It’s everywhere. The idea that having a relationship is the way to go. If you aren’t in a relationship, you’re missing out and should be searching for one.
“But finding a relationship will make my life better.”
“Having love and affection from a partner will solve a lot of my problems.”
“I don’t want to be that single, lonely loser everyone hates to be.”
All these really common mindsets are everywhere in today’s culture and environment. I mean, who doesn’t want unconditional love and affection. This is a really prominent way of thinking, especially with the younger generation of people.
For the longest time ever, a part of me has desired a significant other, someone who can be there for me when I need it. Someone who I can completely open up to and who can completely open up to me.
Most of my social interactions in my freshman and sophomore years were fueled by this desire.
I really was pressured by the same feeling that everyone else gets, particularly in high school: to find a girl that I thought I liked and ‘secure the bag’.
It was not until my junior year of high school that I realized the ‘alternate perspective‘ [what I’ll call it], which happens to be my perspective now.
Through this post, I hope to showcase the truth behind relationships, whether or not to get into one, and my own experience, regardless of any cultural or religious bias.
What Can Possibly be so Bad About a Relationship?
Well, if it’s true love, then what’s the issue?
Here’s the thing, keyword[s] if it’s true love.
“Now what might be true love then?”, you might ask. Defining love is almost as hard as finding someone that still owns a flip phone.
I like to define real love as something that essentially has no time limit. Love is not bound, meaning that it is long-term. If you feel that your feelings for another person will not or should not last for years on end, then what you feel is not love, but rather it is attraction.
In addition to that, love in a relationship is supposed to be a mutual feeling that is not just demonstrated verbally, but through actions and responsibility.
Anyone can say ‘I love you’, but can they demonstrate it?
Pursuing a long-term relationship such as marriage demonstrates this love. There are plenty of smaller actions within love that can demonstrate it, such as putting the other person before you or physical affection. However, this is all-encompassed under the idea of a long-term relationship.
If it has an expiration date, then is it really love? Or is it milk waiting to go bad.
This is of course factoring out death, as no one can control that and it is not at the hands of either person in the relationship.
So I’ve mentioned what love is. But what about what it isn’t?
Well, love definitely is not defined by sex, or how good it is with your significant other. Using this to define love will lead to a toxic relationship and even a lack of loyalty.
Love definitely is not related to social status or how much money someone has.
Love is not largely around just appearance, as appearance changes with age. But, this does not mean that appearance is irrelevant.
This brings me to another point, actually. A lot of people, when asked, say that they prefer personality rather than looks.
While I don’t want to say that they are entirely lying, they are.
It’s actually important to find and love someone whom you deem to be somewhat attractive, and many people know it. This increases the bond of love between the two of you and prevents you from comparing your significant other to people you see online or in the street.
When I mean appearance, I don’t mean judging people by how big their nose is or how sharp their jawline is. Rather, I’m talking about how a person takes care of themselves, how they conduct themselves, and how they appear before you [such as their manners].
While the grass is always greener on the other side, and there will always be ‘better looking’ than what you have, it is still important to not compare and go for someone that you think is somewhat attractive.
What happens when people don’t follow these ideal guidelines for love?
It’s not always the same with each person as each situation has its differences, but most relationships, especially in high school, that do not have the intent of long-term, like marriage end at some point or another.
Usually, they end with one person or even both feeling unhappy, despite what they might claim.
In fact, a statistic by Brandon Gaille showed that less than 2 percent of high school relationships led to marriage in the future. And even then, nearly 54% of high school sweetheart marriages end in divorce, compared to the 32% average divorce rate of American couples.
I assume that this is because relationships that begin at such a young age did not begin with the mature premise of a long-term relationship. It also helps to remember that teens are developing drastically at this time of their life, and it is entirely possible that they do not even know what they fully want in a romantic partner yet.
More often than not, the common intent of dating just for fun or experience ends badly as well.
Someone’s heart ultimately cannot be used for experience. It leads to the other person being extremely hurt, especially if they believed the relationship was on the basis of actual love.
Even then, let’s assume both people know that it was all for ‘experience’. Then what?
It doesn’t matter. That’s what.
Even if the intent is for ‘experience’, romantic actions and romantic bonds are still being done.
Guess where else romantic actions and bonds are done. In a real relationship.
By creating these bonds with a faulty intent, you harm your ability to engage in a real, long-term, healthy relationship.
The majority of high schoolers simply aren’t mature enough for a relationship.
With many people still developing even after 18 all the way until the age of 25, a relationship at such a young age without serious intent is bound to fail or worse, leave irreversible scars.
Now, what about my story?
What Ultimately Changed My Perspective
Just like many teenagers my age, my sophomore year was a series of ups and downs as my feelings moved from one girl to another.
A part of the environment at school almost encourages people to have a crush. People even say things like “its normal” and “shoot your shot”.
While it is normal and sometimes uncontrollable, actions and mindset can still be controlled. It’s also important to know that there is a difference between finding a girl/boy attractive and actually having feelings for them. I did not see this difference during my earlier high school years.
Although I did not really do much regarding my feelings for all these different girls [except maybe like 3 girls], I still felt the need for a significant other.
Keep in mind, during these years I was not able to speak to girls casually and without getting nervous, probably because of the mindset I had at the time.
Obviously, I was not happy because I felt incomplete without a girl and tirelessly searching for one [either consciously or subconciously] was mentally exhausting.
Junior year came around and I was genuinely a little bit more mature. I started talking to this one girl that I thought I really liked. I thought that she looked good and was honestly there for me to talk to. We shared experiences about our lives, sometimes as they happened, and I felt that just maybe, I could get into a relationship.
I mean, what’s the problem with love?
Well, technically there isn’t a problem with real love.
In my case, I was talking to this girl a lot, and essentially everything was going well in my eyes.
However, there was one thing that was bothering me.
I questioned myself on whether or not this would even be a long-term thing or if I was just doing this to satisfy the urge for love and affection.
Considering how young I am and that my mind is currently still developing, I am definitely not as responsible as I would like to be, especially talking about being responsible for my significant other.
Most people are still finding out who they really are, both at this age and maybe even into their 20s. So how can someone love another person and get to know them when they do not even know themselves?
This thought stuck to the back of my head like gum.
I feared that what I wanted would not work out: having the relationship be long-term. If it ended up not working out later and things ended suddenly, one of us or both of us would end up hurt.
I did not like the idea of emotionally hurting my developing self or the other person.
Considering that I am literally a high schooler, this whole idea of a long-term commitment was not exactly possible. This along with private reasons that I will not name pushed me to not pursue this relationship. I decided that dedicating a part of my mind to pursuing not only this, but any relationship at my age was just not worth it.
I let the girl know and she understood. From there, I took a break from speaking with her [which we had discussed when I told her] for a couple of months to get over her.
After this, I realized that it was not just about getting into a relationship and that there were many other factors that came into play. Instead of pursuing love and affection, I began to work on myself.
I did so because of this one thing that became very apparent to me:
You can’t love anyone if you don’t even love yourself. If you were not happy with your life before, a relationship will not solve your problems.
Reread that right now and let it sit in your head.
Most people, student or not, don’t even understand this and end up in a messy relationship that eats away at them like a parasite.
Okay, Well What Should I Do Now?
So I’ve talked about what should be avoided, but what about what you should do?
Well, there are two things.
If you are a high schooler or someone younger, you should avoid chasing such relationships and rather work on yourself.
This includes educating yourself, exercising in some way, taking care of yourself, speaking to more people, exploring your passion, finding out what you really want to do with your life, and most importantly: your purpose.
Once you find your purpose, you keep chasing after it and never give up. Whatever relationship you get into when your older, your significant other must not be of any harm to your chances of achieving this purpose. When you finally attain your purpose, you keep expanding it and keep achieving it.
What about if you’re older.
Then, it depends.
- Have you already worked on yourself?
- Are you mentally fit for a relationship?
- Are you responsible financially for a relationship?
- Do you want to go long-term?
- Are you not messing around with people?
If you answered no to any of these questions, you are not ready for a relationship and need to reevaluate yourself.
If you answered yes to all of these questions, then my best advice to you is to begin searching subtly for someone, with the intent of long-term like marriage.
It is likely that by expanding your range and getting to know more people, will eventually find someone that clicks with you.
Regardless of the fact, searching for a relationship should never consume all of your time.
Most of the time, a handful of the problems found in today’s world [such as some mental health issues] have risen from improper relationships and pursuing the like.
Only by acknowledging the various factors listed in this article can an ideal relationship take place.
I’m sure there are hundreds of you out there that probably have something to say about this or have experiences of your own.
That’s what the comments are for so go for it. I’m curious anyway.
You’ve reached the end of this post, hopefully, you got something from it!
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About the Author
M. Thaaer Alrajab, who is a high school senior, is the founder of Truthful Society and the host of the Truthful Society podcast. He uses his passion for writing and content creation within his website and podcast.
In 2019, he started his first website, The Political Times. After he finally began to grow, he realized that his audience wanted a different type of content. This led to the creation of Truthful Society.
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Eckstein, C. (2020, March 14). Traditional Relationships VS Modern Relationships…Which Is Better?- Charley’s Blog Life. Charley’s Blog Life. https://www.charleneeckstein.com/blog/traditional-relationships-vs-modern-relationships.
Daniel PearceDan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon. (2020, November 17). Examining High School Sweethearts and Their Likelihood of Divorce. Men’s Divorce. https://mensdivorce.com/high-school-sweethearts/.
Woodfall, J. (n.d.). 14 Days of Love Day 6: Is it Worth Continuing a Relationship After High School? (FACEOFF). The Panther. https://www.thepalmettopanther.com/14-days-of-love-day-6-is-it-worth-continuing-a-relationship-after-high-school-faceoff/#:~:text=Less%20than%202%20percent%20of,the%20marriage%20becomes%20even%20slimmer.
Johnson, E. (n.d.). Being a “high school sweetheart” might not be as sweet as it seems. Spartan Shield. https://spartanshield.org/24002/opinion/being-a-high-school-sweetheart-might-not-be-as-sweet-as-it-seems/.