Gay & Lesbian Services of Western New York

Relationships in High School

A person who identifies as a 15 year old lesbian asks, “My relationships seem to last only about 3-6 weeks, then either I or my girlfriend seem to lose interest. Am I doing something wrong that my relationships don’t seem to last?”

The loss of a love is very painful, not just because the person isn’t in our life as they were but also our hopes for the future with that person are lost. When it happens once it is easy to feel like a failure. When it happens several times you can start to feel like you belong in the relationship junkyard and that you just will never get it. Certainly there are things that a person can do to help make a relationship get off the ground and continue (This, of course, assumes that it is a good and healthy relationship for BOTH parties and that it SHOULD continue).

The Archives of the Info Page contain a number of entries about relationships. Since relationships are important to us, there are sure to be more in the future.

But relationships during adolescence have a uniqueness that is particular to the teen years themselves. It may well be that relationships during the late middle and early high school years shouldn’t or can’t last. YES, I SAID THAT! Now I will tell you why.

It would be unusual for a person not to want someone special in his or her life. In high school, in particular, all of a sudden everybody seems to be dating and it can be painful to feel left out. There is a fair amount of pressure to date and find someone, especially as you are feeling more independent from your family. For some people having a group of friends fills the bill so that your free time can be spent chatting or going to events together as a group. But many young people want to start to experience romance and feel that they have someone special. This is totally understandable.

Part of the problem though is that high school is a period of considerable change. Physical change to begin with, along with learning more about our own tastes, likes and dislikes and how we fit or don’t fit into the various groups at school. All these changes inside of us and in our environment make a relationship more desirable. A relationship can give us a sense of constancy in a sea of change. But the changes also put a great deal of pressure on our relationships, making them very difficult to sustain, no matter how hard we try. I can certainly remember hoping my relationship would last long enough so that I would have a date for the big sophomore dance! (This was back in the days before I came out to myself).

So, it may be that while it might feel good for our relationships to last in the early years of high school, the odds may just be against it. And it may also be that changing partners and even being without a boyfriend or girlfriend for a while is not a bad thing at all.

You might consider being a little more flexible in your view and definition of relationship. That is, “this one” may not be, “THE ONE.” Try to be a little more open to people coming in and out of your life, or filling some other place in your life. This will allow you to flex and expand your own personality and be better prepared when “THE ONE” does eventually arrive.

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