hearing stories about happy couples! It makes me feel better that I’ll never find love, except with fictional characters… and even then…

      Anyway, I think your current relationship, from what you’ve revealed, is one that transcends the average high school relationship. Solid communication and discussing things like politics and science are great signs and I’m sure you two trust one another, talk about everything, etc. Clearly your past relationships have made the greatness of this one more pellucid.

      On that note, I wholeheartedly agree that high school relationships are not always a waste of time. Just throwing this out there, but the title of the post is “Why High School Relationships Fail”, not “Why High School Relationships Are A Waste of Time”. Experience is one of the best teachers of life, and like you’ve said and supported with your own story, experience in varying romantic relationships runs along the same vein.

      Thank you for reading and commenting and sharing your own story, I wish you two luck in the future and please keep me updated!

  34. dancingflute

    Very relevant I think; I told someone that I had never had a relationship and I didn’t think it was appropriate at this stage of my life but even adults can be cruel. A friend of my family (he’s asian I’m not by the way) asks in joking way “where’s your boyfriends cause you 16″ so I think that this thinking has even pervaded what adults think about us when in fact I do dancing which means that it is impossible to have a relationship and remain pretty good marks at school because of the pressure on time. Bravo about the comment that school should concentrate on getting good grades and learning rather than fitting with the norm. I’m hoping that my friends don’t get their hearts broken but I already know of a few where relationships have turned ugly and previous friends will not go places because of the other person is there.

    • Despite the fact that the friend of your family asks that in a joking way, it can be interpreted as slightly offensive. I’m glad you have your priorities straight in focusing on your dancing and maintaining your academic prowess. Now that you’re aware of what could be the outcomes of your friends’ relationships, I suggest you try to help them through their problems and be there for them if things do indeed get ugly (or uglier than they already are). Thank you for reading and commenting!

  35. Ron

    What was important in high school is totally irrelevant and does not mirror real life in any way.

    What was important 35 years ago was shown to be toally irrelevant 32 years ago. I had the opportunity to leave school for one semester and I joined the real working world doing a real blue collar job with real adults. There was no time for daydreaming, picking and choosing what assignments would get done, no time for oogling girls. What was important was doing what you are told, when you are told, how you are told. Personal problems were to remain in the parking lot and unwelcome in the workplace.

    What was important in high school, which really boils down to socializing and fitting in, the clothes, hairstyle, shoes, what band/singer/musician was cool, the cliques, clubs, smoking , teams, very quickly become meaningless once one leaves the institution. For my final semester, all I could think of was how childish, pointless, what a waste of one’s energy was the social aspect of high school. I drove away from school on my last day, thinking goodbye thanks farewell so long and quickly relegated the experience to the trash heap of history. This is not to say that I did not benefit from the education I received.

    High school culture is not the basis of anything that exists in the real world. Hopefully people do not have to suffer the consequences of high school actions throughout their life. This is why high school relationships fail.

    For those who go to class reunions, keep in touch with or otherwise socialize with the same people 20 or 30 years after the fact, I do not mean to demean you. All the more power. As for me, high school sinks further and further down on the trash heap of history, and so do my high school relationships. I do not wish any particular evil upon anybody from that time of my life….it is just over, a long time ago and less and less relevant each passing year.

    • I see what you mean, especially about how the petty drama and relationships meant nothing once you entered the real world. While I do think that high school can serve as a great time to bond with friends that might turn out to be lifelong, and to discover oneself on a more internal level, it is a sandbox compared to what one must do to succeed in real life. And, like you mentioned, the education is very important.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective, it’s great that someone who has more experience in life has offered their insight!

  36. Nicole

    I like the way you broke down relationships into three different “types.” I believe that really does accurately describe the dating system of high schoolers. When I sit in class some days, I can’t help but overhear the drama of other relationships… the petty things that cause issues… or how much a 14-year-old girl is oh-so-much in love with her boyfriend of two weeks… I can’t help but notice they girls that came back from this past summer vacation and are round… Smiling and laughing, rubbing the baby their belly carries, their friends giggling “Oh girl look at you – you’re pregnant! Since when??” Like it’s normal. These girls believe their boyfriend will stick around…they believe that much in their relationship of only a few weeks (sometimes a few months) that the irresponsible boy that knocked her up in the first place will support the child.
    Teens of today are in relationships for exactly the reasons you said – to fit in and because they want a relationship – not really the other person.
    It’s sad to see these teens jumping from person to person, claiming to love them, then dumping them and dating someone else a week later.
    I’m sorry I’m sure I sound like I’m ranting totally unorganized, but that’s what it’s like for the dating world of high schoolers. Unorganized, chaotic, rushed, ect.
    It just eerks me to see my fellow classmates in “relationships” when there are so many things that are wrong with them/their relationship. Such as, their reasons for being in the relationship, the treatment of the boy/girl in the relationship, the way they behave with each other in public/alone…
    Grr is just drives me crazy! >.<
    Anyway, I'd say I agree with pretty much all you had to say about high school relationships.
    Though, of course, there are always those people that do make it past high school for year and even into marriage. My favorite case is my old geometry teacher, who married her high school sweetheart and they're still together. At least 40 years (I never asked her age). My grandparents married out of high school and they're still together. Of course that was years ago, things were very different than they are now. But, my point still holds true. Some couples can make it. Though I don't have much hope for many of the teenage relationships out there today, I know there's always those few that will make it. :)

    • Yes, I agree – unorganized, chaotic, and rushed can very well describe some high school relationships that occur. I find it the pregnancy scenario disturbing, especially if it’s happened to 14-year-old girls… it’s not like I don’t support the right for them to have children, but the fact that they’re taking on the responsibility of a child so young and while they’re still in school… that’s not good.

      And I know how you feel about being irked when you see the flaws in other people’s relationships. It’s not like you can go out and be all “hey, I can tell that you guys are clearly in this relationship for your own feelings, I order that you break up” – people have the right to be in a romantic relationship with one another. However, I’m glad that you are able to discern these things amongst your peers and that you are self-aware enough that you won’t fall into the same trap.

      Yes, of course, there are always exemptions! Those couples who stay together for a long time from high schools are always cute. I suppose the ones who stay together are the ones who give hope for people who are currently in high school relationships.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Nicole!

      • Zach

        Thank you. This post made me realize why I am so down about my relationship and so doubting. We and my girlfriend are in high school and have been dating 7 months. It has moved pretty fast and I can honestly say I do love her with everything I have. Not because of what she makes me feel or out of desire but for her and how we are together. This post made me realize the reasons why I’m so scared of being in a serious relationship. I’m scared she’s only in it for one of the above reasons but I’m talking with her about it now and she doesn’t seem to be but who knows. I really want to make it with this girl, I’m only 16 and I have so much life ahead of me and so much to do but one certainty in my life right now is that she is the girl I want to spend it with. Call bs say I’m too young tell me this is a stupid mistake but even if it is a mistake this is a mistake I HAVE to make no matter what heartbreak it brings to me. I might just be another stereotype, but I love her and I can’t just let her go. If we end up breaking up it’ll be the most pain in my life but at least ill know that I tried my hardest for the girl I wanted the most.

        • Aw, this is so sweet! If you are self-aware enough to know the reasons why you’re in the relationship (aka, because you truly love her), I’m not going to say that that’s stupid or that you’re making a mistake. I applaud you for your assiduous efforts in maintaining the relationship, and I’m sure that talking to your girlfriend about your feelings will help you in the long run. Thank you for sharing your feelingss, and good luck!

  37. Christine

    I’m only a Sophomore in High School, but I do have a boyfriend who goes to a different high school. However, that’s not why I decided to post a comment on here. My brother goes to UH (University of Houston) and his girlfriend goes to UT (University of Texas). I know these colleges don’t sound that far apart, but for a relationship, it really is! They’ve been together for almost four years now. They started dating their Sophomore or Junior year year in High Schl, and they’ve been at two different colleges for two years, just started their third. It CAN work out, you just have to attempt to see each other as often as possible, and communicate whenever you can. They talk day and night, they treat everyday as if they just started dating :) Long distance does work out, it is doable. I don’t know how well it works in different states and countries.. but this is a start. You just have to be really commited to your boyfriend/girlfriend. So yeah, I hope this helped anyone!

    • Yep, there are cases in which long distance and even high school relationships work out! Your comment reminds me of my brother’s relationship, Christine. (: Thank you for sharing it, and I’m sure there are plenty of people who have read it and felt reassured.

  38. The man who is still alive

    This is a very well thought “analysis”! Actually, I am currently in a long distance relationship that started from high school right now and it is still going well. I stumbled onto this blog when I wanted to see what are my chances at my relationship actually succeeding in the end. I totally agree with the things you say and I, myself, see my friends break up with their partners around me while my girlfriend and I are still going really well haha. Sometimes I even feel kind of bad but I truly hope that those who really love each other are able to control there emotions and feelings to continue to develop their relationships. It would be nice if mine succeeds as well xD
    Great blog! Keep it up!

    • Yes, it is understandable that you feel bad, but I hope your friends are learning from their mistakes and growing as a result. Obviously not every relationship is the same, so I am glad that you are not doubting yourself just because you have peers whose relationships did not succeed. I wish you luck, and thank you for reading and commenting!

  39. dan

    I like this article. It really says what i have always thought. Funny thing is, just because there’s a document on this subject, doesn’t mean it will help anyone. Plenty of guys will take advantage of this and just change the way they flirt, and girls will just misunderstand this and end up looking for the right things for the wrong reasons.

    • I respectfully disagree. While I see what you mean about how it might not help anyone, I do think that by reading the comments already posted you can see how many people have already read and learned from this post. Even if guys do change how they flirt, girls will be more cognizant of the lasting implications and consequences of relationships, and girls overall will be more knowledgeable of their thoughts and emotions regarding the subject. Not just girls, but guys as well. Having one person benefit by reading this is way better than no one, and I hope others will agree with me on that. (:

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

  40. Miranda

    This article was very helpful for me. I am currently doing research on why high school students suffer from depression and relationships is obviously a huge one. Writing about why relationships for teens often fail is a great thing, in my opinion. I know for a fact this entry will help many high school students in the future. I really enjoyed your opinions and agree 150% :)

    • I agree, teens who get stuck on relationships instead of using them as learning experiences can get depressed. It’s not a positive thing, so I hope by spreading awareness of how relationships work and how they can be helpful (even when they fail) teens will wake up and see the light. Good luck with your research, and I wish you the best in making a difference!

  41. James Cresh

    WOW. Lots of stuff goin’ on. I found this while searching online because I am in a situation forcing me to choose between continuing or ending my Highschool Relationship. She’s a Senior, and I’m a Junior, and I feel like a lot of the things you mentioned apply to how she feels (fitting in, care for herself unintentionally). But its been an 18 month relationship, and its been real good. I can’t bare to end it. However, with the basic fears of college (meeting new people, long distant troubles, etc), I feel that ending it would be a better choice.

    I guess what I’m asking is extremely personal, and likely hard to guide me (and her) perfectly through, but I’m simply asking for more… more help I guess is what I’m trying to say.

    Or at least point me in the right direction with another link?

    Any help would be appreciated! ~

    • Because I don’t know much about your situation, I would say talking it out with her would the best choice. Tell her about your fears about how she’s going to college, and how you feel that she’s only in the relationship for herself. If you guys have good communication skills and are honest with one another, everything should work out just fine – and if it wasn’t mean to be, it wasn’t meant to be.

      I don’t think there’s another link that would ameliorate your situation exactly, though I’m sure there are others like your friends and family who would gladly offer opinions! Thank you for reading and commenting. (:

  42. duke

    Can you write a post on how to be the 5%

    • If this is a legitimate request, perhaps I will! My only hesitation is that I have never been in a successful high school relationship, so I would feel a little presumptuous writing about how to have one. However, you and I both could benefit tremendously from reading what other people have commented on this post. Communication, compassion, honesty – all of those things are integral to any functioning relationship, and it warms my heart that there are so many people out there who are treating their significant others well.

      So, to answer your question, I “can”, but I’m not sure if I will. Maybe if I get more requests. For now, you can avoid what I’ve written about in this post, and you can read through all of the intelligent and amazing comments above! Being there for your significant other because you love them as opposed to yourself is a key theme. Also, keep in mind that 5% isn’t a serious statistic – there may be more or less that succeed. (:

  43. Mikey

    Dear Thomas,
    I agree with you whole heartedly. Im in High School right now. I began dating my best friend for 2 years only 3 months ago. I feel we have a happy relationship. Each of us completely understands that if this relationship got in the way of college it would be over. However, I feel like my academic succcess has increased because I have someone in my life who understands the desperate need to shine above all the druggys, and dumbasses in High School. My only concern is that the way things are going right now Im really happy, but I wouldn’t know what to do if she wanted to go further….A lot of my classmates (less college bound and more jail bound) are like did you bang her yet? and everday I have to say no. And they ask her and I think she’s feeling social pressure. (Right now I have absolutely no idea where Im going with this or my overall point) What are some tips to control male hormones….cause I feel if she said do you want a blowjob…I don’t think Id have the mental willpower to say no…..I don’t think she would….and Im able to control myself with the single thought that its not what she wants…..but if thats what she wants….how can I stop myself….please help I really want to be the 5% and not have my mind thinking of those things…..thank you

    • Hi Mikey! First, I’m really glad that you are dating your best friend and that you are both serious about academics and studying. It’s great that you’re in it for each other, yet you’re both aware of your individual goals.

      I think what you need to do is just realize that all of this pressure is coming from your peers. Just say: THIS IS PEER PRESSURE, AND I WILL NOT GIVE IN. Reinforce the fact that all of these things related to sex are products of what your peers are saying, NOT what you or your girlfriend really want. Sit down with your girlfriend, and have an honest talk with her: say something like, hey, we’re not old enough to have sex yet, and let’s keep this clean until we’re fully committed to one another and ready to have a child. Talk it out, and remind yourselves of the consequences of sex at such a young age.

      The pressure you’re feeling is entirely psychological. It’s not like anyone is holding a gun to your head and telling you to think about/have sex. You must talk with your girlfriend and confront these feelings – like I said, remind yourself that you have bigger and more important things in your life right now, like your schoolwork or getting a job (if you don’t already have one.) Sex is not a priority, and you just need your mind to stop thinking of it like it is one.

      I hope this has helped, and thank you for reading and commenting!

  44. Mikey

    Thank you Thomas, however its not really “sex” Im personaly lost at the meaning but its more like BJs and eating vagina…..and touching breasts we both agree that intercourse is really a bad thing…but its kinda ify on everything else.

    • It depends on your comfort level – you guys should abstain if it makes you uncomfortable and ruin the relationship. If you’re doing it because of your peers then you shouldn’t do it at all. Have an honest, mature talk with her and see where that goes. (:

  45. Nolan

    Hello Thomas, I’m a High School student at the moment, and I agree with you on a lot of your points. I read this article a while ago, however I just returned to it to find some information on High School relationships, as I am writing a speech on a similar topic. I was wondering: where did you get the statistics from? (ie. 11% last until marriage, and 5% do not divorce) – I need to know so I can cite my sources. Thanks!

    • Hey Nolan, sorry, but those are not reliable statistics – they are just numbers I pulled from my head (thus, “my belief in the inevitable failure of 95%”) as opposed to (“It has been shown that 95% of high school relationships result in failure.) I hope you can still use my post and other articles from the web to help you with your speech!

  46. Krystie

    Great post! Very insightful. It’s like solving a frustrating mystery, lol.

    To add: I think relationships in general also don’t last because media(including movies, books, music etc) have made love out to be this magical thing that just overtakes your entire world. It falsely makes people believe that it will fully captivate you, leaving no room for doubt, anger, disappointment etc. The reality is that love and relationships take a lot of effort. Maintaining a healthy relationship is tough! There are good times, bad times, frustrating times, overwhelming times, times to be alone, and time to be stuck together like glue. All these factors combine in a whirlwind of a romance that is REAL. Life isn’t easy. It doesn’t come handed in pretty packages. I think realizing this is one of the most important things to having a successful relationship. It’s unfortunate the effect media can have on people. Too many people I know have fallen victim to “hopeless romantic syndrome” where they expect chiselled Channing tatum to show up at their door carrying 2 dozen roses, a background band playing soft music, and him reciting a deep poem he wrote while looking at the clouds thinking of them. A girl can dream. But don’t get caught up in a fantasy.

    I’ll finish up by saying that some romances rock, but I stand by believing that nothing is flawless, perfect, and without effort :)

    Side note: your blog rocks.

    • Krystie, you should have your own blog because I love all of the insights you share with me through your comments! I love your idea of “hopeless romantic syndrome” – the media does manipulate and beguile girls (and guys, I suppose) into believing that all romances are perfect and pulchritudinous when they’re not. I’m sure that you have much more experience than I do in the field, but I think everyone can see that a real relationship is built on commitment, hard work, trust, and other factors that don’t magically appear over night.

      I love your allusion to Channing Tatum, for some reason it reminds me of Taylor Swift – in one of her songs she talks about how love is hard, but hard love is the most real. Or something like that…

      Side note, sort of: Thank you! Your comments rock as well. (:

  47. Pingback: inevitable « A Place to Rest

  48. I’m in high school and I totally agree with everything you said, there are definitely a lot of people who fit into the ‘Those who care about themselves intentionally’ category! I, personally, don’t really see the point in high school relationships because, like you said, they’re hardly ever relationships to start off with, resulting in a failing ‘relationship’. In addition, surely, if you’re ‘going out’ with someone, you should actually ‘go out’. This is something that hardly ever happens, it’s usually just kept to facebook statuses and writing their name in hearts on their hands. I just don’t think they’re very real, and they’re probably not going to last so I don’t really see the point…
    I love your posts by the way, I think they’re really awesome! And Dragon Slippers is really good! Enjoy it! :)

    • I see what you mean – a lot of people are busy with schoolwork and family and other issues, but those in committed relationships should be able to make at least a little bit of time for each other. While there are a few high school relationships that will last for a long time, those are in the minority.

      Thank you for your kind words, and I look forward to reading Dragon Slippers even more now!

  49. Okay, I guess I’m slightly older than most of your commenters (29), so I feel I can’t really speak about my high school experience anymore. However, my husband and I started during high school (when we were both 17) and have been in each other’s classes since we were 13. We have been together ever since.

    What always astounds me is those “romantics” who speak of meeting “the one”, and when the relationship’s over they’ll just say: “He was just not the one for me.” Or when being a perpetual single: “I just haven’t met the one yet.”

    Relationships be it between friends, family or lovers, are all hard work. You’ll discover that you’ve almost grown into another person, which will make you want to “discover yourself” again. You’ll have huge differences of opinion and fight over them. You’ll grow sick and tired of each other every now and then. But it’s that choice you make: is this relationship worth what I put into it? My answer has always been yes.

    Unfortunately, when you’re an adolescent the part in the brain that helps you in making thought out choices and think in long-term, isn’t fully developed yet. So, when suddenly there’s someone supposedly better on the horizon, an adolescent is likely to just break up and move on.

    Sometimes it’s a bit scary, I must admit. My husband and I have sort of grown up together. We are learning together. Now, I sometimes just have to look at his face to know what he’s thinking. Keeping secrets has become extremely hard.

    By the way, being in relationships during high school can also be seen as practicing for the real thing. Learning to make compromises, how to fight and make up.

    As a teacher, I find myself being intrigued by and interested in the adolescent relationships. They can be so incredibly sweet!

    • I agree that every relationship requires work and it’s up to each individual to decide whether or not they wish to put in that work. Also, great point about how being in relationships during high school can be viewed as practicing for the real thing – though I think that’s only practical if one is allowing time for activities, academics, etc.

      It’s adorable how you and your husband have been together for so long, and thank you for your perspective on high school relationships as an adult and as a teacher!

  50. Pingback: Freshly Pressed: One Step Closer to Ruling the World | the quiet voice

  51. Well… I can definitely relate with your point of “wanting the relationship more than wanting the person”.

  52. Successful high school relationships make me puke. I have seen maybe 2 or 3 of them, but they seem like the girl is there just because she can’t imagine a life without him. And all of them are borderline creepy. This one couple are a couple since their birds and bees days. They were a couple through the school, then attended the same college. Then the girl sacrificed her career so that they can do post-graduation together. Whaaat?

    Any relationship can exist only when the two people are independent. Not when they are Siamese twins.

    • It must have been strange to see people who were so dependent on each other at such a young age. Perhaps they did have a mature albeit intense relationship, though the idea of the girl sacrificing her career to do post-graduation isn’t a good one.

      I agree that both people in the relationship should know independence and know how to love themselves before loving one another. One of the reasons Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books. Thank you for your thoughts!

  53. Ashley

    I agree with you for the most part. On some places is where I disagree. I have no idea which category of my relationship that I’m in, but to say a little bit for the teenagers who have made it. I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for two going on three years soon and we started dating when we were both 15. I cant say whether we will get married because we are too young to think about it and don’t want to end up one of those numerous marriages that end up in divorce. One of the comments mentioned most relationships have the big risk of have a child. Well that’s a risk that we took and we have a healthy 10 month old son, it hasn’t changed our relationship. It honestly feels like that made us grow together more. I just wanted to speak for the small percentage of high school relationships that can last a long time.

    • I’m glad that you and your boyfriend are doing well and have been together for that amount of time! I never meant to say that all high school relationships will fail, and I’m sure that the commenter who wrote about pregnancy didn’t mean that having a child meant that the relationship would fail for sure. It’s great to hear that having a child has allowed you two to grow stronger and bond more closely – thank you for sharing your voice, I’m sure others appreciate it!

  54. Kate

    You’re a genius.

  55. I’m so glad I found this post and after reading through the comments left by other readers feel that I need to voice my opinion on the matter as well.

    I’m actually a product of a successful high school relationship.

    My boyfriend and I have been dating for 5 years now, since he was 14 and I was 17 (and we beat out the 2 and a half year age difference too!) I agree with you that most high school relationships do not work out. Almost all the people that I graduated with that had ‘successful relationships’ while in high school later broke up while in college. However, my two closest friends also have been dating their boyfriends since high school (one now 6 years into her relationship, soon to be married, the other 5 years and living together).

    I’ll admit, its rare. It takes two of the right kind of people, with the right mindset, and the loyalty and devotion of a mother lion to each other. But it can and does happen. And from my experience, the people who do find each other earlier in life seem to be happier.

    Why? Because they grew up together! My boyfriend and I have known each other since before we really. And while we are certainly not identical in any way, we have grown to compromise, dream together, and make plans based around and including each other. It hasn’t always been easy (trying to find yourself while with another person has its merits, but also its pitfalls) but it has been well worth it. I watch my single friends try on boy after boy trying to find one that has their same dreams, values, and ideas on life, and they fail time after time due to a lack in the ability to compromise.

    We are just like other normal couples. We have our own interests, we work our own jobs, we have our own sets of friends, but we also share a common history, common friends, common interests, and that cozy feeling you get from knowing someone inside and out;.

    So don’t get me wrong, I do agree with you for the most part. High school relationships usually do not work out, and I urge my younger friends to not take break ups in high school too seriously, but once in a great while, it does happen :)

    • Hannah, thank you for sharing the story of your successful high school relationship with us! I’m glad that so many people have commented with their victories in terms of young love – I’m sure that there are people out there who will read your comment and sigh in relief. You’re right that a high school relationship or a relationship that acts as a continuation of a high school relationship shares components with any other relationship: having similar or separate interests, varying jobs, differing sets of friends, etc. Once again it’s great that you and your close friends maintain your relationships from such a long time ago; it certainly seems to have solidified the strength of your bonds.

  56. R Kryski

    I found this post very insightful. I am currently in a long term high school relationship. Me and my boyfriend have been together for over 2.5 years now. I remember at the beginning wanting the relationship just for the sake of having a boyfriend (I was 15 at the time) and so we dated for about a month and I just wasn’t feeling it and i thought the relationship was moving to fast so I ended it. About a month went by and I ended up missing him. Now that I look back I don’t think I missed him but I missed having a boyfriend. So I asked if he would take me back. He agreed to give it another try and in a few months I felt myself developing strong feelings for him as I got to know him better. Now I love him wholeheartedly. At first I wasn’t even attracted to him but I know him so well now and I love him for who he is. Currently I’m a senior in high school and he has been out of high school for almost a year (we never went to the same school in the first place) and I’m worried about going to college and making things work but I think we are both dedicated enough to make it work. And we’re not used to seeing each other constantly so it wouldn’t be that much different. We’ve talked about he future and I’d love a future with him but for now I’m just glad were happy together.

    I agree that too many relationships are just for the experience of being in a relationship. That’s basically what I wanted when I started dating my boyfriend. I didn’t like him. I think teens are pressured into thinking relationships are so wonderful so everyone should be in one. They are great only if you love the person you’re with and you’re in it for the right reasons.

  57. This is so blunt , its hilarious. I know exactly what you’re referring to , since I just finished school and my juniors relationships make me want to barf.
    I especially adored the little snide comments you made here and there using song lyrics and movies.

  58. Your Ex

    Omg I’m surprised it took me this long to get to this post haha.
    There’s also one other reason that they don’t work: People change.
    In high school people are finding “who they really are” and trying different things, it’s impossible to believe that one person you meet at the beginning of high school will be the same at the end. Much like physical development, people’s personalities often flatten out in their lives (I.e. adulthood) so high school is the time of rapid development.
    As we can see now, we’re pretty different people, just like a lot of our other friends. It’s all about how we grow, and we just grew differently.
    Another reason: People need experience.
    Love at first sight it a creepy and slightly cute notion, but it doesn’t happen. (Unless you count strong sexual physical attraction, but I digress.) Many times people don’t know what they want or they may think they want something in another person that they actually don’t. As much as I would’ve loved my first relationship to be my last way back when, that’s probably the least likely thing to happen, probably lower than a high school relationship lasting. And I mean that as in if I had my first relationship as a 26 year old, it still probably wouldn’t last. Dating is a form of data collecting to weed out undesirables. (Not that you’re undesirable. Ahem. I see you.)
    Just throwing my 2-cents in. Good post though and I agree with you for pretty much everything! Though I’m in a high school relationship and its gonna be long-distance soon, I still have faith. I think the biggest downfall to a relationship though is thinking one day it has to end, so even though I know the odds of me and my bby staying together are like 50988532134699 to 1, I’m gonna have a little faith.

  59. Katie

    This is so true,but,there are still the relationships that are mature,truly caring,and can last(: Not all teenagers are like that,it just depends on the people :3 but,this is all very true

  60. Anonymous

    I really don’t know why I am writing this but here goes I guess. To start off I am a freshman. I am 14, young and have only recently started attending high school. I have just a faint idea on who I am going to become after high school but if I keep up my current level of academic achievement then I can enter almost any college I want and become whomever I want to be. I’m intelligent in comparison to my peers and if I want to go somewhere or achieve something I am more than confident I can do it. When I started this year I would never have guessed I would be where I am right now. When I started out in this new environment the idea of a relationship never even came to my mind. To me the idea of having a relationship was… a little absurd. In my mind I thought of a relationship as something that I might possibly pursue… after college. Later on in life. I had already turned down my countless share of people who “liked me”, However as the year went on I started to get to know this one girl a lot better. We would talk via email almost constantly and later on I started to feel almost an attachment to her. After over 600 emails and 3 months of knowing her we started to go out. We have been going out for around 4 months now and everything is going great. I have never dated anyone before her and I know that that I wouldn’t say yes to anyone else if they asked. I trust her more than anyone else I know and I am happy to just be with her. What really bothers me however is the question: Is what I am feeling love? Or is it infatuation and lust? I have never ever loved anyone before and my uncertainty does not rise from my relationship, but from the idea that high-school relationships are based off of unstable foundations such as sexual desires and therefore in general do not last. Could you help me out?

  61. Mellisa Fovlett

    I and my ex boyfriend broke up last 3 months, it really hurts me when i saw him going on a date with another girl, sometimes i feels abnormal because i so much love him, most time i am with him i always felt happiness all around me, until one day he flew all my things out of his room and told me that we are not dating anymore. after sometimes, i was just surfing on the internet when i came accross a great spiritualist called Dr YoYo Ailomajeghe who promise to help me bring back my lover within some few couple of hours, i was amazed by all of his words of power and become happy, only to see that after 8hrs of contacting him for help, my lost lover called me at midnight by 10.43 pm, and start pleading that he was very very sorry for all that he has caused me, i never wanted to forgive him, but my friend Sulietta advice me to, i have forgiven him and he promised himself never to leave me alone to another woman else where, he promise to be my guidiance all day long, this is caused by Dr Ailomajeghe spell kit he uses to tyled him for me, i am glad and amazed leaving you all with these my mind happily testimony, thank you Dr Ailomajeghe for your great help, i am indeed very glad and happy for your help, please if you find yourself in this kind of problems/issue please contact Dr Ailomajeghe YoYo spell power kit now at: Daddy_yoyospelltemple@hotmail.com

  62. Jess

    Wow this is super amazing..I barely reached this site and I’m glad I did. I have been in a relationship for two years since I was 14 and it’s starting to be not so good now. At first it was all fun and games and now we argue about the stupidest things. My boyfriend gets mad or jealous for EVERYTHING! Like I can’t even volunteer at church or hang out with my cousins because he’s already talking a bunch of smack. He wants me to call him every day during my lunch since I’m a junior in hs and he’s a freshman in college. He checks my phone every time I see him yet he doesn’t let me see his? I don’t feel suspicious but it’s still not acceptable. I mean he didn’t get me anything for Valentines cause he said he was absolutely broke and I asked him for a bag of life savers at least but I never got them. He doesn’t let me talk to anybody at all, no friends no family and no guys which is more understandable but still. He made me delete my Facebook and twitter. I can’t have an instagram never in my dreams. I feel like he’s taking it a bit too far but idk. Help! . Although we do have our happy moments, lately it just seems too rocky.

    • That One Asian chick

      Please, for the love of God, if you haven’t gotten out yet GET OUT OF THAT RELATIONSHIP LIKE, YESTERDAY. He’s being (or was being) controlling and manipulative, and controlling what you do and who you hang out with is isolating you. When a person in a relationship tries to control what the other person is doing, it is NOT HEALTHY and it is one of the red flags of an abusive relationship. DO NOT LET ANYONE DO THIS TO YOU. Please. You don’t deserve it, and he doesn’t deserve you if he can’t trust you the way you are obviously trusting him. Please, hun, find another, better, more secure man.

  63. Michael Wells

    Hi, although I do believe with practically all of what you are saying, I just wanted to put a little beacon of light out there for those that are in relationships. Firstly, I have been in a relationship now for just over 8 years (just proposed to her!), which started when I was in my final year of senior school, and although I was sceptical at first what would happen with us, we have stayed as tight together as we have always been. Any obstacle that we have had we have overcome together. Also, I wanted to say that I know so many married couples who met and went out with each other in senior school (more than I can count on two hands!). One that is closest to me is that my aunt and uncle meet when he was 15, and she was 17, and that year they both left school, got married and made a life together. Their parents thought they were mad, and thought that they wouldn’t last, so they partially cut them off. They had nothing, but this didtnt stop them! He got a job as a chef, and her a job at a hotel. They became extremely successful, and now they own a restaurant chain. They are now in their late 50’s and are extremely happy together, they have said that they have had the happiest lives together, and if they could have their time again, they wouldn’t change a thing.

  64. AutumnS

    I see you haven’t been on here in awhile, but I wanted to leave my input anyways hoping someone might be able to give me a little input on where I’m at here…
    I’m into my 4th (almost 5th) month with my boyfriend who is a year younger than me, he’s a sophomore this year and I’m a junior.
    In my point of view I don’t see me me and my boyfriend failing in any of the perpectives that I’ve read in the post, and many of the comments, and I honestly used to be one of those people who would just date on looks, and what other people though, realizing how dumb I was and how UNWELL the relationships worked out, I stopped dating for awhile to save myself the drama of guys getting on to me for being an awful girlfriend.
    I believe I have been in love before my relationship with my boyfriend, (premature I guess you could say (;.. ) It was ruined by a long distance issue we had.
    And after multiple boyfriends, and sadly a lot of them claiming we could’ve “worked out” and “gone somewhere”..
    This is my longest relationship in over 5 years, after every one ending in a week or so with no feelings attatched. (Yes my first “love” was in 7th grade hints the “premature” thing).
    I really do have strong feelings for my boyfriend but I’m not going to let them overstep the boundaries on my schoolwork, or personal relationships at home and etc.
    This relationship is definitely better and a lot more mature than most people’s relationships… No offense to anyone, I mean the ones I have seen in my high school,
    I agree that some of the biggest reasons relationships don’t work is because they usually strive on the majority of who likes/dislikes the relationship.. Because one word from someone else, and in a relationship that isn’t built on trust…. That relationship is going to fail…
    I have not yet faught with my boyfriend over anything of the sorts.. And I don’t plan on it, we are in a tight built situation and so far anyone’s negative input has just been rejected, even though its not the best feeling having people’s negative input.. The most “serious” thing we have argued about is a picture I took of me blowing E-cig smoke, and he got concerned.. Because he thought it was drugs and he was concerned as to where it would get me in my future.
    I do honestly believe that if me and my boyfriend do break up, it’s going to be well away from anytime close, if not in high school, my best guess would be right after high school, when I graduate, a year earlier than him..
    I don’t look forward to the day we break up..
    But I’m not going to hope for something I’m not even 70% sure is going to happen and have it result in major heartbreak.
    We have already talked about after high school, which is our plans for college, military… Or whatever ends up happening, and he said that he doesn’t want the relationship to hold back what I want to do, or what he wants to do, because it’ll make the relationship, and that part of our lives to “suffocate.”
    I’m hoping we last a long time, and not get too infatuated with each other…
    But things happen for a reason!!
    Sorry I’m all over the place! I’m bad at keeping a subject!
    Any and all constructive criticism welcome.. I’m still a teenager, I could use all the help I can get.
    Thank you. :)

  65. I disagree with the claim, that shows like Glee, Smallville, Degrassi reflect unrealistic happy relationships. Its more that they show the kinds of disfuctional, abusive, self centered, status relationships that exist in high school and try to make look happy and normal. Dispite the fact any sane person can see at least one half of the couple isn’t even content. Lana lang was constantly pressureing clark to reveal parts of himself to her before he was ready to share them. In Glee Rachel is cleary all about herself Finn is her trophey boyfreind. If Santanna’s girl freind Brittany is with anyone else, Santana tends to distory those relationships even if her girl freind is happy in them. And i won’t even discuss the sorry train wreck that is Kurt/ Blaine. But lets just say Blaine proved the only person blaine loves is blaine.

  66. Janet

    I completely agree with most of the things that you wrote. The one thing I would have to criticize though is you saying that it takes a ton of years to truly care about someone. I don’t think that’s true. You can definitely genuinely care (maybe even love if you’re mature enough) about someone. When you sacrifice your time just to be with them, listen to their struggles, are there with them through thick and thin, and really try to make everything work, then telling someone that they don’t care about the other person because they haven’t been together “long enough” for your standards is ridiculous. It’s true that it takes time and nurturing to reach the point to where you could honestly say, “Wow I’d do anything for this person to make him/her happy even if it means hurting myself in some way. I want to spend the rest of my life with this person.” and anyone who says that within just a couple of months needs to get their head out of their ass. That “zenith” of a relationships takes a long time. Not necessarily years and years, (everyone is different), but it takes much longer than just a couple of months.
    I’m a teen myself and to be honest we are not all the same. Sure there are really immature teens, but there are super immature adults as well. Age doesn’t always determine emotional maturity (though it does factor into it oftentimes).

  67. nichole

    What if I’m that person who has been dating my boyfriend since Freshman year and we currently go to the same college (freshmen in college now). And neither of us had to give up our dream college. This was ideal for me, and he didn’t really have anything too specific in mind. I honestly think that the only reason we are still together is because we are the type of people who don’t let the petty drama around us really affect us. At first we struggled (for two years actually) with trust issues. But as we matured, we seemed to do less and less stupid things and become more trustworthy. So I do agree with your post about why most of them fail. I just wanted to reassure anyone reading this that there is always a possibility, but that relationships that last actually involve maturity and hard work.
    Another helpful thing is to not set your expectations of the other person so high and to realize that you are both only human.

  68. Kelly Myers

    My boyfriend and I have been together since sophomore year of high school where we attended boarding school, we have been together for 7 years and long distance for 5 of them. Most people are too immature, but there is no need to say both of these things won’t work. When you know, you know and nothing gets in the way of that.

  69. Alyssa

    Hey, I think I’ve found a new good blog to follow! :D Thanks for the insightful article! I’m a cynic myself (albeit not a romantic one) and ironically reading critical, ‘cynical’ writing gives me hope in humanity. It’s such a relief to know there are more people who think through their actions.

    However, I still have a few comments. Firstly, I don’t think a conditional relationship is wrong. A romantic relationship is one that you choose to pursue with someone and I think it is only natural that you are looking for some needs to be fulfilled. I think unconditional love is yet another romantic stereotype (sorry!) and that idea could be harmful. After all, abusive relationships involve unconditional love on one person’s part because it is wanting to give to the other person with no regard to one’s own feelings or situation.

    On the other hand, I agree with you that teenagers are often blinded by the lovey-dovey stage portrayed in the media. They search for that rush of hormones, the perfect boy/girl and the idealise the other party’s character once they ‘feel it is meant to be’. I’m not immune to that happening either but the important part is to take a step back and ask if you really see the other person for who he or she is. Could you even be friends? Are your values and goals compatible? Would a relationship improve things for both of you?

    Even if they went ahead into a relationship, after the initial stage of feeling butterflies, people inevitably feel ‘out-of-love’. They see flaws they didn’t before, especially if they live together and have to get used to the other person’s habits. We all need to stop obsessing about our partner eventually or we’d never get anything done! I think this is when a lot of couples, whether they are in high school or in a marriage, suddenly ‘don’t feel the same’ about their partner and decide to break up or divorce. That only shows these people were only interested in how their partner made them feel and not vice versa.

    In a separate discussion, my boyfriend and I (yes, I succumbed) concluded that liking someone is inevitable, but love is a choice. It means putting effort into making the other person happy or supporting them in life. Saying ‘I love you’ is a promise to be committed to him/her, remembering little details like how they like their coffee so they feel cared for (seriously, my father is exasperated that my mother doesn’t know his usual order), thinking of things from the other’s perspective and compromise. It is also helping each other to be better and both of you growing because of looking from a different perspective. I think even adults don’t consider the work that needs to be done in the long run, let alone teenagers. (By the way, I don’t believe in dating for ‘fun’ either.)

    Gah I’m too serious for a 20 year old but hopefully that works out in my favour. ;D
    -applause if you survived my long comment-

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