More than grades. More than classes. More than teachers. More than the lunch menu. More than friends. More than sports. More than show choir. More than photo or art or math or science or English or History or home economics.
I hear them talk about this subject more than ANY of those things listed above.
I’m single. She’s taken. He’s hot. She’s beautiful. He’s a cheater. I’m lonely. She’s lucky. He’s popular. She’s dating. He’s looking.
I’m not worth it.
The worth of many teens is hanging in the balance.
Not for real, mind you.
But in their own minds.
Because their worth is determined by how “wanted” they are.
And I’m not making this up. Because they tell me. They write me letters, write in journals, and they tell me to my face. Anybody who is anybody has a boyfriend, a girlfriend, or is in the process of talking to someone about being someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend.
And I’m not saying that having a boyfriend or girlfriend in high school is wrong. My mom and dad were high school sweethearts. What’s WRONG is allowing your worth, your appearance, your modesty, your actions, and your choices to be defined by the process of finding and acquiring “the one.”
So…here are 10 reasons you don’t NEED a boyfriend (or girlfriend) in high school. Let it be encouraging and affirming, These four years will soon pass – and they are a small percentage as compared to the grand, amazing, journey of life.
- You can wear sweats. I watch lots of teens stress about what they should wear every day to school. And I love wearing fancy schmancy clothes as much as the next person, but there’s nothing like a comfy pair of sweats and a worn out t-shirt. The right person will see your true beauty no matter what you wear. And sidenote: you shouldn’t have to wear revealing clothing to attract attention. If you need to do that, they don’t want you for the right reasons.
- You can figure yourself out. When you’re using all your time to figure out what the opposite sex is thinking, you’re not figuring out who YOU are. High school is the time to figure yourself out, what you like, what you’re good at, how you learn. I watch too many teenagers spending way too much time figuring out if someone likes them. It shouldn’t be such a big guessing game.
- You can focus on your friends. My favorite year in high school was my senior year. I decided I didn’t want to be in a serious relationship and I focused on my friends. We had the most AMAZING year of our lives, and we will never forget it. Working on friendship not only strengthens your self-identity, but it helps you know more about what you do and don’t want in a dating relationship.
- You can observe. You can learn a whole lot about someone by watching from a distance. If you’re learning about the guys or girls you’re interested in, you can save yourself some heartache. How do they treat others? How do they treat teachers? How do they treat people that are hard to like? This will tell you a LOT about whether or not you’ll ever want to date them.
- You can get involved. I’ve watched countless teens drop out of sports, extra-curricular activities and friend groups to spend time with their boyfriends/girlfriends. High school is when you figure out what you love and what you hate.
- You can save your kisses. Nowadays, kisses don’t seem to be precious anymore. Everyone is worried about sex (or not having it). If you believe you are WORTH millions (which you ARE), then you aren’t just giving your kisses (or sex) away. If you’re waiting and not just dating ANYONE, you’ll be able to date people who will help you learn what you’re looking for in a marriage.
- You can go out in groups. Groups are a great way to “pre-date” someone. You can do #4 (observe) and #5 (get involved) at the same time when you’re out in a group. And there isn’t the pressure to be the perfect date when you’re in a group. Don’t forget to wear your sweats if they’re your fave.
- You can be picky. While you’re observing and waiting, you can remind yourself that it’s okay to be picky. Too many people put up with bad behavior just so they can have a date to prom or be in a relationship. You have the right to have high standards about who you want to have that big of a part of your life.
- You can seriously have fun. Too much – way too much – time is spent worrying about the opposite sex. Imagine what all that wasted time could have been spent doing! Going to movies, hanging out with friends, listening to music, going to football games…the options are endless.
- You can wait patiently. The old adage “good things come to those who wait” isn’t a lie. Because the right person – the one who has high standards and saves his/her kisses is also waiting patiently. And don’t you want that person? The one who waits? Who wants to treat you like the king/queen you deserve?
It’s not wrong to date in high school.
It’s wrong to think your worth hinges on whether or not someone likes you, wants to like you, wants to date you or doesn’t want to date you.
Your worth is complete – just being YOU. Just standing there doing nothing. And the right person will see that in you without you having to dress, act, or pretend to be someone you’re not.
So focus on the moment. The friends. The memories.
The high school experience is like a roller coaster. Up and down. But you have a choice – every, single, day. And you can choose to see yourself the way I see you.
Boy(girl)friend or not.
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Want to know more about the author? Carrie Wisehart is a high school English teacher, blogger, author, and speaker who is CRAZY about life. Check out her YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram!
You might also want to check out my Back to School post – a letter to students and parents. It gives some advice you might (or might not) like but I think it’s pretty good. 🙂