A Personal Viewpoint on High School Relationships

Op-ed

Falling in love is a beautiful thing. Especially when you are young and have high hopes for your future. And when you are in love, you dream and desire your partner to be there with you. You envision them holding your hand through high school and college graduation. You envision them being there forever.

You begin to plan things around your partner. You start to make college plans around them. You hope that they'll be there long enough to maybe even marry you. That's what every girl wants after all. They want to fall in love, date for a while, get engaged, then marry the love of their life. Any relationship that is longer than a few weeks can seem like forever. You begin to picture your life with them as the center. Even with everything else going on, you just want them there with you to experience it together.

However, at some point, you have to be realistic with yourself. Now, I'm not saying that all high school relationships end in breakups. I know a few couples that are happily married after meeting in high school. But for the most part, you can't expect both of you to have the same dreams as the other. You can't expect the other to stay in the state for college just for you. And you certainly can't expect them to be more mature than they currently are.

Eventually, you have to accept that people will grow and change. You can hope that you will grow together. But, unfortunately, sometimes people grow apart. Maybe they changed their minds about kids. Maybe they want to travel and you want to stay home. Perhaps you want to leave your parents, but they aren't ready to leave theirs. Maybe you want to go to college, but they want to start a job. Or, you could be on the clean path, but they choose the drug path.

Either way, there could be something that happened that you can't control. But the 15 years old you and the 18 years old you could be vastly different people. Or even the 17 years old you and the18 years old you.

Your high school sweetheart could be one of the purest, kindest, loving souls you have ever met. And they might always be that way. But, no matter what, you have to be ready for the possibility that the two of you could grow to the point of wanting different things in life. And that's okay. There is a person out there for everyone. It just might not be the one holding you at this very moment.

My Story

I had two boyfriends in high school. One was for 3 weeks, and the other was for almost 2 years. The guy I dated for two years was the only one that really mattered in my book. This guy was an incredibly sweet, kind, and respectful person. He was respectful to my parents, he never tried anything sketchy on me, and he was there for me through all of my major milestones in high school. In other words, he seemed like the total package.

He was just starting college when I started dating him in my junior year of high school. He had just turned 18, and I was 16, almost 17. He was studying part-time whilst working. I was doing online and in-person high school whilst working. So, there was a lot of going on. But, in the beginning, we didn't care. From month 3 of our relationship, he knew he wanted to marry me. And, for a person who had recently gotten out of a semi-toxic relationship, this was everything I wanted to hear. I wanted to know that I was loved and wanted for something other than my body. And, for the most part, the relationship was everything we wanted.

We supported each other's dreams; we were aligned in almost every belief. He was a good age for me and wasn't dangerous in any way. Admittedly, we took a 3-month break at one point in the relationship. But even during the break, we were trying to find a way to fight for us.

I consider this guy my high school sweetheart because I was in high school while I was dating him. He is the closest thing to a real high school sweetheart. He wasn't in high school at the time, but I took him to all the dances I could. So, yeah, he was my high school sweetheart.

Eventually, we got to the point where we were really discussing life choices. I had already been accepted to the College of Western Idaho and had decided to get my teaching degree. We were also talking about things like kids and retirement. And, eventually, something even more amazing happened. On February 14th, 2020, he asked me to marry him. I was elated! I was beyond thrilled.

I had graduated early in January 2020. So, with a 6-month break from school, I was able to put all my focus into the wedding. We had set the date for August 1st, 2020 and were attending couples therapy to help prepare us for marriage.

But, all of a sudden something changed. I was living on my own at this point. He was still living with his parents. His family decided they did not like me anymore. And he realized that other priorities were beginning to come up.

Many teenagers don't know how to properly communicate when real issues came up. That ended up being the downfall of this relationship.

The day before the wedding, he canceled. Along with not feeling ready, he decided that, because his family wasn't going to show, he wasn't going to go through with it.

It, of course, crushed me. I thought my world was ending. I was supposed to get married the next day. I had everything ready and I thought we were both on the same page. But, I was wrong. And, of course, because of multiple reasons, my engagement ended. I lost the boy that I thought would be my husband. We tried for weeks after the wedding was canceled to reconcile. But, we mutually decided that this wouldn't work anymore.

Conclusion

I didn't tell you my story for you to feel bad for me. I told you my story so that you would know you are not alone. Many people dream of marrying their high school sweetheart. And, for some, they do find their happily-ever-after with them. But, for the most part, unforeseen circumstances can change everything.

And, you know what? That's okay. That person you dated for so long can still be an amazing person where you'll always wish the best for them. But, maybe that person was meant to be only a small part of your life to teach you something. Maybe, that person you loved was a roadmap to discovering who you are and what your needs really are. Maybe there was a ring involved, or maybe there wasn't, maybe the relationship was a few weeks or a few years; but either way, you will find someone who will love you the way you always dreamed of. You'll figure out what you need from that future person. And you'll always remember the person who loved you for so long.

I can personally say there is no hate from me to my ex. And I know a lot of you can say the same thing. But I also know things could have ended on an awful note. So, I just hope you can one day work past that and find self-healing. You are a strong person, you'll get through anything that comes your way. And, one day, you'll find the right person to withstand the storm with you.

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Abigail Sulfridge

This is Abigail Sulfridge! She is 19 years old from Boise, Idaho. She has been writing since she was a kid. Writing and Acting are her passions. But she also going to College of Western Idaho to be a teacher for elementary students. She works full time with Red Fox Home Care as a Caregiver.


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