Written by Aanji Sin
Illustrated by Nicholas Forman
Dating is no longer about getting to know someone better. It’s a text in between homework assignments, or holding hands throughout the school day to let your peers know about your new significant other. High school “relationships” have exclusively become ways to pass the time. They’re an easy substitute for the genuine thing, but lack the personal side of a relationship that makes them worthwhile.
A superficial relationship differs from a real one in that the people involved date simply to date. They aren’t genuinely interested in the other person; they just want to fulfill a societal pressure.
Young people have established these kinds of relationships as the norm. It’s all the physical aspects of a relationship without the commitment or the connection. While this type of relationship isn’t hurtful in the time being, they hinder a person’s ability to bond with someone else. Teenagers need to stay away from engaging in superficial relationships to keep their social skills from deteriorating in the future.
Teenagers may use superficial relationships to cure loneliness. In high school, it is easy to feel emotionally weighed down by peers, stress, and a million other factors, and finding a significant other feels like an easy solution to this problem. But relationships shouldn’t be about self reassurance, they should be about a genuine connection.
These connections aren’t easily made, either. Technology has made it much simpler for teenagers to reach out to one another via the Internet. Not only does it make their peers more accessible, it is a quick and easy way to ask someone on a date. This way, if they face rejection, the embarrassment is easily masked and no confrontation has to be made.
Teenagers fear rejection, but it’s one of the most important parts of growing up. With the use of technology, it’s now easier than ever to cushion the blow of failure. But if they can’t get used to rejection now, chances are it will be harder to swallow later in life.
Teenagers must familiarize themselves with the tough personal confrontations now so they will be able to manage them later. The face to face conversations are awkward beyond measure, no doubt, but they become worthwhile when a connection is made. The point of a relationship, even just a friendship, is to have someone to share real life experiences with. Teenagers have turned away from that meaning and replaced it with the motive of not wanting to feel lonely. Stop taking the easy routes and refusing to commit now, or else establishing those important connections in the future will be that much harder.