Is it as risky as your parents say?
In every parents mind, there’s this crazy girl or guy who will pursue you, capture your heart, waste your money and time with cute dates and movie nights, and then dramatically break up with you the night before the HSC begins.
This horror story, where you end up dripping tears all over your extension one exam paper, exists because it has happened. Somebody has a sister who had a friend who broke down in their drama exam because they had to say their ex-boyfriends name “Tom” and it was too much.
And these stories, combined with the general knowledge that dating someone does take a significant portion of time, lead people to recommend that you stay away from the cute girl or guy, at least while you are studying.
And while this advice can be true, it is also important to remember that life is filled with busyness and assignments and feeling stretched. High School is a great time to learn how to balance your relationship with your studies and your extra curricular’s and spending time with your family. Because nothing is going to change when you get to uni or work. Too often, we like to focus on the worst case scenario. We think about the teenager pregnancy, the heart break, and the judgemental smirks from our Aunt Bertha.
That’s a skill that once you have learnt it, you will have mastered it for the rest of your life.
But learning to navigate relationships whilst having high levels of work is a key growing experience. The lie that they tell you in high school, that you don’t have time for relationships because you need to study, can be really damaging in later life if you never learn how to balance work and play.
So we’ve written the ultimate guideline to explore the risks and rewards of dating in high school.
Relationship Tip Number One: Don’t let a relationship take over your life
Find your balance and your zen. You don’t want to be the couple that has to be together all the time, or who completely distract each other from studying, or seeing each others friends.
It’s important in every relationship, but particularly during high school, to take a deep breath, remember what’s important, and think about finding some balance.
Relationship Tip Number Two: It’s important to listen to the people around you
For some families, there are cultural or relational reasons that might lead your parents to encourage you not to date. Or you may have friends, who know that you lose your head whenever you are with a new man or chick.
If your friends or family members are telling you honestly that make it isn’t the best idea to invest in a relationship, hear them out. Sometimes there is value in deciding not to do something because your parents have made a boundary, or have decided what they think is best for you.
At the same time, don’t let peer pressure decide for you what you should or shouldn’t do.
Relationship Tip Number Three: Date your Study Buddy
Legit. Find that guy or girl who has similar motivation to you and you get on with great. Choose someone who is self-sacrificial enough to help you with the maths that you don’t understand, that is willing to swap practice papers and is comfortable enough with you to tell you when your creative writing needs a little work.
Date someone who will make studying fun, rather than distract you from the exam.
Relationship Tip Number Four: It really is OKAY to break up.
There was a girl in my grade who was broken up with two days before her Drama exam. But she was okay. She got through it, and was accepted into drama school last year.
If you’re in a relationship, and you aren’t happy, or you think you are distracting each other from performing your best, it is okay to break up.
Possibly there are better ways to do it before an exam, but have a mature conversation about how you are feeling and that you don’t see the relationship going anywhere.
Relationship Tip Number Five: There is life after school
Whatever you decide is not going to define you for the rest of your life. If you stay single, that's okay. If you date five different girls, that’s okay too.
In the end, you do you.