Students and staff share tips for long lasting relationships


Keira Sweeney, Staff Writer

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.