Lilli Libowitz, In-Depth Editor, Director of Staff Development

When discussing a breakup in my grade, my friends and I quickly conclude that high school relationships are not meant to last. However, this does not mean that high school romances are not worth it just because they come to an end.

The goal of any relationship is exploration. As teens, we are discovering who we are, what we like and whom we find comfort in. Relationships push us to be vulnerable and learn about ourselves and our partners more intimately. Without this experience, we could miss out on vital experiences to our young lives. 

Additionally, high school relationships teach teens how to maintain healthy relationships, which can prepare teens for positive future relationships. Other lessons that high school relationships teach include maintaining strong communication, understanding the importance of honesty and how to set and respect boundaries. 

According to Dr. Furman, a professor of psychology at the University of Denver, “romantic relationships can also be significant sources of support that offer teenagers fun and companionship, help them forge mature identities and offer them practice in managing emotions.” 

This additional socialization is helpful later in life, and according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “[high school] relationships also can play a role in supporting youth’s ability to develop positive relationships in other areas including: in school, with employers and with partners during adulthood.”

Some CESJDS students believe this aligns with their experience.

“[My] longest relationship was three years. It’s hard to explain how [the relationship] made me happier, but my mood just gets better when I’m able to spend time with someone I care about,” Junior Sam Miller said.

Junior Gaya Newman, who is in a long-term relationship, agrees with Miller that her mental health has been positively impacted by her relationship. 

“I learned how to love myself actually, my boyfriend made me love myself more and feel better about my body…He’s always there by my side with me to help me with problems with my family and my friends,” Newman said.

High school relationships are the best way to discover your likes and dislikes for relationships later in life. Dating as a teen allows you to learn more about someone else, while still discovering who you are and what makes you happy. 

While I understand that high school relationships are notorious for being short and even ending painfully, these relationships allow teenagers to discover who they really are. It is important to look past this pain and understand that these relationships come with benefits as well.