“If you’ve never dated anyone else, how do you know if they’re even ‘the one?’”
“Aren’t you afraid you’ll get sick and tired of each other?”
“Do you honestly think your relationship will last?”
Hooray! for the endless amount of intrusive questions that typical high school sweethearts are constantly bombarded with by their peers.
For the typical hopeless romantic, the idea of finding your prince charming, or “the one,” can provoke restlessness and test impatience. I say this because I, a fairy tale enthusiast since my first viewing of Cinderella, have endured a long road of despondency due to the high expectations of love that Walt Disney animation films have placed upon me.
Even though elementary or junior high school love may be perceived as childish, vague, and playful, those constructed ideals have left me feeling nothing but loneliness and desperation. Looking at my peers that had seemingly already found love, I grew increasingly anxious about the limited time I had left to find “the one,” which caused me to feel unworthy of love.
Looking back at my youth, I realize how naïve I truly was. With time I have come to grasp the extent to which my innocence, constructed ideals of love and timing consumed me. My puerile outbursts deprived me from enjoying my youth and its perks. I found myself in an eternal search of the happiness that comes from feeling wanted and worthy of love.
Soon enough, I began to understand that love has no timing. It can come at any time, at any place, and sometimes at the most unexpected moments. People will constantly walk in and out of your life, but when the person you are meant to be with comes along, the universe will find a way to make your paths cross.
Once that special someone finally arrives, there will be an unavoidable group of people seemingly aiming to burst your bubble of happy dreams. I welcome you to the inevitable world of high school sweethearts: couples who endure 5, 10, or even 50 years of constant and agonizing criticism from others regarding their commitment to each other. In an effort to debunk this criticism, here is a comprehensive list of reasons why high school sweethearts have the right idea when it comes to love.
“You’re only (insert age here). Don’t you want to look around to see if there’s someone better than him/her?”
While I understand youth has a strong influence on your outlook, I am still a firm believer in the idea that maturity is not controlled by age. Being blinded by your first innocent love is one thing, but knowing what you want to make out of your life and whom you want to spend it with for the right reasons is another. These constructed societal rules of when you should decide on whom you want to spend forever with are simply boundaries. The purpose of seeking any type of monogamy should be to find the one person that makes you feel completely comfortable when you are with him or her. While everyone has a different model of the picture-perfect man or woman they desire to be with, why is there a need to continuously ‘look around’ for someone better if you have the individual you desire right in front of you?
“Enjoy your adolescent years, that’s what it’s about! Date around, have fun, travel, and party!”
Apparently, you cannot be granted the privilege to have “fun” if you are still in a relationship with your high school sweetheart. That is simply not allowed. Obviously, being in a relationship should not limit your choice of social interactions. What it should restrain, of course, are the types of social interactions you and your significant other are allowed to have with other people—some options may defy the morals and ethics of the relationship. But contrary to this criticism, there is nothing wrong with wanting to accomplish everything on your college bucket list with your partner.
“You two won’t last very long because you’ll get sick of one another.”
Best friends may irritate each other on a daily basis, but they are also powerful enough to endure those moments of annoyance. Dynamic couples are the ones that make it through everything even when all of the odds are against them. Being head-over-heels invested in someone is something that takes courage, strength and commitment. Just like every other couple, regardless of when they first met, there will be times when you need your psychological space away from your partner. It is normal. It does not mean that the correct thing to do is to break things off. High school sweethearts can last just as long as any other couple, even longer.
“You honestly believe in soulmates?”
Why yes, I do. And as cliché as this sounds, I am also a firm believer that there is someone out there that could potentially know you better than you know yourself. Soulmates come around once in a lifetime, and if you are lucky enough to come across yours, why let that chance go?
“Aren’t you going to be tempted to look at other girls/guys?”
If the temptation is bigger than the affection for the other person, inevitably the impulse will win. That is not to say that high school sweethearts are psychologically restrained from potentially looking at other attractive people, but if there is trust, loyalty and maturity in the relationship, then the temptations will be defied.
It is possible to have found that once-in-a-lifetime connection inside the halls of high school. Despite all of the criticism and constant questioning from others, soulmates do exist, and the greatest test for high school sweethearts to defy is time and sometimes distance.