Relationships offer benefits, unintended consequences

High school dating creates learning experience

Atticus Raasch

After a tough day, junior Khyla Bonine said she finds solace in her high school partner.

Bonine said dating can provide support to aid in getting through each day.

You have a support system that will always be there for you,” Bonine said. “It’s another way to make you feel happier and make high school worth it.”

Senior Ali Hodan said seeing a partner every day could create an awkward environment.

“(High school dating is) weird,” Ali said. “You go to school with the person, why do you want to see them every hour of the day?”

According to health teacher Amy Pieper-Berchem, relationships are a natural part of high school.

“I think it’s all part of growing up. It’s a natural part of life and being human,” Pieper-Berchem said. “I think it’s good practice for communication and learning boundaries.”

Ali said there are various drawbacks to high school relationships.

“You may see them with other girls or guys. You most likely won’t be with them after high school as well,” Ali said. “Not a lot of high school students think about what they’re doing when they get in a relationship.”

Sophomore Luke Anderson said dating at a young age can be beneficial for future relationships.

“I think experience and knowing what to do in a relationship really helps in high school,” Anderson said.

Pieper-Berchem said as well as a time commitment, the concept of dating often creates an unconstituted expectation for students.

“Kids these days are stretched way too thin with work or school,” Pieper-Berchem said. “Also (students) could be pressured by society or what they think is expected of them as far as being in a relationship at all. Spreading the time part just a big thing.”

Bonine said it is important that both people in a relationship stay mindful of the other’s personal life.

“Both people in the relationship have to be understanding that each person has a life outside of the relationship,” Bonine said. “With school, homework, a job and activities outside of school, a relationship with someone can’t consume your whole life.”

According to Pieper-Berchem, social media outlets often speed up the progress of a relationship.

“I think that relationships due to social media progress much faster,” Pieper-Berchem said. “Expectations might not be discussed. They may lack skills to communicate; their expectations and refusal skills may not be developed face to face.”

Ali said social media makes initial communication a lot easier for high school dating.

“People can talk a lot easier,” Ali said. “If you see someone in class and think they’re cute you can talk to them a lot faster with social media.”

According to surveys done by Pew Research Center, many teens use social media as a pedestal to begin a new relationship.

“During the focus groups, technology — and especially social media — often was described as an integral part of the courting process for teens,” the study said. “Half of all teens have let someone know they were interested in them romantically by friending them on Facebook or another social media site and 47 percent have expressed their attraction by liking, commenting or otherwise interacting with that person on social media.”