Love Without Labels

November 20, 2008
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Seconds after she happily agreed to be his girlfriend, a spotlight burst a beam directly on the new couple, blindingly illuminating where they stood and leaving them frozen before a judgmental audience of family and peers. Unfortunately, that is what it feels like for the majority of teenagers in the beginning of a budding relationship- as if their love life is suddenly on display. Becoming an official couple destroys the old fashioned style of dating, causes pointless arguments while stifling independence, and allows no privacy between the two people involved.High school students should not label themselves as boyfriend and girlfriend because not only does it cause more problems than necessary, it also puts expectations on them about how a couple should act rather then allowing them to be themselves.

Rarely are teenage boys today heard asking girls, “Hey, would you like to go to on a date with me this Friday night?” More often than not, the boys bypass the dating stage and skip right to: “Hey, want to be my girlfriend?” Traditionally, dating consists of going out to dinner, seeing a film, or doing activities with another person in order to get to know them on a different level. After several dates, it is probably clear whether or not the person is relationship material. Because most couples are established before any dates have actually taken place, the guy and girl tie themselves down to each other without properly learning more about the other individual. Theoretically, most high school relationships nowadays are formed backwards: the titles of boyfriend and girlfriend are assigned, and then the couple might go on a real date once or twice. Old fashioned dating is nearly nonexistent among teens. In many ways, high school relationships begin doomed because the people committing themselves do not know what they are getting into. Regardless of whether or not they know each other, guys and girls dive head first into a relationship because that is what everyone else is doing.

Once two people become boyfriend and girlfriend, arguments tend to spread like wildfires. The girlfriend complains to him about not calling her last night, and the boyfriend gets jealous that she talks to other guys. These pointless disagreements occur because certain responsibilities come with being in a relationship, and most teenagers are either too immature to handle the responsibilities, or have been taught by society how a significant other is supposed to act. Also, many boyfriends or girlfriends become extremely controlling and the independence of the individual is gradually drained. Without the label, there are no forced responsibilities, and definitely no controlling partner. Many annoying and time consuming problems are craftily avoided by not labeling an innocent relationship as being composed of a boyfriend and girlfriend.

At times, students seem to place a fresh couple under a microscope and start dissecting them piece by piece. Intimate details are spread in detail around the classrooms, and rumors are whispered. By not labeling a relationship, the privacy of the two people is preserved. No one scrutinizes their every move, and there is no classic high school drama. More importantly, there is no expectation to rush into saying, “I love you.” The relationship is brought down from being a public ordeal to a private expression of mutual feelings between two people.

The boyfriend and girlfriend label should not be used by high school students because it creates frustrating problems and over shadows the teenager's true feelings with expectations of how official couples should supposedly act. Dating to get to know someone has vanished, the responsibilities cause arguments, and comforting privacy is stripped away by the scrutiny of others. If the feelings between two students are truly pure, they do not need a superficial label to know that they hold a place in each other's hearts. In the absence of the spotlight, honest, unashamed feelings are readily declared. No audience is needed, because there is only one person in each other's eyes who could possibly comprehend the intensity of the emotions felt.

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This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

Ilse_Spiro said...
today at 7:11 pm
I agree so much. My boyfriend isn’t officially allowed to date even tho he’s a junior, but we hung out in groups and texted and eventually considered ourselves a couple. The title of boyfriend and girlfriend just came naturally after a few weeks. We used it with each other but never made a big point to bring it up to other people. We weren’t hiding it we just didn’t make it public knowledge. By the time people figured it out or asked us about it we already had a solid relationship and we... (more »)
Zaani said...
Apr. 5, 2017 at 1:07 pm
i Basically agree, dating someone you hardly know is very awkward, in other words, old fashioned dating is extremely cute and adorable.
AustinR said...
Aug. 29, 2014 at 12:26 pm
I completely agree with you, go on dates first. Thats how you get to know people! how do you date someone that you hardly know anything about? Go out on dates first, even if its "old fashioned" its cute and better anyways.
Malorie said...
May 11, 2013 at 10:09 am
I agree, old fashion is dying out. My boyfriend and I started dating 8 months ago almost after we went on a date and he told me the day he asked me on the date that he was old fashioned. More people should be like that.
packerbacker12 said...
Feb. 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm
well really old fashioned is courting between the family's not going on "dates" nice writing though
just3words said...
Nov. 30, 2008 at 10:54 pm
They call me at my highschool old fashioned just because I date before I call any one my 'boyfriend'. I completely agree with you.
artofthedeath said...
Nov. 30, 2008 at 2:52 pm
I really liked the message, and your vocabulary was clear. I have to say that I agree with you. Lableing relationships only causes the two in the actual relationship to rush things, even when they really don't know each other all that well.
AliPants said...
Nov. 28, 2008 at 6:49 am
I can't say I agree, but it was at least well written.
sallysunshine said...
Nov. 26, 2008 at 7:11 am
A "label," or officially calling someone your significant other, is a commitment to that person. It says you care about them enough to call them or stay faithful (Not flirting with other people), and don't see it as a responsibility or expectation, but something you WANT to do because you care about them. If things like "talking to guys" bothers a boyfriend and he wants the girl to stop, she not necessarily does it as an obligation because of the label of girlfriend, but beca... (more »)
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