Phelan: High school relationships not always easy
I think the average high school relationship probably lasts two weeks. Raging hormones and a desire to be the center of attention keep most teenagers moving on quickly, having mostly “flirtationships” and never really settling down.
For the most part, people giggle and flirt, then realize they don’t like each other that much. Teenagers break up relationships for the same reasons others do; they don’t care for each other enough in the situation. It could be that someone can’t deal with their boyfriend’s partying ways, or that a boy can’t have a girlfriend during basketball season. It’s rare that two people in high school find someone that they can tolerate for long periods of time, but also that they love, and that they might have a future with.
I asked a good friend of mine, Batavia senior Gianna Carlini about how she and her solid boyfriend make it work. She said that they never talk about the future. Not even Batavia homecoming, which will be in September this year. Planning things too far in advance puts too much pressure on the couple. They live in the right now.
I decided to ask another friend how she makes it work, and how it is being in a semi-serious relationship in high school. My good friend, Ruthie Prisco, has been dating Jack Stukel for three years as of this past Wednesday. Ruthie is one of the absolute sweetest people I know, always managing to find time for a friend in need in between helping out her family, volunteering, working and maintaining crazy-good grades. Jack also does good stuff sometimes, but he usually spends his free time studying ancient Rome and making fun of columnists named Courtney Phelan.
All jokes aside, they are great people who work great together. They’re sweet, wanting and expecting simple things from each other. Ruthie says that they work because they both mutually benefit each other. Being in a relationship isn’t just fun; they try to improve themselves and have a partner to hold them accountable. I jokingly refer to them as an old married couple or my adoptive parents, because they care about – and take care of – themselves and those around them so well. They work because they didn’t plan on being together for two weeks. They wanted to be with each other for longer and work to make it work.
Now, we all know that teenagers aren’t adults and that people change as they grow. But Ruthie isn’t scared about the future, even as we enter our senior year of high school together. She says that if, somehow, she’s meant to be with the person she met in high school, it’ll work out. If not, it’ll work out. She’s calm. She’s not obsessed with their relationship or completely dependent on her boyfriend. She loves him; he loves her; they make each other happy, and they’ve made it work for all these years.
Happy anniversary to “Ru and Larry.”
• Courtney Phelan is a junior at Geneva High School. She is an outgoing and energetic young writer who likes to swim, read and participate in general teenage activities. She can be contacted at