The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

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A Realistic Look At High School Romance

A Realistic Look At High School Romance

Valentine’s Day, a holiday that Whitney Young students spend sharing love notes, flowers, and chocolates with their partner or friends. For those of you who are currently in a relationship, you may be asking yourself around this time, “Is my partner the person that I will spend the rest of my life with?” While I can’t give a definitive answer to that question, I can provide some statistics on high school dating. 

 

High school dating has become less common in recent years. According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, far less than the majority of “teenagers ages 13 to 17 are or have been in a romantic relationship of some kind.”

 

Only 2% of teen relationships end in marriage. While this percentage is probably outdated, marriage rates in the US have declined in recent years so the low number shouldn’t be too far off. Now how many of those marriages last? Well, 54% of marriages between high school sweethearts that got married as teens last 10 years. Marriages between high school sweethearts that wait to at least the age of 25 have a higher 10-year success rate of 78%. Interestingly enough, only 19% of married high school sweethearts attend college. 

 

While statistics are all fine and dandy, talking to someone who is married to their high school sweetheart will provide us with some much-needed insight. Luckily for us, Whitney Young happens to have a teacher who, as of February 9th, has been married to his high school sweetheart for 33 years! When asked why he thinks his relationship has been successful, Whitney M. Young’s very own Mr. McCarthy attributed his relationship’s success to the compatibility between him and his wife. Specifically sharing similar life goals and having families with similar world and political views. “Those [getting along with your partner’s parents and having similar goals] are huge obstacles to overcome that sometimes at a young age you have to say, ‘oh, I think I’ll take a break from that person or I’ll find someone new.’ I never had to face that dilemma.” 

 

While having shared world views is important for successful marriages, Mr. McCarthy also brings up another key factor in determining what relationships last, luck. Even if you and your partner aren’t so lucky to have this ‘compatibility,’ I wouldn’t rush to break up with them just yet. 

 

With the small number of teenage relationships that last years into the future it is a wonder that teens date at all. Why date in the first place if you are just going to end up heartbroken? Well, research has shown that there are a lot of benefits to dating at this age. Having a romantic partner can increase teenagers’ self-esteem, provide them with support and companionship, and teach them valuable life lessons

 

Okay, so we know that not all high school romances last, dating while you are still a teenager can help you discover who you are, what/who you like, what your boundaries and deal breakers are, and what values are important to you. Even if your relationship doesn’t continue after high school, it is still an opportunity to learn from mistakes so you can grow as a person. 

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