Let’s face it, folks: There are pros and cons to being a high schooler. Pro: You’re almost an adult; only four more years of hell and then you’re free. Con: The stakes for your success are so high that you might as well just be diagnosed with anxiety the moment you become a ninth grader. Pro: You’re a big kid now, you get to do big kid things like drive a car, see PG-13 and up movies, stay up later and date. Con: You’re going to be seeing a lot of people dating and you’re either gonna love it or hate it.
I cannot stand dating in high school. The very idea of it makes me roll my eyes and wish I could keep a spray bottle with me at all times to spritz these cringey lovebirds in the face every time they mention their boy/girlfriend of two weeks and how smart/cute/funny/perfect/whatever they are.
‘Why,’ you ask? Well, it’s simple.
Firstly, it’s meaningless. The moment you head to college, I highly doubt you’re going to hold onto your high school sweetheart. Hell, very few people hold onto their high school friends, and a significant other is just a friend with PDA.
Secondly, PDA is gross. Stop it. Seriously. Nobody wants to see you two do the tongue tango or let your hand “accidentally” slip down to grab something that’d be considered sexual misconduct in any other situation. Nor does anyone really care about your one month anniversary. Get back to me when you guys hit six months and maybe I’ll congratulate you.
Furthermore, these relationships are so plastic it’s cringey. They all follow a basic formula: “Hey, you don’t wanna be alone. I don’t wanna be alone. We’re basically at the same level of the popularity hierarchy. OMG we’d be such a cute couple!”
After that, you get the first date, something that still dumbfounds me. I mean, what do you do on a first date when you’re a high schooler? Because I certainly have never seen any “couples” at classic dating spots like movie theaters, restaurants or museums.
From there the relationship becomes a mutual Tamagotchi. You’ve gotta feed your significant other, play with them and give them gifts, otherwise they die. Well, not necessarily die, but you’ll be switching your relationship status back from “in a relationship” to “single” real quick. It’s a needless 24/7 job that kids force upon themselves for no good reason other than that they’re either lonely or all their friends are doing it.
This bombardment of couple crap clutters up the lives of not only the couple, but everyone who is in proximity to them. School hallways are littered with so many couples that getting through is like trying to run through a minefield. Social media feeds are congested with couples’ spam.
Selfies together, screenshots, internet memes. It takes up 90 percent of your feed, depending on how many people you’re following are in these sort of relationships, as well as how much they “love” their significant other.
The problem with high school dating — especially regarding social media — is that not only do these couples look forced most of the time, but the constant barrage of couples’ pictures, tags, talk, and idolization of their partner just shows how desperate and insecure these folks really are.
They’re so insecure in themselves or their relationship that they spew this garbage, hoping it makes it better.
Don’t even get me started on breakups. Dear. God. High school breakups can be some of the messiest and most drama-saturated events you encounter in your life. The name-calling, the screenshots, games of telephone, on-again-off-again couples, the whole thing is just a mess.
Now, I’m not bashing high school dating just for the sake of bashing it. I will admit that high school dating does have some merits amidst all of the bull that comes with it.
As irritating as it can be, it does help teenagers gain experience in relationships. Seeing as it is the end of the line for most relationships, as people will be moving away and getting a clean slate, there are minimal consequences to dating someone in high school.
You could compare it to the tutorial round in a videogame — you get a hold on the basics and the mechanics, and regardless of whether you pass or fail it, you are not penalized harshly (if at all).
This, along with the fact that it gives momentary gratification and enjoyment, basically encompass all the merits that high school dating has to offer. Otherwise, it is just a pain in the tuchus for everyone.
And don’t think that this is just me talking either. A lot of people agree that high school dating sucks. Just Google “High School Dating” and you will see article after article of people saying much the same as me (once you scroll past those cheesy teen mag sites).
A couple weeks back I discussed this same topic with a psychotherapist I know and what he said only validated my thoughts. He told me that he’s had his fair share of teenage clientele who sought his services just to deal with high school dating drama.
Bottom line: If you think you’re a high school student and you suspect you’re infected with the “love bug”, I suggest picking this article up again, re-reading it, and then moving on.
Save yourself some time, money and heartache by reminding yourself, “Why High School Dating Sucks.”
A version of this article appears in print on pages 58-59 of Volume 88, Issue II, published Feb. 8 2018.
Senior Rose Feldman is a viola player and art club member who loves to write and draw in her free time. For her AP Composition class, Feldman was assigned to write a column about high school dating, a topic she is passionate about. Feldman said, “It’s about time somebody said something about it.”