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Image from Pexels

High school is already quite stressful in it of itself with homework, jobs, and extracurricular activities. Of course, as if that isn’t enough, high school has to make everything even more difficult with all those awkward “are-we-together-or-just-really-good-friends” relationships. With students getting past the “ew, cooties” barrier that plagued those co-ed friendships of elementary school, it can be quite difficult to see whether this relationship has a romantic future, or if it is just a plain-old friendship.

This situation can be seen in the case of a girl named Dorothy*. She began her friendship with a boy named Charles* towards the end of sophomore year. They started texting over the summer and became quite close by the time Christmas of junior year rolled around. The conversations began quite lighthearted, but soon grew to be very personal, “deep,” and a bit flirtatious. They had an “instant connection and [they] were so close [that the lines] between different relationships got blurred.” By the second semester of junior year, Dorothy had begun to like Charles – “like like” him. However, the texting dwindled by the summer, but they were still quite close. Because of this awkward “what-is-this-relationship-really” nature of the relationship, Dorothy decided that she and Charles needed to have a conversation about the situation. She was very torn about the whole thing because she felt very comfortable around him since they were so close, but she also was “scared to death” because she knew that what he would say could crush her. She “needed to hear him say it out loud so [she] knew for sure.”

In the end, Dorothy and Charles determined that it would be better to leave it off as friends. However, it took Dorothy quite a while to come to grips with the whole situation. She had spent such a long time having these feelings for him that were just not relevant anymore. Luckily, they were able to reconcile after the awkwardness. However, not everyone’s situations will work out the same way theirs did. Here are some ways to deal with a questionable relationship/friendship and how to move forward:

1. Understand the situation. There are many reasons why a person does not want to be in a relationship: stress, commitment, time, cost, etc. And that’s okay. Not everyone feels comfortable entering into a relationship in certain stages in their life. It may not be you.

2. Be willing to let go. Sometimes, what one half of the pair wants is not what the other half wants. Relationships are a two-way street. Both sides need to be willing to give. If the other half is not willing to make that sacrifice, maybe that relationship is not the best. Just take Elsa’s advice.

3. Recognize that there are other fish in the sea. It can be rough letting go, but remember there are a lot of people in this world. Therefore, there are a lot of single people, too.You’ll find the right one when the time is right for both of you. Don’t enter into a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. Really assess whether being in a relationship is the best choice for you at the moment.

4. Enjoy friendship. Friendship is the best. Despite the occasional drama, it can be a lot more appealing than dating. Besides, who doesn’t want someone to just chill out with in pajamas and binge on ice cream? Friendship brings a bit less drama, and much more fun.

Relationships are tough and the stress of high school makes it worse. Though it can get awkward with all those hormones swirling around in the hallways, eventually, it will get better and it will get easier. Whatever you do, be open about your feelings. If your feelings are reciprocated, then great! You can move forward and see how things turn out. If not, it’s not the end of the world. It’s better to know, whether the answer is what you wanted or not, than to constantly wonder. And remember, life goes on. Whatever happens and however things turn out, it will all be okay.

*Names have been changed for privacy purposes.

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