Love is in the air on Valentines day…or is it
February 13, 2023
In honor of Valentine’s Day The Eagle explored the ups and downs of teenage relationships: from how to have a long-lasting relationship to breaking up. Also Ashlyn Provance shares her new ideas on what the classic candy hearts should say here.
Students and staff share tips for long lasting relationships
Feb. 14th is a day known around the world as Valentine’s Day. A date famous for the celebration of love and relationships. Grocery stores and gas stations alike sell candy hearts and teddy bears. The phrase ‘love is in the air’ rings true throughout the month of February.
The halls of high school are no different, couples hold hands and exchange gifts, some plan for months to set up the perfect date. Regardless of the Valentine’s Day tradition, all require one key thing; a Valentine.
High school relationships are stereotyped as short and dramatic. Some certainly follow this model, but plenty of students work to make their relationships long-lasting and healthy.
Sophomores Chloie Ragan and Skyler Mayle have been dating since their 8th grade year.
“It’s a hard thing to stay together this long,” Regan said. “It takes a lot of maturity, communication and understanding of each other’s life.”
Everyone has the potential to get caught up in themselves, but teenagers are especially prone to these kinds of mistakes. Talking to your partner and respecting their views and individuality is difficult but necessary.
“One, two and three on the bullet point list are boundaries, any boundary you can imagine,” counselor Timothy McKean said.
Romantic boundaries are an establishment of one’s needs or wants when it comes to their relationship.
“My point on boundaries is if you don’t tell them they won’t know. They can’t read your mind, ” Ragan said.
Kurt Jarvis, a teacher for the healthy relationships class, also highlights the importance of communication.
“Good communication helps show respect and courtesy in a relationship,” Jarvis said. “It will also reduce the chance of uncomfortable situations arising throughout the course of the relationship.”
Maturity and communication are skills that have to be worked at and developed. Most teenagers have not had the time or the life experience required to be in a long-term relationship.
“We crave that love, we want that affection, that’s normal. But I don’t know what I want, and you don’t know what you want,” McKean said. “We are two people trying to make it work but we’re growing and we’re changing. And if we don’t grow and change together, then it is not going to work.”
Communication is not just about setting and maintaining boundaries, but also talking through disagreements.
“When Skyler and I go through a hard time we just sit down and talk to each other about it,” Ragan said. “I tell him my feelings and he tells me his. If we don’t agree we take a moment and we assess because a wall goes up when you believe something and they don’t believe it.”
A big roadblock in developing good communication skills is teenagers’ gravitation towards their phones. Texting has replaced face-to-face conversations for many. There is a level of security that comes from being able to avoid the emotional aspect of more difficult situations.
“The problem I think that happens now is we use these as a sole purpose of communication,” McKean said. “I can’t give you my emotions, I can’t give you my physical touch.”
Most of human communication is nonverbal, so taking away the ability to read one another’s expressions can be extremely difficult.
“If you are too scared to talk to your partner face to face to solve a problem then you are not ready for a relationship,” Ragan said.
Teenage years are often called the trial and error stage, the time to find yourself. Many high school relationships will not work out, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Relationships take experience and experience only comes from experimentation. Whether a relationship continues into the distant future or ends after two weeks, boundaries and communication are a must.
Keira Sweeney is a 10th grader at GlenOak this year. This will be her first year on staff as a staff writer. Keira is involved in the marching band and...
Tips to handling the breakup of a high school relationship
It is the moment every teenager dreads. You are in bed texting your friends and end up getting THAT text. You know, the text from your significant other saying “We are over, I am sorry,” or perhaps you magically get blocked by the person you were talking to with no explanation.
It does not matter if you were together for six months or a year, the breakup still hurts leaving heartbroken teenagers not knowing how to pick themselves up. School counselors worldwide have one word for recovery from a heartbreak; time.
Whether that means sitting and listening to ‘Fall Apart’ by Post Malone or even watching ‘The Notebook’, taking time is all one needs after a nasty, or healthy breakup.
“The only cure is time, because when there is a break-up, especially with an abrupt breakup, there’s a sense of grief. What you feel when it happens is shock. The shock is not always there. It goes away, but it takes a minute,” guidance counselor Tim McKean said.
Not only is time a crucial part of every breakup process, but so is growing. Learning from the break-up helps one grow to realize what they may or may not want in their next relationship.
As teens continue to discover themself, they also learn how to react differently to situations within relationships according to McKean.
When a person meets someone for the first time, they have this sort of “surface relationship,” where they are only now figuring out what they do and do not have in common. As a person grows through that relationship, they realize there is more to the relationship than just surface-level interests.
“When you are growing up, you are learning about yourself. And if we don’t grow and change together, it wouldn’t work. And that’s typically what happens, right?” McKean said. “Well, then you find out there’s more to life than that one thing you have in common.”
However, many always think that there are no signs of an incoming breakup. Perhaps, teens wish that they may have seen the signs before the end came upon us. There are signs, at least if a person knows what to look for.
“A few signs are: spending less time together, changes in communication or less communication, and unresolved issues,” Healthy Relationships teacher Kurt Jarvis said.
Although there are many bad ways to break up with someone, like over text or at the Applegrove Starbucks, there are some good strategies that benefit everyone involved.
“Be sure it is really what you want to do, having a plan reduces the risk of going back to a relationship that wasn’t working. Choose a time and place, it should not be a place you go to often. End the relationship completely, don’t make promises for the future. Understanding emotions will be sensitive for both people,” Jarvis said.
Both breaking up and high school relationships can be hard. However, there are steps that one can take to make them easier and less stressful. Talking to your significant other and truly explaining the why will make the breakup easier than it would be.
No matter how long the relationship was, breakups hurt. They serve as heartfelt life lessons and are great examples of what time can do.
Zoe Elmore (she/her) is a sophomore at GlenOak this year. This will be her first year on staff as a writer. Zoe is involved in Speech and Debate. Outside...