high school love

Loneliness can be found in all shapes and forms. I've felt loneliness my whole life, it's surrounded me in more ways than one. However, I would like to talk about how loneliness affects me within relationships. I am currently 18 and in my senior year of high school and I've never been in a committed relationship. I am aware that this may not seem like a huge feat too many, but, for me, this constitutes another feeling of alienation for more reason than one.

               Missing out on a relationship like this makes me feel as though I hadn't done everything I should've in my high school life. I spent and still spend many hours wondering how my life would be different if I had a significant other by my side during my teen years. Would I of felt happier? Would they have been able to help me get through school? Or would they have been a burden or an unnecessary pressure?

               When I think about how this seclusion makes me feel I can cheer myself up by listening to three songs: Plastic Flowers by The Front Bottoms, Outside With the Cuties by Frankie Cosmos, and Hey Now by The Regrettes. Each one of these songs reassures me that something good will happen in my life. They let me know that I'm not the only one feeling this way and that I can be happy.

               In turn, many people did have relationships when they were young resulting in different memories. Let's dive into the main takeaways they got from having a partner in high school by asking a couple girls about their experiences.

Alex, 20 years old:

               Alex was in a committed relationship when she was in high school. One she refers to as "Too committed for high school". Since she had been in a relationship she experienced some things that I hadn't while in high school. I asked her a few questions about what this relationship meant to her, and how it shaped her into the woman she is today.

Was this relationship one you have fond memories of? Or is it something that you would much rather forget?

I have some fond memories, yes, but it was such an awkward and uncomfortable time that it's more embarrassing than anything. I look back at how I acted and what I wanted from a relationship and it felt so superficial and immature.

Did this relationship help you get through your teen years at all?

It did in a sense because I never really felt alone, which is nice for a high schooler to feel. I always had someone to talk to. And in a superficial way, it was a popularity thing? It was cool to be in a relationship so I felt cooler for being in one and being "more experienced" even though I knew nothing.

If you weren't in a relationship, do you feel that you missed out on anything that you wish you could've had?

When I wasn't in a relationship, all I could think about was getting into a new relationship. From the ages of 13-18, I was constantly in a relationship with someone. It was an insecurity thing really and I feel like I missed out on finding myself.

Do you feel that having a relationship in your teen years is necessary or beneficial in any way to your adult life?

It was beneficial because I feel like now I know what I want and when I do decide to pursue a new relationship, I'll be ready and know what I'm looking for. I got all my nonsense out early so to speak. I don't think it's necessary though because I wish I had taken some time for myself in my teen years.

When you think of these relationships or lack there of, what emotion do you focus on? Loneliness, depression, love, passion, etc.

I think about what my perception of love was. It was young love and so passionate and so reckless and so head over heels crazy and that's what made it fun. Teens years are the years to go nuts and I really didn't rebel so I did it through relationships (being the first to kiss a boy, have sex, go on vacation with a partner, etc) and that was my way of experimenting. The word that comes to mind is passion because everything felt so heightened like everything I did was life or death, and now that I'm mellowing out, in a way I miss the passion.

If you could make a playlist of 3 songs that make you feel better about this relationship, or if it was a good relationship 3 songs that remind you of the relationship, what would they be?

The songs I think of are Go to Hell by Go Radio, My Black Dahlia by Hollywood Undead, and Round Here by Counting Crows. I was an angsty teen and it was a bad break up.

Breanne, 19:

               Breanne got into a committed relationship when she was in high school, one she is still in. I asked her the same questions to get her opinion on relationships when you're young.

Did you ever have a relationship throughout high school that you would have considered a "committed relationship"?

I was in a committed relationship for 2 years of my high school career. We are still together in our freshman year of college. We have been very serious about our relationship since the beginning.

Was this a good relationship that you have fond memories of? Or is it something that you would much rather forget?

Some of my best memories of my entire life have been with my boyfriend, Joe. I’ve essentially shared my life with someone for the past two and a half years and it has been great in so many aspects. We bring a lot of good qualities out of each other and have helped each other grow as individuals and together as a couple. We both feel very strongly that we were brought to each other for a reason.

Did this relationship help you get through your teen years at all?

Joe has helped me tremendously in some of the worst parts of my life. When we began dating my mother and father had recently separated, and shortly after that my grandma passed away. I struggled with depression and anxiety, and for so long Joe was my biggest source of happiness. He was very understanding when dealing with my depression and he tried to help in every way possible. Having something to look forward to, like phone calls or trips to visit him, helped me tremendously to keep going with my life. Being with him was like a small escape from my own reality, and it still feels like that to this day. Joe has told me that I have changed him in many positive ways also. He wasn’t very comfortable or confident with himself before he met me, and claims that I have helped him become a better person who he is proud of.

If you weren't in a relationship, do you feel that you would've missed out on anything that you wish you could've had?

If I had never dated Joe I definitely would have felt like I was missing out on something. While I absolutely believe people can live perfectly happy lives by themselves, I am the type of person who adores relationships and all of the mushy gushy stuff that goes along with it. I strive in relationships and am all around a very loving person. I love to be able to give that to another person and make them feel special. Technically speaking, I would have survived without the relationship, but I am so immensely thankful that it happened.

Do you feel that having a relationship in your teen years is necessary or beneficial in any way to your adult life?

I believe relationships during your teenage years are certainly beneficial to your adult years but in no way necessary. Everyone is different, and not everyone needs the companionship. It is very important to love yourself first, before worrying about a relationship. There is no one in the world who can fix you but yourself. A companion may help speed the process along, but it is still something you do yourself. Experiencing relationships, good or bad, make for a learning experience. Even if it were the worst experience of your life, you may be able to avoid making the same mistakes in the future and grow as a person. Everything we do in life, including relationships, shape us into who we are. You learn things about yourself, your partner, and even the world when you’re in a relationship. I believe these can be valuable tools in your adult life, but you don’t have to be in a relationship to gain them.

When you think of these relationships or lack there of, what emotion do you focus on? Loneliness, depression, love, passion, etc.

When I think of our relationship, the emotions I focus on most are love and passion. I realize these seem very typical and cliché when talking about a relationship, but I think every couple has their own unique definition for it. Joe has taught me what real, true, pure love is. Until I met him, I had never cared so deeply about someone to the point where I don’t even understand it. Love isn’t cute good morning texts and roses. It’s popping each other’s pimples and giving kisses when your breath wreaks and still thinking they’re the most amazing thing you’ve ever laid your eyes on when they look their worst. It’s feeling a different sense of being alive when you’re with them and staring at them thinking how in the hell did I end up with someone who makes me feel so out of this world happy. It’s the small and boring things, too. It’s nagging your partner for months making sure they fill out their college forms, and do their schoolwork, or giving them some tough love because you want to make sure they’re okay in every aspect even if it doesn’t include you. It’s passion in its purest form. It’s often frustrating because you can’t exactly find the words to describe it, but maybe that’s what makes it so beautiful, and maybe that’s all the description it needs.

If you could make a playlist of 3 songs that remind you of the relationship, what would they be?

The first song that reminds me of our relationship is “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. One of the biggest parts of our relationship has been our love for classic rock. When we first started talking we were amazed to find someone the same age who likes this type of music. We do have a long distance relationship (Maryland to New York) so this song kind of captures our feelings. Although we see each other way more than the average long distance couple, we relate to not wanting to miss a thing because we’re not together as much as we’d like to be. We want to be able to share everything with each other.

Another song that reminds me of our relationship is “Heroes” by David Bowie. It’s one of those songs that just makes you feel good. It’s intoxicating and empowering, and a little bit rebellious. I think a lot of the same things could be said for our relationship.

The song “Wish You Were Here” is another big song for us. We both love Pink Floyd and were so excited when we figured that out at the beginning of our relationship. Times when being away from each other are particularly difficult we’ll send each other a text saying “Wish you were here. –Pink Floyd.” It’s just something goofy and special between us that puts a smile on our face when we look down and see it.  

With the insight of these two interviews, I feel a bit better about where I am in my life. I understand that relationships could help, but all in all, it depends on the person that's by your side. Just being able to say I was in a relationship wouldn't have helped or advanced me at all. The person I was with would have.

               Maybe I did miss out on some small things in life, but who says these opportunities are gone forever. I'm still incredibly young and have a ton of life to live. Rushing into a relationship just to be able to say I had one doesn't mean anything. The superficial titles and status of this in high school is drilled into young people's brains and causes them to only think about who is kissing who.

               I don't want to think this way anymore and am immensely sad that I spent so much wasted time on it. One day I will get in a relationship and that time will come when it does. Stressing about it right now is unhealthy and no good to anyone's head. So if you're like me and feel that you missed a chapter in your life, take a breath and think about what is truly important. You!

written by Sam Perry

ig : @pearsphoto