The Student News Site of Boston Latin School

Are Romantic Relationships in High School Worth It?

March 28, 2023

(Source: Andrew Lay (II))


Yes, Romantic Relationships in High School are Worth It.

High school is a time of firsts — first car, first job, first taste of independence. But what about first love? Contrary to popular belief, prioritizing romantic relationships in high school has a positive impact on personal growth and social development. Teens should go beyond their fear of rejection and consider making a move on that special someone who has caught their attention before it’s too late.

The physical affection and sense of companionship from dating can provide much needed emotional support, leading to increased happiness and self-esteem. Having a partner who validates and appreciates them can heighten a teen’s sense of self-worth, especially at a time when teenagers value their social reputation.

High school can be a drag. Between the endless classes and mountains of homework that makes students question their will to live, it’s a wonder how they make it through at all. Having a romantic partner can make all the difference.

They motivate you to get through the day, even if it’s just to catch a glimpse of them in the hallway for two seconds. You also get to experience the joy of giving and receiving gifts on special occasions, like anniversaries and Valentine’s Day. 

Who doesn’t love a good surprise note or a small trinket to show someone cares? It’s like getting a reward for surviving another day of school; it is a  win-win. So whether you are contemplating talking to that person in the halls or your class, just do it. It’ll probably make high school a little more bearable.

Dating in high school can help with navigating through the socially awkward hallways or preparing you for your future. Not only will you be able to meet new people and broaden your social circle, but you will also gain lifetime communication skills. It can be a way to meet new people and develop social skills, empathy and understanding, all of which will help you get a job and work with people of all backgrounds in the future.

In addition, having someone to share experiences makes life more enjoyable. Who else are you going to share your embarrassing gym class moment or your epic debate tournament victory with? So, don’t be afraid to gamble on love. 

It’s a miracle we have time to breathe between preparing for exams, training for big games and competitions and attempting to maintain some kind of a social life. Yet, dating in high school can really benefit the balance of these goals and improve time management. You’ll learn to multitask to the point where you can simultaneously text your crush and study for a test.

Even if it doesn’t work out with your crush, you’ll develop a better understanding of what you want in a partner — who doesn’t love the opportunity to have some fun with someone special? Just don’t forget to blast some Taylor Swift and eat a pint of ice cream when things don’t go as planned. 

So, go ahead and take a chance on love. Worst case scenario, you will simply have more material for your emotional playlist and plot development stories for your friends.

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No, Romantic Relationships in High School are not Worth It.

Although high school relationships can be fun, they are simply not worth the time and effort. Romantic relationships in high school rarely last and distract teens from their priorities — possibly even their futures. The relationships depicted in the media are not applicable to real-world relationships, which pose many more challenges.

Realistically, most high school relationships are not going to last forever. Since they rarely do, it’s unnecessary to commit one’s full attention to a romantic relationship. Some may reason that even if relationships fail, they are valuable because one can learn and grow from the experience. Most of these relationships, however, are not that deep anyway. Anything that someone is going to learn from their high school relationships is likely not worth knowing. It is quite probable that students’ classes are more important than their relationships.

It is vital for students to stay focused in order to succeed. Students have a lot to do between grades, extracurriculars, sports and getting enough sleep. In high school, teenagers are prone to hyper-fixating on temporary matters – such as relationships — and losing sight of what’s truly important.

Cal Hale (III) explains, “Swimming and school are my women. Relationships are temporary, […] do math. I get into relationships when I am off my grind, and I am always on that grind.” Hale prefers to allocate his time to academics and extracurriculars instead of pursuing a romantic relationship. Students should prioritize activities that will have a greater impact on their lives in the future rather than temporary distractions.

 Relationships are also often the root of petty drama and nasty rumors, as they are intertwined with popularity. Especially during adolescence, when it is easy to exaggerate drama, relationships just add a new burden of stress for students. As Boston Latin School English teacher Mx. Dana Amico explains, “It can feel like a lot of pressure to have to date or you will feel like a loser.” Under these societal pressures, students tend to seek out relationships based on public images and a desire for validation rather than a genuine connection.

Furthermore, breakups among high school students are usually immature and have the potential to ruin friend groups. Since social circles are relatively limited in high school, students end up dating within the same ones. Given the size of BLS, you risk awkward experiences in the hallways, or worse, classes — imagine you and your ex are assigned lab partners in chemistry class.

Ultimately, although relationships can provide for fun experiences and validation, as well as boost one’s social reputation, they distract from what should be one’s true priorities. 

As Ibrahim Dagher (III) jokes, “I would not be half the Rocket League Mobile Player today if I was preoccupied with [relationships].” 

In high school, when time is of the essence, remember that you only live once, so spend your time on things that actually matter.

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