Will You Be My Valentine? : Students discuss the process of dating in high school

Maddie Sack, Staff writer

Step 1:  Snapchat

The social rules of dating change from one generation to the next. There was once a time when guys and girls couldn’t speak to each other unless they had been formally introduced. Through time, the formalities seemed to blur and a more informal approach to dating has been set in place. For sophomore Faith Steiner, the first step in dating is talking on Snapchat. 

“I would say that Snapchat is definitely a step down from getting that person’s number,” Steiner said. “Some people just meet through classes, but most times you meet mutually through Snapchat. With Snapchat it’s easier to add people and get to know them. You can start streaks and get to know them overall.”

Step 2: “A thing”

Stage two is all about curiosity and trying to find out what comes next between talking on Snapchat and becoming a couple. Before committing to a relationship, there’s always a step in between, known as the transition. Senior Jenna Davenport defines step 2 as being “a thing.” You aren’t talking to anyone else, but you aren’t exclusive.

“It’s mostly where you start hanging out in person, at school and different places and really getting to know that person for more than just their favorite color,” Davenport said. 

She also said having “a thing” with someone is another way of “just getting to know that other person better while not being considered a couple yet.”

Step 3: Hanging out

For junior Leah Goldstein, after the “awkward talking phase,” the next step is hanging out. Hanging out with someone doesn’t mean that you are a couple, although it is less serious and can mean being able to do fun activities with someone in the context of “still getting to know them and being friends.”

“The third phase is pretty much going on cute dates, going out to dinner, just having normal conversations and building into the stage where you guys are getting comfortable together,” Goldstein said. “It’s not really the stage where you could sit in a room and just talk or look at each other, so you have to stick with more activities like going to the movies.”

Step 4: Dating

According to sophomore Alex Yang, dating someone means “actively spending time with that person and really knowing them on a deeper level.” When people start dating, the relationship is more personal. You are able to start being more comfortable with one another.

“You need to have a positive attitude and really be caring with each other,” Yang said. “You have to remember to have an open mind throughout everything.” 

A big change in dating happened when social media and dating websites started popping up everywhere. Now, most people meet through Snapchat or friends, a big change from the 19th-century courting. According to The List, an online magazine, there was no such thing as just two young people going out on a date. It was much more formal and there were many rules you had to follow.

“When I was in middle school,” Goldstein said. “I thought relationships were the stupidest thing. I didn’t see a reason to have one at all and I said to myself that I would never even try to be in one, but as I’ve gotten older, I feel like you can do more because you have a car and you can go out and the relationship can progress into something that may even last past high school.”