A Publication for SSA Students by SSA Students

The Nest.

The Nest.

A Publication for SSA Students by SSA Students

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The Nest.

The Nest.

[REAL]ationship Advice

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Google Images

Saint Augustine of Hippo once said, “To love is to will the good of the other,” and, “The measure of love is to love without measure.” For humankind to love, we must be resilient when expressing it unconditionally. Thus, this unconditional care can be reciprocated when two are in love. Yet, in today’s society, the presentation of couples, particularly on social media, can make a teenage girl feel lonely (especially if a girl has been single throughout her high school life or healing from an ended relationship). 

While the dating world may seem like an emotional rollercoaster and a stereotypical high school desire, understanding the importance of dating, along with tips on how to carry on past heartache, can shape one’s perspective when it comes to seeking love. In search of heart-felt truth about the dating world, I interviewed Saint Scholastica Academy’s theology teacher Mrs. Aimee MacIver, who has been married for 20 years, and English teacher Mrs. Sarah Crawford, a newlywed. So, without further ado and with help from MacIver and Crawford, here is some wholehearted advice to date without vice!

Mr. and Mrs. MacIver on a lovely date on Oct. 1, 2001 (Aimee MacIver)
  • Dating comes with two outcomes: a marriage or a breakup. It is important to note that one can’t be intimate in love unless one becomes vulnerable to such. We can open our hearts as much as we want to a guy but be mindful that not everyone may get to experience or continue a relationship in high school. That is why it is important to know what you want in a potential spouse through dating guys. When we date, it is not simply something to entertain oneself with; it has a higher purpose. Ultimately, dating guys in high school helps us determine whether we can see our adult selves continuing life with a certain guy.
  • Dating helps us understand ourselves and acknowledge the importance of authentic love. This is the type of love that wills us to sacrifice what’s best for the other person.

    Kat Stratford, played by Julia Stiles, and Patrick Verona, played by Heath Ledger, dance the night away at prom in 10 Things I Hate About You (Google Images)
  • Dating a guy is simply seeking someone to compliment you in ways that strengthen who you are. A true, honest relationship with a guy will come easily, make sense, and not be forced. “The right person will kind of expand your life,” says MacIver, “…they will help you become more of who God made you to be.” 
  • Date with discernment. It is okay to go into a relationship with caution. Take the time and attentiveness to know a guy. This is so we can see if he is consistent, wants to know us, and seeks to pursue good in our lives! “With my previous relationships, there were emotional entanglements…,” says Crawford, “With Robert, my current husband, that was not the case. At the very beginning, he pursued my heart.” When a guy exhibits these qualities, he will also acknowledge our personal life and help us expand on our ambitions, dreams, and connections to family and friends rather than cut us off from them. If he ever becomes an obstacle to such, the relationship will not reach supremacy!
  • You may already be aware of the saying to not throw all your eggs in one basket. It is critical to not concentrate your efforts on one particular guy. If you seek love, remember that it is natural and human to want that connection but when dating young, do not make a relationship the sole focus of your energy or attention. This can cause too much pressure. To avoid this, maintain mutual friendships with other girls before forming a close friendship with a certain guy. The foundation of any relationship is first friendship. By learning to be a genuine friend before committing to a relationship, the ability to love someone can be strengthened and not a factor that can tie you down!

    “As you wish.” -Cary Elwes as Westley reassures his deep love for Buttercup, played by Robin Wright, in Princess Bride (Google Images)
  • As you know, it is imperative to not believe everything seen on social media, the internet, and pop culture. The public perception of two in love can be portrayed as an unrealistic ideal of romance– where two have a sort of “spark” that condenses love into a magical, intense fling. The real “spark” we can find in a potential boyfriend is seeing if he radiates authentically without being pressured to act differently in front of you, surrounded by other guys, or out in public.
  • If a guy doesn’t desire the connection of a relationship anymore, do not grasp his decision. It is okay to ask yourself why but remember to ask for clarity about his decision, surrender to that, and let him go. That is the greatest act of love you can do. This enables you to have peace of mind and freedom to move on so you can be ready for the real thing.
  • In the case that you don’t desire to stay in a relationship with a guy anymore, remember to let him know once your decision is made and communicate in person. Restraining from letting him know will only let turmoil and tension with him linger on.

    Flynn Rider, voiced by Zachary Levi, and Rapunzel, voiced by Mandy Moore, on an enchanted lantern boat ride in the movie Tangled (Google Images)
  • If you are going through a breakup, don’t push yourself too hard through your healing process. It is human nature to avoid painful things. When it comes to hurt caused by a breakup, it can become instinct to throw aside the immense feelings as a way to heal quickly. But, the quicker healing, the slower we reconnect to who we are. Let your healing run its course. Listen to your heart and to the Lord to reconnect to who you are rather than focusing on an identity formed from within the relationship
  • If a relationship with a guy is not working, a breakup doesn’t turn out well or the guy you dove into a relationship with backs out, don’t feel forced to maintain contact with him and resist the temptation to constantly check on him. Give yourself time to heal and the desired space to give your hurt to God. Even if he leaves a chapter of your life, it is He who remains to fill your chapters regardless! On top of that, go to your support! Surround yourself with close friends and do not overthink ways to fix what’s now in the past

    Robert Crawford and Sarah Crawford captured on their wedding day, June 3, 2023 (Sarah Crawford)
  • Don’t hide the feeling of a broken heart! Though it may seem like our heart is pulled out from us and thrown onto the floor, “a broken heart is a version of grief,” says MacIver, “You can’t really repress grief… you have to let it play out.” Be honest with yourself, do not ponder sadness nor get “sucked into a vortex of depression,” said Mrs. MacIver. To help cope with the pain and heal from heartbreak, focus on serving others, such as family and friends. As a plus, pray to God for that healing. Ask the Lord to help guide your heart and will yourself to Him. With full trust in the Lord comes full trust in ourselves!
  • If you are currently in a relationship, act out of modest love. On top of that, make sure to give back as much as you receive from the guy you are with. That way, a mutual effort is established. “Even in a dating relationship in high school, you are still learning about the other person and about yourself,” states Crawford, “If that other person becomes an obstacle to learning more about who you are, then it may not be a great relationship.”
  • Remember to love as God loves: the Lord knows us more than anyone, so do not be afraid to be open to living a relationship through faith! When we put God as superior in a relationship, our faith in Him and our genuine ambitions to be with a guy are fortified!

    Colin and Aimee MacIver captured during their wedding on March 1, 2003 (Aimee MacIver)

The dating world can make us feel as though we need to keep up with a standard for being in a relationship. In reality, there is no pressure to search tirelessly for a “boyfriend” nor a need to find a guy to fill a void in oneself. We must first fill ourselves in a true relationship with God and love who we are prior to dating a guy. With an evaluation of our intentions for love and a desire to grow in friendship with others, when you are ready (and when God calls you to be), you can embrace love from a guy unlike any other and commitment to a guy can be worth it!

Google Images

For further relationship advice, click the links below:

Chasity Project on Dating: Q&A

Father Mike Schmitz on Why Love Is More than a Feeling.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Raquel Martinez
Raquel Martinez, Staff Reporter
Howdy, Doves! My name is Raquel Martinez and I am thrilled to be a part of SSA's news production team, The Nest.! I'm a junior in the class of 2025, and I take part in cross country, choir, theatre, the Honor Societies, and clubs of SSA. I look forward to a great year and can't wait to contribute to The Nest with authentic, intriguing articles! Sending lots of love! ~Raquel