Second-Semester Senior Sweethearts and How to Deal

The social hierarchy and pubescent awkwardness that defined the first three and a half years of high school will soon be swept under the rented red carpet leading to your senior prom. With only a couple months left of school, new couples will pop up without any regard for the status quo. Who cares if you and your crush only communicated in Instagram likes? Who cares if she’s going to school in Florida and you’re going in Washington? Even with the threat of LDRs on the horizon, you’ll see your senior friends squeezing a high school sweetheart in right before the deadline. If you are one of these procrastinators, consider these things before giving your new roommate you and your bae’s FaceTime date schedule.

1. Determine if you’re both ready for an LDR.

I know having different lunch periods might seem long-distance already but you don’t know the half of it yet. A long distance relationship takes the right kind of person. Jealousy, possessiveness and a constant need for affection and communication will make the distance difficult for both partners. If you see any potential for these traits in you or your partner, you might want to reconsider whether occasional video chats and seeing each other over break will cut it.

2. Define what your LDR will look like.

Do you expect to talk every day? Will a text be enough or do you need to talk on the phone? Will you be exclusive, or only exclusive on breaks? Outlining expectations while you can still see each other in person could save you from heartbreak at school that makes you cry into your dining hall mashed potatoes.

3. If you’re going to the same school, consider how your relationship will change.

The bliss of little to no real responsibility and knowing and being friends with pretty much all of the same people, and the authority of parents won’t last in college. Most colleges have bigger, more diverse student populations than high schools. You’ll both be exposed to new ideas, people and activities that will shape who you are. Will your core values that make you compatible stay the same? If they are challenged, what will you do? Beyond your emotional changes, different freedoms and responsibilities in college could affect what you two do together. Will the accessibility of alcohol, the pressure of adulthood and having your own place strain or strengthen your relationship?

4. Talk to friends you know who have dated or are still dating their high school sweetheart.

Just because your best friend and his girlfriend broke up or your sister and her partner are married after surviving their LDR doesn’t mean you and your sweetheart will sink or swim. But talking to someone close to you who will be open and vulnerable about the challenges ahead could help you make a decision. Relying on people you know is at least better than Magic 8 Balls or flipping a coin.

5. Make the most of your time together in high school.

Regardless of your decision to stay together or break up before college, you’re together right now. Don’t let senior prom or graduation be tainted with anxiety. Own the dance floor at prom, buy each other flowers at graduation and be there when their minivan full of Pottery Barn essentials pulls away at the end of the summer.