Love is in the Air
by Frank Yang
As the new year is quickly approaching and people are starting to ask others out for Winter Formal, the Valentine’s Day spirit is stronger than ever. With that in mind, here are a few tips for managing your relationships.
Asking Someone Out:
Don’t worry! You’re not alone. It’s completely normal to receive the jitters before a proposal of this type. The most important part of this process is to present your feelings the way you want to and to act naturally and rationally without haste. Try to get a conversation going before you delve into the specifics. If that’s not possible, then make your propositions clear and simple and open up the conversation to include your “intended date”. The fact that knowing a person likes you is a beautiful thing; don’t avoid the situation and put the burdens on other people. Feel free to be creative, but not overwhelming. There are no set guidelines on how to approach these matters, but it’s often that balance of charm and wit that creates the perfect proposal.
To match the intimacy of the conversation, it would be favorable to ask people out in more private settings, where friends can’t interfere with your discussions. The proposal is a moment that you would “want to treasure”, and it would only make sense if the setting is a place that holds meaning to both individuals. For instance, Bob and Tammy were already good friends and both of them had feelings for one another. One day, when they were sitting in a booth in a restaurant face-to-face, they coincidentally managed to speak up for their love. The booth was in a public environment, but it was intimate enough for the two to have their “fireside” chats. It is always pertinent to personalize the experience for your intended “other”.
Like all other important matters, it’s best not to throw a proposal over text or through social media. Emotions can’t be adequately interpreted and it’ll only cause unnecessary miscommunications. Furthermore, it’s important to carry out the proposal on your own. Keep yourself sustained and to not be too extreme and outgoing. The desperation and the excess of emotion will only strain your chances of success, putting pressure on the person being asked instead of gently welcoming their presence. Aggression will only lead to rough relationships that likely won’t work out, especially if both sides misunderstand each other’s intentions.
Keeping a Relationship “Romantic”:
Again, it’s important to keep your relationships on a case-by-case basis. Often, it’s always the honest, simple, and most straightforward relationships that are the most successful. By keeping open communication, the intimacy is usually what keeps these high school relationships alive. More importantly, it’s the support that is sustained between the two to create a mutually-beneficial relationship. It’s the transmission of smiles, the tendency to spend more time with your date to mutually relieve stress, and the warm hugs that strengthen a relationship. When love and happiness are combined, it allows the couple to strengthen bonds, setting themselves up for greater chemistry. It’s like the feeling where “cancer is cured, solving calculus problems is easy, and life is all happy and colorful and warm”. A relationship is not kept through the initiation of exploding fireworks, but rather learning about their little quirks and understanding their personality.
In order to prevent miscommunications, it is crucial that both members pay attention to one another and understand their wants and needs. Even showing small gestures of caring for one another helps to build that sympathy that is needed in order for the connection between the two people to be stronger and more stable. Although high school relationships may be limited by the time people spend with one another, and parental factors that could influence the outcome of the relationship, the exchange of ideas between the couple will only be bolstered by these signs of sympathy. Otherwise, it’s recommended that more communication is fostered in-person: try to get lunch out together or go watch a movie together. The key is to allow you and your significant other to see eye-to-eye on issues so that you both are happy and satisfied with the relationship.
This part of the process is always the most heartbreaking. Often, rejections stem from forgetting the little things that made the couple happy and becoming pessimistic about the life that sustains their relationship. They can originate from stress and parental conflicts, but more often than not, it’s caused by a misunderstanding of intentions. For example, Sammy and Sally originally had thought they had found true love, but as they met new people at school, they grew farther and farther apart, with Sally being jealous of Sammy’s life. As a result, their inability to not trust each other as much as before cost their relationship.
However, not all break-offs are as gradual as that relationship. When rejecting someone more directly, it’s important to be delicate, but also to rip off the band-aid and not leave them with any unanswered hints. It’s best to state your appreciation for their boldness when rejecting them, but not to the point where you’re thanking them for their deeds. Moreover, one must be cautious when rejecting people in public, especially during an outing that was supposed to be an ordinary hangout with a group of friends. Although the idea might be enticing, it only causes unnecessary sadness. The bottom line is: don’t stay in a relationship if it makes you feel miserable or if it makes you feel like you have an obligation to attend to.
Note: The examples used in this story are based on true accounts of CCA students, but may not be representative of all relationship situations. Alternative names are used to protect the identities of the individuals in these particular examples.