The High School Dating Pool This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

November 1, 2010
Dating in high school is a game of strategy. From the top of the proverbial food chain to the bottom, students expect their peers to be attractive and attracted to each other, and to act on it. Some teens go through more partners than pencils, and considering the number of writing utensils littering our hallways, that is both impressive and depressing. Others fight with their partner constantly, yet still cling to them, as if feeding off the drama like vampires. The web of high school relationships may seem dysfunctional, but it's truly laced together tightly.

A considerable number of teens are either in a relationship, have been in a relationship, or want to be in a relationship. Many of these develop only for popularity or publicity. One of the most famous clichéd pairings is that of the head cheerleader and football captain. Many times, this relationship is silly and a waste of time. Often the partners find themselves trapped and wind up resenting each other. Another common scenario is when one finds a partner who pushes one up the popularity totem pole, and does everything possible to attach to that person only for the fame that comes with the relationship.

Some adolescent relationships mesh awkwardly and conclude by damaging both participants. The indecisive partner, who dates someone for a span of time until finding somebody else, distresses the one who is left behind. The jealous/possessive relationship devastates both participants. Other relationships can end well or poorly. In a “friends” relationship, the people surrounding two close friends determine that they could make a cute couple and push them into a relationship. At first this couple may fit awkwardly, but they can become one of the strongest relationships in school. The sympathy date is also very common, and starts with one person trying to care for another, then falling into romance.

Every once in a while you discover the real jerks in school. Some people dare others into joke dates: asking out an underclassman just to humor their friends. Some people use another solely for lust, and sometimes people pair up for only a night, called a hook up. Both of these build weak relationships that deteriorate quickly.

Very rarely you come across a long-term relationship that renews your faith in dating. They hold hands and snuggle, but only chastely; they do not publicly make out or grope. Their bond is strong and built on complete faith in each other. These relationships say a lot about the people in them.

High school relationships are very complex and can either develop into heartbreak or love. Although often a waste of time, dating in high school is part of growing up and will help you develop life-long standards for a

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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jettabugThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 16, 2012 at 9:40 pm
Wow, great job. This is really accurate. (Or I'll say true, just for the sake of repeating the word.) Honestly, though, great job!!
Just.A.Dream said...
Nov. 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm
This is SO true! There are only two relationships in my whole school where the couples have stayed faithful to each other for a LONG time. Good job expressing that issue!
missTaco replied...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm
So true!  Many people start dating just to be with SOMEONE, but thats just not me
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