Seek positive relationships, not purely romantic ones

Editorial Staff

The exchange of secrets among tight-knit friends, the random nicknames and laughter and quickened heart palpitations. The fleeting eye contact and failed attempts at grabbing attention.


That dizzying feeling of having crushes, construct of “wanting someone to care” and “relationship goals” that dot social media feeds can make high school students chase romantic relationships.


Experimenting with half-formed ideas of who we are and who we might be characterize this period in our lives. While realizing what we need in the people we connect with is valuable, we should not let the preconceived notion that it is standard, or even necessary, to have romantic relationships define our actions.


It is possible for two people to support and respect each other at an early age and find stability in a long-term relationship. However, we should focus on finding balance between the various relationships we have in our teenage years.


Relationships in high school are mostly fleeting, a whirlwind of sweat, emotions and awkwardness. It is important to shift our priorities at times to fully experience these four years before college as we find and build on who we are. That means building better, deeper relationships with our families and friends.


The stages fictional relationships go through are often dramatized for effect and push the boundaries of real-world situations to do exactly what they are made for: to entertain. Romantic entertainment is cultivated by tropes and archetypes: real life is more complex than that. Contrary to the “love at first sight” stereotype, human connection is not instantaneous. In real life, getting to know someone is gradual, and the foundation for a healthy relationship.  


As we watch movies and TV, our brains subconsciously internalize methods and lessons, skewing our perceptions. The relationships we observe are the ones we model, detrimental if what we are observing is a poor construct.


In Netflix’s romantic comedy To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Lara Jean’s sister leaving for college creates a void in her life. Enter Peter Kavinsky, who Lara dates despite being aware of his sole intention to spite his ex-girlfriend, Gen. While the movie closes with the two happy together, the source of the relationship remains a poor representation of what we should and should not accept from others.


While love and connection is at the core of humanity, these mediums may bring romance to the forefront, early in our lives. The need to showcase romantic relationships derives from the age of social media we find ourselves in certain famous couples are labeled as iconic, their occasional break-ups viewed as catastrophic by millions.


At Coppell High School and high schools across the country, there are many traditions accompanying prom and homecoming dances, from proposals (or “promposals”) to mums and garters. The colorful, “punny” posters and elaborate proposals are undeniably sweet. But in this phase of life where we compare ourselves to the people around us so often, they may create pressure, as something to live up to or a vital experience to have. There are many ways to spend a night; if thinking about a “plus one” is causing you stress, consider making memories with friends or family.


There aren’t set pictures of what happiness or love in a relationship looks like; those are individual to our lives, our circumstances. Value positive relationships in your life rather than prioritizing girlfriends or boyfriends.


As the people we find ourselves surrounded by now become the stuff of memories, the stories of things we did around certain people are ones we’ll look back on and laugh at. The support systems we build now and the connections we make with friends and family are more likely to last, and mold us into independent people.