I teach a Dating and Marriage course to high schoolers, and
I am always reading about the subject in order to stay current. Most of the
teenagers I teach, particularly the girls, believe that they will one day marry
their current boyfriends. I recently read that out of 100 married couples, 22
said they married their high school sweetheart. Now before you say, “Ahhhh,”
you should know that 17 of those got divorced. This means 5 out of 100 people
between the ages of 18 and 89 are still married to their high school crush (Justin
Lookadoo and Hayley DiMarco, Dateable: Are you? Are they?).
Sadly, the way most teens date today teaches them little
about marriage, but instead creates a pathway for divorce. They meet someone
and they share their innermost secrets; they are way too physical. Then one
day, the spark is gone. One breaks up with the other, and then he meets someone
else. The cycle begins again. Subconsciously, the mind begins to believe that
relationships don’t last. Eventually, even the good relationships go south
because you begin to nit pick and look for reasons to end it, because you have
come to believe that it’s not going to last (even if its subconscious).
I suggest that instead of getting entangled in serious relationships
in high school, dating should be more about friendship and fun. It’s good to
get to know another person, but you shouldn’t trust him with your innermost thoughts
until you really, truly know him (for teenagers, Lookadoo and DiMarco suggest waiting
one to two years before pouring your heart out). If you date knowing it has a
probability of not lasting, it takes some of the pressure off and enables you
to focus on the friendship. Do you really want a scorned ex who knows
everything about you and who could blab it to the world?
Don’t even get me started about the fallout of physical
intimacy outside of marriage. When you are intimate with another person, your
soul becomes connected to that person whether you like it or not. God wired us
that way. The more physical you are, the deeper the heart when the relationship
If you choose to date in high school, and many will (I did),
then do so wisely. Focus on becoming more Christ-like in your relationships. Find
an adult you trust, and talk with them about your relationship. Give them
permission to speak truth in your life, and listen.