We all know the story: the basketball jock falls in love with the science geek over a karaoke duet, the two overcome their differences to star in the school musical, and then everyone breaks out into a huge song and dance performance. Unfortunately, BSGE is not East High and actual high school is not High School Musical (1, 2, or 3). So then how does dating in our school work? Is there hope for a love equivalent to Troy and Gabriella’s? Five BSGE students were interviewed on their prior experiences or general observations about dating in school, and all are anonymous for the sake of privacy.
“Crowded,” “constrictive,” “restrictive,” “open,” and “awkward” were all used to describe dating in BSGE. Four students stated that boys are usually the first ones to make the first move. Even though girls may be the first to “initiate the flirting,” boys are the first to ask for phone numbers and set a date. Everyone agreed that relationships usually begin through a combination of texting and face to face interaction. But one student warns to be wary of picking up the wrong cues, because nowadays, asking someone to spend time outside of school “does not always make an official relationship.”
Three interviewees thought that the movie theatre is an ideal first date spot, because movies “take away the awkwardness of a first date.” The top recommendations are scary movies, because there is “an opportunity for cuddling,” and a movie series, because they are “gender neutral” and allow “both the guy and the girl to get excited for something they both like.” The other two interviewees believed that getting food together in a cafe, or going for a walk in Central Park were ideal first date spots. Whatever you choose to do, remember that a first date is for “really getting to know your significant other” and building off of that initial crush.
All interviewees agreed that BSGE’s small size and population definitely yielded some adverse effects. Unfortunately, since we are all in such close proximity to each other, there “aren’t many moments of real privacy…ever.” All members of BSGE, including students and faculty, are considered family. And we all know from our own families that secrets never stay hidden for long. One interviewee stated that new couples face a lot of pressure from their peers, because the lack of couples in BSGE (mostly due to our small population) leads to an emphasis on existing ones. But this can be easily solved by acknowledging “the fact that the two are going out, but do not bombard them with questions.”
The interviewee advises for students to allow new couples to reveal their relationship statuses on their own terms. On the bright side, going to the same school can have some benefits. Because we all suffer equally under the same workload, dating a fellow BSGE-er is calming because “they just get it.” If you have a paper due and end up ignoring your significant other for a whole day, he/she will understand. But be cautious if you two have several classes together; since BSGE is so academically demanding, the act of staring deeply into the eyes of your new boo across the classroom will not reflect well on your grades. The best way to balance schoolwork and a relationship is by balancing your time and finding a compromise. One interviewee made a schedule with her significant other, in which he/she “allotted time for when we were both free.” In the end, all interviewees agreed that school should take precedence over a relationship to some extent.
Sadly, some relationships do have to come to an end. In BSGE, breakups usually occur due to “loss of interest,” “cheating,” “rumors,” and/or “lack of time.” Because the number of couples in BSGE is small enough as it is, breakups are usually “a very emotional ordeal.” However, there is a possibility in retaining a friendship afterwards. The friendship usually depends on the duration of the relationship and the nature of the breakup. If the relationship was long, then staying friends is usually harder. If the relationship was short, then staying friends is usually easier. In the end, all interviewees agreed that most exes stay “polite,” “civil,” and “friendly” with each other.
Even though there are no clearly defined “girl/guy code” in dating a friend’s ex, most of the interviewees recommended to ask your friend first, or at least give him/her a heads up. It is better to stay safe than fire up some fresh new drama. But remember that there are “certain boundaries that you can’t cross,” so keep in mind the feelings and limitations of your friends. If you do go through a breakup, just hang in there and ask yourself, “am I really going to remember this five years from now?”
To our younger readers who are currently in a relationship or thinking about entering one, here is some advice from the five interviewees (you may take them as you will):
- “If you end things, try to be polite and end things on good terms. Try to be nice, and don’t cheat on people.”
- “Remember that relationships in high school are temporary. Make sure to always have a group of friends and stay with them. If you were to go through a breakup you would want support from your friend group.”
- “To my guys, you should always show affection to your girlfriend, even if it is something small like a hug. Any little thing that shows that you care counts.”
- “If you plan on staying here for all six years, do not ruin relationships or create vendettas. Stay cautious with dating in this school.”
- “Tim has condoms, use them, they’re free.”
Lastly, make sure to stay happy, healthy, safe, and consensual. Even if you are in a relationship, do not forget that you and your own well-being are of utmost importance. Happy dating, folks!