Every Disney Prince has a Princess: The Pressures of Dating in High School


Two romantic people talk about what they want in life together…But is their relationship as perfect as it seems?

We all believe in a perfect boy or girl who we have never met before.

We want them to fit perfectly into our hearts and make us feel complete.

Later on, though, we slowly realize that nobody is perfect. Everybody has their own problems, their own flaws.

But why do we feel this?

Because we want to stay in love, because if we’re not with someone, we are not complete.

As a society we have been bullying each other for hundreds of years without even noticing it.

“I do think that when you have chick flick movies, there’s always oftentimes a heterosexual relationship that’s typified saying this is what you should be doing,” said counselor Sherri O’Lonergan.

“If you’re not in a relationship, society pressures you to be in one, especially in high school. People expect you to either be in a relationship and or [to be ] seeking attention,” said one sophomore who chose to remain anonymous.

While the pressures can be from movies or books, our school dances could provide pressures as well.

“Some of the things that we have that go on in schools kind of perpetuate [relationship stereotypes] in terms of homecoming nowadays, it’s cool to go as a group of friends and a lot of kids do that. And that’s just socially acceptable [and] is fine, but there is that pressure of, like, ‘Well maybe I should ask somebody because that’s the main idea of these dances,'” said O’Lonergan.

“I was more a people…pleaser than [I cared for] myself. I hated myself and how I acted. I was pressured to do many things but it’s all wrong. You shouldn’t be pressured into liking someone,” said a senior who decided to remain anonymous.

Many teens feel that they need someone to be happy or to find meaning.

O’Lonergan said “I do think it is something that teenagers circle with that biological need to attach, and yet, how do you healthily do that, functionally, in a way that’s going to serve [you] best?…It’s a hard struggle for teenagers because it is hard to fight against [peer pressure]. That’s why people jump into relationships.”

And it’s not just in high school relationships; according to the American Psychological Association 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce.

90 percent of marriages that started before age 30 ended in divorce. 

We have romanticized romance that oftentimes is detrimental, but people are more in love with the idea of love than the person they are with.

Now I have proven my point: the world sucks and true, healthy love is difficult to find. But can we find happiness in our lives?

The same senior who chose to remain unnamed said, “Choose someone around whom you can be yourself. Make sure you like the person you are and who the other person wants/expects you to be. If you don’t…it’s better to be single than to hate yourself.”

Many people don’t take the time to be alone and learn to love themselves, which can keep them from being themselves around their partner. Lack of self-confidence in a relationship makes it easier for one partner to be manipulated or for the relationship to become unhealthy and codependent.

There’s nothing wrong with being alone and taking time for yourself and time to learn who you are. Ultimately, it’s impossible to truly love someone in a healthy way if you don’t love yourself first.

The worst thing you could do with your life is to spend it with the wrong human being.