- by K Duron

Being in a relationship in high school is pretty different from being in one in college,
or even after that. For one, when we’re in high school, we see each other five days a week, 8
hours a day, and then some on the weekends. It’s our own comfortable little social hub...but it
definitely has its drawbacks.

Have you ever liked someone, but maybe you’re not that into them? Maybe you just
find them attractive, or like the way they play the guitar? Happens to all of us. We aren’t always
fully attracted to someone, yet sometimes we end up in a relationship with them. If we aren’t
head over heels for a person, if we don’t get the feeling like we have to be with that person 24/
7, then why do we find ourselves calling these people our boyfriend or girlfriend? Sometimes,
we get so caught up in the idea that we HAVE to have a bf/gf because that’s just the high school
norm...it means that someone is interested in us and that makes us feel good. But other times,
we are pressured into a relationship. I don’t mean like your best friend put a gun to your head
and forced you to hook up with the guy from geometry. It is way more subtle than that. We
don’t even realize that our close group of friends are the ones that are shifting our perceptions,
whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Sometimes it can be that little back and forth between your mutual friend and the person
you aren’t that interested in. For the sake of this story, let’s call that person...Oliver. So Oliver
is kind of cute, he is the star of the basketball team, and he is a nice guy. But he doesn’t drive
you crazy. You can live without him. As soon as you admit to your friend, however, that you
think Oliver is kind of cute, and you saw him checking you out during English...that’s where it
all starts. Why? Because people our age love drama-that thrill of secrecy and who knows more
and what detail is juicier. It keeps the social life interesting in a way. So your friends begin what
seems like a harmless exchange of ‘she likes you’, and ‘you should ask her out’. This may seem
fine, because your friends are just trying to help you out, right? But then this turns into everyone
and their mothers talking about how good you and Oliver would look as a couple, and why don’t
you go out already? This can put pressure on anyone, even if you think it might not. And that
is when you find yourself tied down with Oliver and going to his basketball games every Friday
when you would rather be watching a movie or hanging with your other friends.

So, I’m not saying to not go out with that cute guy Oliver. I’m just saying, make sure you
are going out with him because he makes YOU happy...not just to satisfy all your friends that
have bf’s and gf’s. Trust me, you’ll be saving yourself plenty of time.

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