5 Things People Always Say To Me & My High School Sweetheart That Are Not That Sweet
"Less than 2% of all marriages are to a high school sweetheart," and I'll be one of them.
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Edward and Bella, Sandy and Danny Zuko, and Troy and Gabriella. What do all of these people have in common? A sweep-you-off-your-feet, googly-eyed, iconic high school romance that we all assume lasted long after the credits rolled.
While most people my age have core memories of longingly watching these romances on screen, the reality of being high school sweethearts is different. Although people love it in the movies, in the real world, the things people say are kind of wild.
I've been with my partner for almost nine years, and we're both 24 and now engaged. Obviously, it's not the typical relationship, so when I tell people that we've been together since high school, they often blurt out some pretty hilarious comments.
To be fair, people are well-meaning, and I never actually take offence to these, but I do find it ironic how people view meeting the love of your life in high school as goals in fiction, but in reality, it seems different.
Also, I'm aware that most people are genuinely surprised to hear our story, so I cut them some slack. According to Couples Therpay Inc., less than 2% of marriages are actually to a high school sweetheart — so yeah, surprising.
If you've also found yourself close to celebrating a decade together with a loved one before hitting your mid-twenties, hopefully, this will make you feel a little more seen.
"You're basically like family"
Alright, I've only gotten this one a few times, but I'll never forget it. I know what they mean because, in a way, we did "grow up" together, but it feels weird to imply we're related for obvious reasons.
"You kind of missed out on your 20s"
This might be the one I get the most. While most of my friends have dated around and experienced single life, I didn't. I wouldn't trade my experience for the world, though, and it was never really much of a question for me.
There have definitely been times when I momentarily panic, thinking that a somehow missed a key part of my 20s, mostly thanks to comments like this.
At the end of the day, I don't regret it, or I probably wouldn't still be with my partner. Plus, I got to experience my early 20s in a totally different way, which I loved.
To me, it just seems like an intrusive question from someone I just met.
"Why haven't you gotten married yet?"
On the reverse of people pressuring me to experience single life, there were always others who pushed me to rush into marriage. I got this question pre-engagement, of course. As soon as we graduated from university, it was constant.
A lot of people asked that if I knew I wanted to be with him forever after all these years, why not just get engaged already?
I don't know why other couples' marital status matters so much to people, but — FYI — many people decide to never get married at all.
I hated the insinuation that I had to do it because it was the "logical" next step. I waited a little bit because I wanted to make sure I was doing it because we wanted to, not because we were supposed to do so by a certain time.
Also, after eight years, what's the real rush?
"That's so old school"
It was a lot more common to marry young or marry your high school sweetheart "back in the day."
For me, it just naturally happened this way. It's simply our life, so it's weird to think of it as being "old-school" or "outdated," as if it were something we wanted to do because we're traditional, which isn't the case.
"You're so lucky!"
This one never annoys me because people are just being kind, but it is something I get a lot.
I do feel super grateful to be with my partner and in a healthy relationship at a young age, but sometimes people paint it as this very idyllic picture. We're just like any other relationship, with ups and downs. So, while I do feel lucky, I never really know how to respond to this one. I usually just smile and nod.