I probably shouldn’t roll my eyes at relationships that extended original roots whilst in high school, but I just can’t help it. I’ve seen so many young women with short leashes too often to sit back and shut up. Especially since I too once had a useless, constraining leash.
I talked to my friend Christian on the phone for over an hour the other night. He was my first boyfriend, first kiss; now we’re just very good friends. We talked about our self-diagnosed psychological problems and I, of course, blame a lot of mine on the controlling relationship I’d been in after Christian and I broke up. I couldn’t hang out with anyone but the boyfriend, forcing other friendships to fade and often igniting arguments.
“I remember you saying that you couldn’t tell him I was there when you hung out with Kevin,” Christian said, referring to our other good friend. “Shouldn’t that have been a red flag?”
Yeah. I definitely should have realized that was wrong.
When my two best girlfriends stopped contacting me to hang out, I should have realized something was up. Everyone else did. Nobody told me.
When my friend died last October, I really didn’t want to see everyone from high school again. My boyfriend-shrouded brain thought nobody from high school liked me.
Quite the contrary, actually.
We sat around the fire exchanging stories about our friend. My former classmates laughed at things I said and several of them told me sincerely they’d missed me and wanted to see me around more. I don’t think they realized how much those comments truly meant to me.
My high school-rooted relationship made me hate college my freshman year. I had fun when he visited me, but I also lost out on plenty of potential friendships because he always wanted it to be just the two of us.
Here are five things for you high school sweethearts to keep in mind:
1.) Can you really see the relationship going anywhere?
I don’t care how long you’ve been dating or how easy everything is, if the two of you are going in completely different directions, it’s probably not worth it.
2.) Will your significant other hold you back?
Maybe he or she isn’t as motivated as you are. If that person doesn’t support you in reaching your full potential, better think twice.
3.) How far away are you from each other?
It’s one thing to go to the same school, it’s another to be left at home, or vice versa. If you’ve answered “no” and “yes” so far respectively, driving two hours to see him/her every weekend isn’t worth it. Maybe you can work things out if you go to the same school, but read on to number four.
4.) Does he/she support your friendships/trust you?
If your only friend is him or her because you’re not allowed to spend time with anyone else, see ya. If you do end up attending the same school, you still need to branch out. What happens if it really doesn’t work out and you had invested all of your time and energy for friendships into him/her? That sucks.
5.) Are you happy?
The most important one. If the person who is supposed to make you happy is failing, you need to really think about your relationship. The constant Snap Chatting and texting is obnoxious if he/she doesn’t even satisfy your happiness. You should be happy to see him/her, not dreading the sight of him/her. You should enjoy one another’s company. Once that excitement stops, your relationship probably should, too.
I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I’ve been there. Two years ago, I would have answered each of those questions negatively. Clearly something was wrong, it just took me a while to realize it.