Love Without Labels | Teen Ink

Love Without Labels

November 20, 2008
By kirabonk GOLD, Romeoville, Illinois
kirabonk GOLD, Romeoville, Illinois
11 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Seconds after she happily agreed to be his girlfriend, a spotlight burst a beam directly on the new couple, blindingly illuminating where they stood and leaving them frozen before a judgmental audience of family and peers. Unfortunately, that is what it feels like for the majority of teenagers in the beginning of a budding relationship- as if their love life is suddenly on display. Becoming an official couple destroys the old fashioned style of dating, causes pointless arguments while stifling independence, and allows no privacy between the two people involved.High school students should not label themselves as boyfriend and girlfriend because not only does it cause more problems than necessary, it also puts expectations on them about how a couple should act rather then allowing them to be themselves.

Rarely are teenage boys today heard asking girls, “Hey, would you like to go to on a date with me this Friday night?” More often than not, the boys bypass the dating stage and skip right to: “Hey, want to be my girlfriend?” Traditionally, dating consists of going out to dinner, seeing a film, or doing activities with another person in order to get to know them on a different level. After several dates, it is probably clear whether or not the person is relationship material. Because most couples are established before any dates have actually taken place, the guy and girl tie themselves down to each other without properly learning more about the other individual. Theoretically, most high school relationships nowadays are formed backwards: the titles of boyfriend and girlfriend are assigned, and then the couple might go on a real date once or twice. Old fashioned dating is nearly nonexistent among teens. In many ways, high school relationships begin doomed because the people committing themselves do not know what they are getting into. Regardless of whether or not they know each other, guys and girls dive head first into a relationship because that is what everyone else is doing.

Once two people become boyfriend and girlfriend, arguments tend to spread like wildfires. The girlfriend complains to him about not calling her last night, and the boyfriend gets jealous that she talks to other guys. These pointless disagreements occur because certain responsibilities come with being in a relationship, and most teenagers are either too immature to handle the responsibilities, or have been taught by society how a significant other is supposed to act. Also, many boyfriends or girlfriends become extremely controlling and the independence of the individual is gradually drained. Without the label, there are no forced responsibilities, and definitely no controlling partner. Many annoying and time consuming problems are craftily avoided by not labeling an innocent relationship as being composed of a boyfriend and girlfriend.

At times, students seem to place a fresh couple under a microscope and start dissecting them piece by piece. Intimate details are spread in detail around the classrooms, and rumors are whispered. By not labeling a relationship, the privacy of the two people is preserved. No one scrutinizes their every move, and there is no classic high school drama. More importantly, there is no expectation to rush into saying, “I love you.” The relationship is brought down from being a public ordeal to a private expression of mutual feelings between two people.

The boyfriend and girlfriend label should not be used by high school students because it creates frustrating problems and over shadows the teenager's true feelings with expectations of how official couples should supposedly act. Dating to get to know someone has vanished, the responsibilities cause arguments, and comforting privacy is stripped away by the scrutiny of others. If the feelings between two students are truly pure, they do not need a superficial label to know that they hold a place in each other's hearts. In the absence of the spotlight, honest, unashamed feelings are readily declared. No audience is needed, because there is only one person in each other's eyes who could possibly comprehend the intensity of the emotions felt.

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This article has 9 comments.

on Apr. 17 2018 at 7:11 pm
Ilse_Spiro GOLD, Palmer, Alaska
16 articles 3 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do you know the difference between an error and a mistake? Anyone can make an error, but that error doesn't become a mistake until they refuse to correct it."
-Grand Admiral Thrawn
Heir to the Empire, by Timothy Zhan.

I agree so much. My boyfriend isn’t officially allowed to date even tho he’s a junior, but we hung out in groups and texted and eventually considered ourselves a couple. The title of boyfriend and girlfriend just came naturally after a few weeks. We used it with each other but never made a big point to bring it up to other people. We weren’t hiding it we just didn’t make it public knowledge. By the time people figured it out or asked us about it we already had a solid relationship and were comfortable with each other. It was the best thing for us and I’m so glad we didn’t put any labels on each other right away.

on Apr. 5 2017 at 1:07 pm
chiisshh_ BRONZE, Chinle, Arizona
3 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
~Be in love with the one who looks at you like your Magical~

i Basically agree, dating someone you hardly know is very awkward, in other words, old fashioned dating is extremely cute and adorable.

AustinR BRONZE said...
on Aug. 29 2014 at 12:26 pm
AustinR BRONZE, Miami, Florida
3 articles 0 photos 13 comments
I completely agree with you, go on dates first. Thats how you get to know people! how do you date someone that you hardly know anything about? Go out on dates first, even if its "old fashioned" its cute and better anyways.

on May. 11 2013 at 10:09 am
Malorie PLATINUM, Des Moines, Iowa
22 articles 10 photos 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
"So shines a good deed in a weary world."

I agree, old fashion is dying out. My boyfriend and I started dating 8 months ago almost after we went on a date and he told me the day he asked me on the date that he was old fashioned. More people should be like that.

on Feb. 10 2013 at 5:39 pm
Mr.packerbear12 SILVER, Minnesota Lake, Minnesota
5 articles 0 photos 105 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Judge lest not you be judged"

"Take the plank out of your own eye before the speck out of your brother's"

"live each day as if it's your last"

"God doesn't give you what you can handle, He helps you handle what you are given"

well really old fashioned is courting between the family's not going on "dates" nice writing though

just3words said...
on Nov. 30 2008 at 10:54 pm
They call me at my highschool old fashioned just because I date before I call any one my 'boyfriend'. I completely agree with you.

on Nov. 30 2008 at 2:52 pm
I really liked the message, and your vocabulary was clear. I have to say that I agree with you. Lableing relationships only causes the two in the actual relationship to rush things, even when they really don't know each other all that well.

AliPants said...
on Nov. 28 2008 at 6:49 am
I can't say I agree, but it was at least well written.

on Nov. 26 2008 at 7:11 am
A "label," or officially calling someone your significant other, is a commitment to that person. It says you care about them enough to call them or stay faithful (Not flirting with other people), and don't see it as a responsibility or expectation, but something you WANT to do because you care about them. If things like "talking to guys" bothers a boyfriend and he wants the girl to stop, she not necessarily does it as an obligation because of the label of girlfriend, but because she cares about him and wants to make him happy. Whether it's an official relationship or not, people still have needs and wants and if many are not met, there will be strain and arguments. So why is the label the cause of these expectations? You sure are putting a lot of blame on a simple word, when it could just be the persons at hand.

A label also says you are comfortable introducing someone you love to your world - your friends, family, and acquaintances, "Yes, this is my girlfriend..." and aren't ashamed or worried to do so.

And as for anonymity, that might actually cause MORE gossip, as people aren't sure whether or not someone's available. Try Brangelina or Biance/JZ as a pop culture example. More talk came about speculating and about when they would make it official. Crazy rumours start when there's little information. So whether there's a label or not, people who notice will still dissect and prod. All it takes is curiosity, not enough information, and a big mouth, not a label.

Are you saying putting a label makes a relationship any less honest, meaningful, and true? That it causes an argumentative, frustrating, and overall terrible relationship? Have you not seen people who keep it on the 'down low' and still end it? How about happy couples who make it official? Because I see many high school sweethearts who have made it down the aisle and are still quite happy. So not only would many people disagree, but they would probably find this very offensive!

overall, this seems like an ok attempt at a persuasive essay, but (possibly) your personal experiences or maybe a relationship you've seen has made it biased, generalized, and over-simplified. Even in high school, even the buds of a first love, can be a complicated issue, and putting a culprit like "labels" to blame could be a bit exaggerated - especially with how teenagers act these days. Drama is there no matter what you call two people. Teenagers will be teenagers.