Relationships: Looking at benefits, downsides of high school dating


Graphic by Olivia Buda ’22.

Olivia Buda '22 and Malena Lilly '22

Talking to someone about your excitements and worries, knowing you have that one person who will support you and hold you up through bad and good experiences alike. Having support throughout a detrimental point in your life from somebody going through similar experiences. Being in a relationship is a commitment of many sources, however there can be so many benefits to having one.

Dating in high school can be tedious regardless of dynamics of your relationship, however the overall trend has been shown that the dynamic of a relationship will determine how you perform academically, interact socially and view yourself.

“I think most of it boils down to emotional maturity. Are you in a place where you can be focused on another person and all of the things that it takes to sustain a relationship or are you in a place where you really need to be focusing on academics and athletics and clubs?” physcology teacher Katherine Parent said.

According to a study by UCLA, teenagers in some dating relationships report higher levels of self-esteem and self-confidence and perform well in school. However, the study also found that teenagers in other types of dating dynamics frequently have lower levels of academic achievement and motivation, higher levels of depression and higher statistics of drug and alcohol use.

“I don’t feel like my relationship is a commitment and it shouldn’t feel like one in my opinion. You should be excited and wanting to spend your time with this one person,” Meghan Rabaut ’21 said. “Being in a relationship shouldn’t be a commitment. It should be something you’re happy about and should build you up.”

The safety a relationship provides can be extremely useful as students are working through their developing years. According to Rabaut, the stability a relationship can bring is beneficial.

“I think dating is a natural part of life. Adolescence is the point in your life where you do start to become interested in dating and it’s a natural thing that happens to just about everyone,” Parent said. “I think it’s totally normal for kids to start dating in adolescence.”

Research statistics have shown that most teens start dating between 12 and 15 years of age. While this is true, serious relationships are more prevalent among older teens, 16 through 19, according to UCLA’s Psychology department.

“Some people are ready for the interaction of dating in high school and some aren’t. What’s most important is for a kid to ask themselves if it’s something they’re ready for before embarking on that,” Parent said.

When you’re in a relationship finding the balance of time and effort that you apply to each part of your life is key, according to Rabaut

“I don’t think I need to be in a relationship, there are perks about being in one that are nice but I don’t really care if I’m in one or not,” Emma Rowady ’22 said.

According to Rowady, you have more time for yourself (when you’re single), and when you’re in a relationship you have to make sure that you’re there for you and your partner but when you’re single you’re just there for yourself.

“It’ll be one year in a few days and I’m excited for it. To be together with someone and be able to share a part of yourself with them is special,” Rabaut said. “You don’t have to be with someone. And if you are, it’s not all magic, you have to work for it and communicate.”

According to Rowady, she agrees but further states there’s a lot of benefits to being single such as being able to hang out with other people and try a lot of new things that you just can’t in a relationship because you’re with that one person.

“People who are moving from relationship to relationship really quickly perhaps need to look and see if they’re happy with who they are first instead of seeking some internal validation,” Parent said.