Relationships nowadays are complicated even when your lockers are 10 feet apart. Are you a "thing" or "exclusive" or "dating?" What's the difference? Is there any potential for your thing to become exclusive or for your exclusive to become dating? Do you want it to be?
High school relationships make my head hurt. Seriously, I'm talking migraines.
That being said, I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend from high school for a little over one year now. We've been together, more or less, for three months longer than that, but high school makes that a bit more complicated. After a bit of a bumpy transition into an actual committed relationship, it was already second semester of senior year. He had already committed to Franklin and Marshall College for soccer last semester, but I was still awaiting responses for the colleges that I applied to. We were only dating for less than 24 hours before I started worrying about the future.
Why would I get into a new relationship during the second semester of my senior year?
Well, now is where things get really complicated. 24 hours into my relationship and I was already wondering whether or not it was going to last. I was already concerned about college and whether to stay together or break up. When would even be the right time to have this conversation? Before summer? At the end of summer?
I had only heard back from a few schools at that point, but what if I got into my top choice that is 8 hours away from him? Would I choose to go to a school closer to him to try and make our relationship last?
Breathe. Stop thinking. Stop asking yourself questions. Just breathe.
Reflecting on that stage of my relationship makes me laugh. I'm not kidding, it's pretty comical once I actually realized a few of the little things that I probably (DEFINITELY) skipped over back in high school. So here is my advice to you high school seniors who are freaking out just as badly as I was within just the first 24 hours of my relationship:
If you are currently in a "thing," all I have to say to you is to just think about how stupid that sounds. Trust me, no judgement from me, but just take a second to listen to it.
Thing. THING. What the hell is a thing? And no, I'm not asking because I'm some dinosaur who doesn't understand modern relationships. I'm asking because I unfortunately DO know what that means, and the truth is, it doesn't mean much.
You are the people who hook up more than once, but aren't necessarily restricted to just each other. However, you do get dibs on each other if you are both at the same party, for example. You probably talk outside of your hook up environments, but not enough for either person to get attached because that is the ultimate goal. These people are the designated hook up partners that probably have some underlying attraction that is forbidden to ever be admitted.
To be blunt, if you would currently describe your relationship as a thing, you need to grow a pair and either end it because it has no worth and no future or start it because it means more to you than a silly word that solely places dibs on a person that you are too afraid to admit your true feelings to. If you are worried that the other person doesn't feel the same or that you don't see it lasting, then why would you be giving it any sort of title at all, regardless of how dumb and purposefully meaningless it sounds? These are the relationships in your life that are going to leave at least one person seriously hurt and they definitely aren't going to last.
If you would consider your relationship to be "exclusive," man up and call it a damn relationship already.
You aren't dating other people. You aren't hooking up with other people. You are openly attracted to each other and have no intention of being with anybody else. However, you are too afraid of commitment to call it a relationship. So basically, you are in a relationship, but refuse to call it a relationship because you don't want to deal with titles.
If I were asked to be exclusive, I would be undeniably offended. I would feel like someone wants to date me, but they don't want to be committed to me. If you are interested in someone and want to keep learning more about them and spend more time with them and continue being romantically involved with them, please man up and be in a committed relationship and claim that person as your other half, or at least someone who has the potential to be.
Now, most importantly, if you are already in a committed relationship, props to you. You are more mature than the majority of people your age because you aren't living your life in fear. I have the most advice for you because you are in the same place that I was a year ago.
It's a scary place to be. Whether your relationship has just begun or it's been two years of happiness already, you can never predict the outcome of a high school relationship. You don't want to hold each other back, but you also aren't ready to let go. You both have dreams and aspirations to achieve in college or wherever you are headed next and holy shit is that scary. It is at this time when you realize that you are about to launch yourself into the real world, but this also comes with the responsibility of launching your significant other as well.
It's true, long distance doesn't always work. This doesn't mean that you should restrict yourself just to be closer to your significant other. You both deserve the ability to grow as individuals and as a couple.
It's going to be hard.
However, that is how you know it's good. Easy is never good. Arguing isn't the end of a relationship. Things get tricky and frustrating, but that's just love.
It's time to test your trust and happiness. How far have you come, and how far will you go? Communication is key in any relationship, so don't give that up because your lockers are no longer next to each other and your houses are more than a 10 minute drive apart. If something is wrong, don't start being shy now. If something is right, call them and tell them all about the wonderful news. Wake up to a good morning text and fall asleep next to them on FaceTime.
You need to trust that your relationship is more than a statistic. Your love has the potential that only you can feel, so, as well as your friends may know you, this is not their decision. In fact, it shouldn't be a decision at all.
When you truly love someone, you would do anything in the world for them to be happy and for you to be the person they share their happiness with at the end of the day.
Don't fix something that isn't broken. It is ALWAYS worth a try. One year later, and I still couldn't imagine my life without him.