Decoding Dating at DV

Alyssa Zhong, Sports Editor

If Forrest Gump had changed the word “Life” in his quote ,“Life is a like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get,” to the phrase “Dating in high school”, he would still prove to be just as wise. Let’s point out the obvious: there isn’t much of a dating scene at Dougherty. Sure, there’s those “I like you, you like me, let’s date but never hang out outside of school because I need to maintain a 4.0 GPA and my parents say the opposite sex is not to be tampered with until I’m in college” dating, but that doesn’t really count.

I know this is an opinions article, but I can understand both sides to the argument: is dating worth it in high school? If you know Señora Hoover (¡Hola Señora Hoover!), who has been with her husband since her senior year of high school, she would definitely argue that it is worth it, and so would I.

In high school, a time when you can easily lose your sense of self with fear of impending adulthood and academic, athletic and even social competition, there’s a beautiful thing that happens once you get into a relationship with the right person: a feeling of steady support and acceptance — sentiments that can sometimes even be lacking in friendships.

To address the “dating is a distraction” argument, I’ll admit that maintaining a relationship takes a considerable amount of effort because when one person gets significantly busier than the other, someone ends up feeling neglected. And naturally, you end up blowing school work off from time to time to talk. However, having someone to motivate you, someone with similar goals as you, is anything but a distraction. You become inspired by the other’s success.

Mind the fine print though. The above only applies when dating a person who suits you. With the wrong person, all your dating apprehensions are true: you can’t focus, you feel pressured, you invest too much time, you become distant from your friends etc. I suppose during your first relationship, it’s quite hard to tell whether or not that person is the right person to be dating, but it’s no one’s fault if the relationship ends harshly. There has to be a first time for everything, even if that first time is cringe-worthy.

Forgiveness, my friends, exists.

But then, there’s that fear that after you break up with someone, you lose the friendship that existed before the relationship. Okay, truthfully, things get a little awkward afterwards, but if you were truly friends before, a lack of life in planet romanticism shouldn’t prevent you from returning home to planet friendship. It depends how much you want it. And if Matt Damon did it in “The Martian”, you can too.

But the point I’m actually trying to make is that I feel like a lot of people at Dougherty think dating is some super promiscuous thing that is only fit for people who party a ton. But this is just inaccurate and representative of the fact that many of us live in a bubble. At times, people’s opinions approach the Coach Carr teaching sex ed in “Mean Girls” mentality. You won’t die; calm down.

Of course, relationships, even with fantastic human beings, are not always rainbows and sunshine. But if you survive the rough weather and last into spring, summer and fall, he or she becomes less like a boyfriend or girlfriend and more like a best friend. And considering the uncertainty of high school relationships, that’s an admirable feat.