The Pressures of Dating in High School

The Pressures of Dating in High School

How are students influenced and pressured by peers to have a relationship during high school? People’s opinions on the matter seem to be somewhat evenly divided. Many students feel pressured by social media, friends, or peers who are dating to jump into their own relationships. On the other hand, there is also a large group of students who don’t feel as if they need to jump into a relationship because they don’t feel that pressure. This has been a common theme at our high school and surrounding schools.

So, why would students in high school feel pressured to date? When teenagers make decisions, the decisions of their peers often have a heavy influence. Ryan Dietrich (10) theorized that “I think people think that just because they are single, they are inferior or seen as less cool, so it leads them to rush relationships just so they can have the title.” This seems to be a perspective that many other students agree with. Several anonymous responses echoed Dietrich.

Looking at the opposite perspective, Sophia Fenn (9) says, “I don’t feel like I need to rush something that’s super personal. I don’t want to date just because my friends are doing it or because the popular kids are. I’m perfectly ok with waiting to find the perfect person, even if that means I’ll have to wait till after high school.” Fenn isn’t the only person who sees this perspective. Nicole Paquette (9) added, “No, I personally feel no pressure to date because I feel like you shouldn’t push it because you’ll find someone when the time’s right.” This seems to be a common theme at Gig Harbor High School for students who are waiting to find the right person at the right time in their lives. They aren’t rushing the process; they are more waiting for the ‘perfect’ person who fits the same personality type as them.

There are indeed two sides to this, but there is also a middle ground. Dakota Wiant (11) says, “I wouldn’t say that I feel pressure, but there is a sense of want. Want for company while school places pressure and stress on the mind. It’s too much, especially mixed with home stress, and sometimes it creates that want for a shoulder to lean on. Something more than a friend. But I certainly wouldn’t say I feel pressured.” Wiant points out that there is another version of relationships. You want someone to be by your side. That desire is present in many individuals and is strengthened when they see others in relationships around them. Knowing the potential of a relationship can fall under the category of pressure, but it doesn’t come as much from influences like friends and social media.

Dating, especially during high school, is viewed from many different perspectives. There are different types of people when it comes to this subject; some are simply waiting for the right person, others aren’t allowed to date until a certain age, some are simply not interested, and many more. Every person is different, which means every person’s dating preference is different.