Two weeks is jokingly rumored to be the average length of a high school relationship. It’s all fun and games, a little immaturity and dysfunction, then ultimately it’s getting dumped and moving on. Well, my experience has been a little bit of an abnormality, in that my high school relationship has lasted for three years so far.
Don’t get me wrong; this doesn’t mean I think the stereotypes don’t carry some truth. I’ve seen some nasty, toxic situations` and know some people who definitely just need some time to mature. However, high school is a prime time in most people’s lives, and high school relationships can be a positive part of it, too.
I would never want to get mushy gushy in a school publication — gross — , but the best part of having the relationship is that I’ve basically gained another best friend. I love my friends more than anything in this world, but sometimes, as people, we go through things that hurt too much to talk about with friends. It’s a comforting feeling to have someone to be there for and to be there for you without judgment. Plus, with fear of sounding like an angsty teen, being a high schooler can sometimes be complicated. People can go through some of the worst, life-altering moments of their life as a teen, while simultaneously being expected to spend their youth having a gleeful, care-free time. All in all, having someone to talk to can feel like a life-saver when life feels dizzying.
Another important point to remember is that a relationship isn’t necessarily healthy simply because the people involved are grown and, presumably, more mature. Terrible situations can exist at all ages, and character can be more important than age.
Personally, I consider myself a pretty strong person. I’m proud of the fact that I would never allow myself to stay in a disrespectful or distressing situation, and that regardless of my three-year-long relationship, I still value my individuality and independence incredibly.
Having a relationship that is a happy, beneficial part of my life has allowed me to grow more into my personality in this way. I was lucky enough to get an experience like this in high school, but I’ve observed and heard of older relationships who don’t know how or just don’t exhibit the same respect or support. Generally, my point is that not all “mature” relationships are good, and not all high school relationships are bad; the habits of the situation are what differentiate.
In the end, every experience is an opportunity to learn something more about oneself or about the world. A lot can be learned from relationships, good or bad, at any age. Whether one finds a high school sweetheart and is over the moon about them, figures out how to grow from unhappy circumstances, or remains single and lives their best life, all are valid. I don’t believe anyone’s happiness or sadness over a relationship should be discredited simply because it was in high school.