A teenage urge to find “The One”


Nyree Aghayan '24

Nyree Aghayan ‘24 scrolls through endless romance content on social media.

Being 16 and finding my Prince Charming was always at the top of my bucket list. For a large portion of my childhood, I watched romances unfold between football players and cheerleaders on Disney Channel, dreaming of the day I too would experience my own “High School Musical” romance. Since then, however, my life has been steered in various directions and I have both mentally and physically matured.

Even after transcending this cheesy high school romance era that dictated my idea of love, social media continued to portray the notion that dating is a necessity in your highschool life and how once you find a significant other, all your worries will subside. Since it seemed to me that dating was the key to happiness, I found myself very pressured to start a relationship.

Nowadays, going at my own pace with relationships is difficult when I see videos on my TikTok feeds every day portraying flawless relationships. In this environment, it’s hard not to develop a fear that if I don’t start dating now, I might not ever find a partner. Before having these doubts, I wish I’d known that in reality the average woman finds her lifelong partner at 25 and the average man at 28. In other words, there is plenty of time to focus on education, build strong friendships and explore the world without the added stress of balancing a relationship.

Though there’s certainly nothing wrong with starting your dating life in high school or even earlier, it’s important to understand that everyone’s life experiences come at different times. If you haven’t felt sparks just yet, don’t fret. There’s plenty of time for you to find “The One.” The false narratives constantly floating around pressuring teens to start dating can cause them to get into rushed, disingenuous relationships, can lower their self esteem, and cause them to believe you need to rely on a significant other to attain happiness and comfort, all of which are harmful and untrue.

This Valentine’s Day, rather than weeping over my single state, I am going to focus on myself and embark on a self-love journey. Over the course of these past few years, one valuable lesson I’ve learned is the importance of self-love and embracing that practice. It helps you thrive in any environment and situation you’re thrown into, and allows you to build not a stronger relationship with yourself and others. 

Yes, love doesn’t always come in the form of romance, but  that’s okay.  I know now that self-love is more important than  fitting any childhood dream.