Column Steven: Student relationships

A high school sweetheart: a journey for life, or a mere excursion?

‘Do you have a sixpack?’ the girl seated behind me on the bus inquired. It was ten years ago, in the second grade of secondary school, during an excursion to France. I turned around, not knowing that I was staring into the eyes of my current girlfriend for the very first time. It took until the sixth grade before we got into a serious relationship. As pre-students, we travelled through northern Vietnam for several weeks. As we rode along the coast on a scooter, we agreed that we would repeat the trip at some point after graduating from university. There, on the scooter in Vietnam, I wondered if our relationship would last through this new phase after secondary school.

Every person you talk to, or dance with, has the potential to become more if you go through life single. Something insignificant can develop into a stormy love affair. Looking around, experimenting, adventures. Who wants a committed relationship during their time as a student? And is it even a good idea?

Keeping a relationship healthy and interesting in the long term requires dedication and personal growth

Inspired by the book ‘Addicted to love’, a campfire and some canned fun with a Holger label, I discuss non-monogamous relationships with a few friends. One female friend saw loving others as a sum rather than a division. Loving one person does not diminish the love for another, is her view. Isn’t corralling your partner with the ‘monogamous relationship’ label simply a low-effort way to safeguard your daily dosage of personal appreciation and confirmation?

I reversed the argument: impressing someone, or showing an interest when everything is new, is easy. Keeping a relationship healthy and interesting in the long term requires dedication and personal growth. In a perpetual balancing act, you must navigate between holding on to each other and allowing each other freedom while you are both discovering student life. If done correctly, it brings a unique profundity and satisfaction.

most relationships are just a short excursion

Statistics show that high school relationships rarely survive student life. Most relationships are just a short excursion. But there are three types of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics. Meanwhile, we have both obtained our bachelor’s degrees. I can hardly wait to arrive in South Vietnam this summer for part II of our trip through Vietnam and, who knows, perhaps the rest of our lives.

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