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.

Unlocking Love

A girl’s guide to dating in high school
Laura Ockel-unsplash.com

Hey Doves! Valentine’s Day has passed but love is still in the air. Over my years in high school, I have learned so much about dating, relationships, meeting new people, and of course how to deal with heartbreak. 

Enjoy my dating guide! My credentials: I have gone on more dates than anyone I know, been in a long-term relationship, and been broken up with. 


Step 1: Acceptance of Yourself and Being Alone

Before you can start on your dating journey, you need to be okay with being alone. The only person who will be in your life forever is yourself. Get to know her, she’s pretty great! 


Step 2: Don’t Look, Just Live!

Your perfect someone IS out there! Don’t stress yourself out over finding the love of your life right now. Go through high school with the intention of growing and learning. I promise you will be so much happier if you go about your life with no intentions of finding your soul mate.  


Step 3: Socialize!

Take every opportunity to go out and have some fun, especially with your friends. There are so many things you can do for free. My recommendations are going to every possible SSA and SPS sporting event that you possibly can. They are completely free to get into (with the exception of football) and it is a great place to meet new people. I like to live by the always say yes rule as long as activities are safe and within reason. Anytime I am invited to go somewhere I make an effort to go as long as I know I will be safe.


Step 4: Meeting a guy

So, you met a guy. This can be equally exciting and nerve-wracking. Lots of new emotions come about when you like a guy. You may feel anxious, excited, or even confident. It completely varies on the individual. 


Step 5: Analyzing someone’s character

Just because we end up crushing on someone does not mean they are always the best person. The “crushing” hormone, Phenylethylamine is felt through the feelings of dizziness and the butterfly feeling. When you like someone romantically it triggers the release of norepinephrine which lowers stress levels and dopamine which gives you feelings of joy. This cocktail of hormones makes you feel amazing and oftentimes very happy. 

The flip side of those positive feelings is that your judgment becomes clouded. All of the times your friends say, “He isn’t good for you.” or “He’s a bad person.” will probably fly right over your head. I bet you’ll even snap back with, “You just don’t know him like I do.” And guess what? You’re right! They don’t know him like you do because they aren’t experiencing the feelings you are. Their judgment is not clouded like yours may be. Sure, sometimes your friends may overreact about a guy simply because they care and they love you. 9 times out of 10 my friends have been right about someone. Don’t take their opinions as mean comments, I promise they are just looking out for your best interest.


Step 6: When to run for the hills!

There are a few things in relationships that you may be okay with putting up with. Maybe he chews loudly or is constantly tapping things. These are annoying at times but nothing that raises a red flag. There are however some things that should make you stop and evaluate if your relationship with someone is healthy. 

For starters, the guy you are dating should NEVER pull you away from the people or things you love. Dating should not be isolating, it should be liberating. If your boyfriend makes you feel like you can’t see certain people or do certain things that bring you joy, that is a HUGE red flag. 

Second, a guy should not control aspects of your appearance. If he doesn’t like that you wear “too much” makeup or doesn’t like your style of clothing that is his own issue. Keep wearing what makes you feel beautiful and confident.

Lastly, a guy should never want to keep your relationship a secret. HUGE. RED. FLAG. This could mean a variety of things, and none of them are positive! 

1. His intentions are poor and he knows it. 

If a guy knows all he wants is a physical relationship with you, chances are that’s not something he’s proud of. Why would he want to tell people about something that makes him look like a bad guy? Exactly, he wouldn’t. 

2. He’s ashamed or embarrassed.

You deserve so much better than a guy who isn’t proud to have you as his girlfriend. If a guy acts embarrassed to be seen with you in public, it’s time to kick him to the curb. 

3. He’s talking to more girls than just you.

This is definitely the worst thing I have gone through talking to guys. It is so painful finding out that you alone aren’t enough for someone. There was a point in time when I was talking to a guy who told me to keep our relationship on the down low because his friend (who was a girl) liked him and he did not want to hurt her feelings by rubbing a relationship in her face. This was a big fat lie. He had been talking to her at the same time as me and his telling me to keep hush was his attempt for us to not find out about each other. 


Step 7: Signs he’s one of the good ones <3.

On the flip side, there are some traits in a partner that are extremely valuable. I’ve listed some of my personal faves below.

1. He brings you closer to God

There is no better feeling than a relationship that brings you closer to a person and closer to God. Gotta love a Jesus-loving boy.

2. He encourages you to foster more relationships than just your own

It’s easy to forget about your friends when you’re dating someone new. A boy who recognizes the need for platonic relationships for you and himself is a good one.

3. They make time to see you

We’re all busy. If he is one of the busiest people you know and still makes an effort to see you this is a big green flag.

4. He communicates his feelings clearly 

No one likes to be strung along. When someone clearly communicates the way they feel about you it makes you feel so much more secure in your relationship. 

5. He respects your boundaries

This is sort of a bare minimum. When you set any sort of boundary it is expected that the person you are dating respects it. 

6. They aren’t afraid to discuss the future with you

If someone is comfortable with discussing the future of your relationship it’s a good sign they want to continue the relationship. 

7. They don’t speak negatively about their past relationships

This is a big one for me. Personally, I don’t like hearing about a guy’s past relationships at all, especially when they are talking negatively about an ex-girlfriend. If he is willing to bash someone he previously dated he will be just as willing to do the same to you. One of the go-tos I hear a lot is “My ex is crazy.” This can be interpreted in a few ways. One way I’ve always thought about it is calling someone “crazy” is a way to discredit anything they might say. If he knows his ex may try to warn you about his past or present bad behaviors he will do anything to make her look unreliable. 

8. He has his own activities away from you

Maybe it’s a sport or even just a hobby. It is so important to have lives away from each other. For example, I have always been a dancer throughout high school and most of the boys I’ve talked to/dated have been involved in something at their school as well. This gives you structured time away from each other to foster platonic relationships and grow as individuals. 


Step 8: The first date…

This is equally exciting and nerve-wracking. Being nervous for a date is completely normal; as is being excited and feeling confident about the situation. As far as tiny details go, don’t sweat it. I find that a lot of girls stress most about what to wear and how to act. As over-said and cliche as it sounds, it is so incredibly important to be yourself. Wear something that matches the vibe of where y’all are going and that makes you feel confident and beautiful and carry yourself the way you always do. Being yourself is important because it will eventually come out one way or another. Let the person you’re dating get to know the real you. She’s amazing!


Step 9: Second date?

Never feel pressured to see someone again. If your first date was awkward, the conversation was dull, or you’re flat-out not attracted to him anymore, that’s completely normal. Sometimes two people just don’t mesh. Remember to still be kind to him especially if you’re going to friendzone him. We have a how-to podcast on this linked below ;). One thing I find myself doing often is getting stuck on the mindset of “I feel bad that I don’t like him like that because he paid for us to go out to dinner.” Dating is about getting to know another person. Never let someone guilt trip you into seeing them again simply because they did the gentlemanly thing to do and spent 20 bucks on you. If they’re that pressed about it you can always Venmo them to show that money does not play a role in relationships for you. Total. Power. Move.

On the flip side, maybe the date went great. Whoop whoop sista. This is where things get fun. I personally get more excited for second dates than first dates. You already know that you like this person and that conversation comes easy so there is so much less stress. 


Step 10: Making it official

If steps 1-9 were a success it’s time to start thinking about the boyfriend-girlfriend question. If you do want to be in a committed relationship with this guy then I’m team “Go for it.”  If not, that’s totally fine too. I’ve been in situations before where I really liked someone but made the decision to cut them loose. Any type of relationship takes up time. Or maybe it’s something you just aren’t ready for. 


Step 11: The possibility of heartbreak

This step is awful no matter which way it comes. Maybe it was mutual or maybe you guys don’t feel the same anymore. All of these feelings are valid and normal. Dating in high school is about learning what you want in a relationship and a partner. The current statistic for high school relationships that end in marriage is only 2%. This being said, heartbreak is normal. Don’t let statistics scare you. If someone is your person, you’ll know. 

In the end, you will always come out stronger than you were before. Breakups stink. While my first heartbreak felt detrimental at the time, I’m actually grateful for the experience now. I now can easily pick out positive and negative traits in a boyfriend and now I know I can get through tough situations. Chances are you’ll experience this more than once. You can and will get through it. Lean on the people that love you and trust God’s plan. 



Well, that’s all I’ve got. I hope you enjoyed reading and learned a thing or two about the world of dating. Feel free to check out some of the related content I’ve tagged below. <3

About the Contributor
Haley Hebert
Haley Hebert, Editor
Hey Doves! My name is Haley Hebert and I am a senior here at SSA. This is my second year writing for The Nest. I am a member of the Saint Paul's Golden Blues and I am currently serving as our public relations coordinator. I decided to take part in the publications of our student news platform because I plan on studying Mass Communication in college and I figured The Nest. would be a great place to start!