Healthy or Heartbreak?

High school relationships are often questioned on whether they are a waste of time or worth it.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then… Wait, love? Marriage? We are in high school, is it really rational to think about that future? There are very differing opinions on whether or not high school relationships are worth it. 

“Less than 2 percent of marriages belong to high school sweethearts, according to Brandon Gaille. Showing the highly unlikely event of high school couples actually lasting,” The Palmetto Panther School Newspaper said. Statistics have a strong opposition to high school relationships because, on average, they just don’t work out. 

There isn’t just one reason they don’t work out though, it could be moving to college, family or friend problems, different morals, etc. Although, the amount of marriages that were from high school relationships used to be 25%, so there was a huge drop in the likelihood of high school relationships working out. 

“I think it’s because divorce is so normal now,” Junior Keara Bush said. “Back in the day people never got divorced, but now people get married just because they want to be married and if they don’t like it they get a divorce.” Divorce rates are increasing, which could mean couples are putting in less work to make their marriage work. This could be the reason why most marriages aren’t from high school relationships.

Now this doesn’t mean all relationships that start in high school are doomed. There are a lot of cases where it does work out, but is it worth it to date just to see if you are a part of that lucky percentage? 

“I married my high school sweetheart, I just think getting into relationships and figuring out how those work, how to treat people, and how to deal with some adversity are all good things that could happen from it,” Social Studies teacher Anthony Dunn said.

Anthony Dunn and his wife in high school. (Photo by Anthony Dunn)

There are obvious advantages to dating in high school: they learn what they want or don’t want in a relationship and things they like or dislike about relationships. This can help for future relationships when considering if a person is worth their time.

Aside from using high school relationships as a teaching moment, some plan for the future. The phrase “date to marry” has become extremely popular to encourage relationships to last. “Obviously for me it worked out, I think you should try to date people who you can see yourself being with for a long time and that have similar values to you,” Dunn said. 

“That’s right. That’s what it should be.” Bush said. She believes in dating to marry. Some people see relationships as something that should always be serious and someone shouldn’t date if they don’t see a future together. So the phrase date to marry means a lot to them. 

On the other hand, there is strong opposition to this phrase. “I believe the phrase is too outdated, I don’t mean you can’t expect a future with this person but being realistic is important in a high school relationship.” Junior Brooke Kyriss said. 

Planning for the future can also cause complications in young relationships because students might try to do everything to make each other happy which can take away from important life experiences in high school. Dating could consume a student’s social life, take too much time away from school, or make it hard to set goals that don’t revolve around the person they are with. 

There isn’t a definite answer to the question: are high school relationships worth it? There are benefits and disadvantages so it is really up to the students if they want to put themselves in a relationship at a young age.