High School: one institution tasked with the challenge of teaching hundreds of hormonal, competitive, and curious teenagers how to measure the arc of a circle. Half of what we’re taught seems unnecessary, I know, but what we learn is invaluable. So, what’s the result of keeping so many emotionally charged teenagers in one place for seven hours a day, 180 days of the year? Relationships.
I want to be real with those of you who are reading this, guy or girl. Dating relationships have incredibly strong impacts on people that can be both good and bad. I’m not going to preach at you, and I don’t want you to feel judged. I only ask that you take what you read as some food for thought. I want to share my thoughts with you as well as the thoughts of those I’ve asked to contribute to this post.
On my Snapchat story I simply asked, “what do you think about dating in high school?” I received a variety of heartfelt answers from old friends, new friends, close friends, and best friends. Below, I’ve grouped their responses into four categories according to the similarities of their messages.
- “Don’t date in high school. College is the time to date because thats when people have an actual chance.”
- “It’s good to an extent but it’s better to wait. You don’t want to get into a relationship, forget about everything else, and put all your focus into it. But at the same time, if you’re in a relationship it’s for the long run and it sometimes requires to put a little more into it.”
- “Don’t get too attached. Once it ends, you shouldn’t be lost and alone. Make friends along the way and enjoy your relationship(s), but once they end make sure you have a good foundation.”
- “Relationships in high school could mean anything, it’s just how people see it. Some could say its pointless, but others, like me, think it could be everything and possibly your future.”
Room to Grow
- “Dating in high school is really fun overall but none of us really know who we are yet, so its hard to know what you really want. Also I feel like nowadays no one really asks people on dates anymore. It’s more like ‘hey wanna hang out’ and then you start dating.”
- From a Middle Schooler: “I think its good to date in high school because you grow up and understand what a certain relationship means to you.”
Learn from Experience
- “Being able to date people, make mistakes, and learn from them in high school makes going into the real world easier. I dated a guy way older than me and was abused and taken advantage of. I learned from it and moved on. Things like that have taught me to love my significant other in a different and healthier way.”
- “You’ll know what works for you and what doesn’t. You don’t have to keep putting yourself in toxic relationships or get trapped in a marriage that isn’t right for you.”
I know I know, I have some pretty wise friends haha! I agree with so much of what they said. Overall, dating can be tricky as you are still growing as a person and figuring out your future. I’m not encouraging you to date if you have decided not to, but I believe dating in high school gives you a good insight into what qualities you like in a person and what qualities you may or may not like in yourself. However, it’s important to take your relationship(s) seriously because dating is practice for marriage.
There’s only two pieces of advice I would add to what they said. 1) Keep God at the center of your dating life 2) Value yourself as an individual. These go hand in hand really. When you and the person you love keep your relationship centered around Christ, it becomes so much easier to help, forgive, and love each other unconditionally. In the case that you two break up, you can better handle the situation in a manner that allows you to avoid so much pain.
Always remember, God loves you SO much more than you can imagine, and no mistake that you make will cause Him to love you any less. Trust Him in all that you do, and know that if He hasn’t already, He WILL eventually bring someone into your life that will love you for who you are, as you are. Until then, don’t hurt yourself by settling for a lesser love.
That said, I hope I have been able to encourage you and that you will come back next week for part 2 on relationships concerning friend groups in high school. I love you all!