Love is like an addiction. Once you start loving someone, you can become dependent on them as you may no longer consider yourself to be whole without them. You are content when with them and when without, they are constantly on your mind. This is when you know you love someone. But addictions can be dangerous and unhealthy, and in high school, when you are still growing as a person, is being dependent on someone really the way to go when you are still trying to figure out life and also yourself?
There’s a large debate about if love is really love when you’re in between the ages of 14 and 18. Can one person really love another when they have barely gone through puberty? Is love just a label that expresses your care and affection towards someone special? There truly is no right or wrong answer in this debate. There is no fixed definition of “love.” Some people use it very carefully while others say it to nearly everybody they are close with.
I was interested to see what our high school thought about love and if it was truly possible to experience this sensation in these often dramatic four years. I conducted a survey that resulted in 244 responses in total. About 25% of the 244 responses came from each grade. The results were very clear. If you ask LFHS students, they will say that yes, you can experience love in high school. A whopping 82.6% said you can. I then went further and asked if the respondent was currently in a relationship to see if this might have swayed there response. 77.9% of respondents were not currently in a relationship. This showed that being in a relationship does not determine if you believe in love in high school. This result was strange to me considering when you are in a relationship for a while, you start to feel the feelings of love and have a realization that you are, in fact, in love. The question remains: is that what true love is supposed to feel like or is it merely a false fallacy.
Don’t get me wrong. Love is an amazing thing. Without it, the human race would be soulless and unimaginably lonely. Even those single people out there still experience unconditional love. There are multiple definitions of love, after all, and ultimately that may have persuaded students to respond positively to the query. When you look over at your best friend and immediately start cracking up because of absolutely nothing. That is love. When your mom kisses you goodnight and tucks you in so not one inch of your body could possibly get cold. That is love. And of course, when he comes behind you are wraps his arms around you, warming you up on a cold, snowy night. His touch makes you feel mushy inside and you melt into his arms. That is love.
The problem with the world “love” is that it is used for all different experiences. Love for food and love for family are two very different things. Even more, love for food and love for a partner are considerably dissimilar. Of course we are going to say we love our favorite food, and our favorite sports team, so when a girlfriend or boyfriend comes along, we should love them too, right? From our parents to the media, we have been seeing love ever since we were young. Humans are so conditioned to use this word when we feel a deep compassion towards something, but are we really using it the right way in a high school relationship?
It’s fine to have a high school relationship, lots of people have them and some even continue them into college. But remember, relationships are complicated so don’t jump into saying “I love you” just because you think you should. Love is a very confusing idea that can be used in many different instances. So, choose your words wisely and focus on having fun in high school instead of getting nailed down in a serious relationship.