When people ask how long Brandon and I have been together and I reply with “17 years”, their first reaction is always “aw! You married your high school sweetheart, that is so cute”.
To be honest, I think the idea of high school sweethearts is much cuter than actually being high school sweethearts. I actually highly dislike the term. I’m sure some people had great high school relationships, some that lasted and some that didn’t. However I don’t think Brandon nor I would consider our high school relationship “great”, but we did last.
While I personally believe high school is in no way the right time nor place to be involved in a serious relationship, I have no doubt that I met the man I was supposed to be with when I was only 14 years old. After 17 years, he is still my favorite person in the whole world and I am incredibly proud of us for making it through everything we have made it through.
Today, we are celebrating our 4 year wedding anniversary so I thought it presented the perfect time to discuss what it’s really like to marry your high school sweetheart. Just like everything else, there are pros and cons but in this case, they are basically the same.
The Pros & Cons of Marrying Your High School Sweetheart
We Really Know Each Other
High school is tough enough. All the drama, the hormones and unpredictable emotions. We have no idea who we are or what we want. But our relationship made it through all of that, which is saying a lot. Together we experienced every immature part of growing up together. We’ve dealt with jealousy, anger, heartbreak, sadness, and every little bit of insecurity one has while growing up. Because of all this we really know each other and on a level I don’t think many other couples do.
Brandon and I have both experienced each other doing amazing things as well as the not so amazing things, both to each other and to ourselves. We’ve seen each other through some serious family drama, terrible car accidents, several moves across the country, deaths, graduating college, succeeding in careers. We have pretty much shaped who we are together. There is no hiding from each other because we really do know each other.
However, knowing each other, having been through everything together, can be tough to deal with at times. There can be times when it feels like we have nothing new or exciting to talk about. That we’ve done and said it all. It’s something we have to constantly work on. To communicate, to share, to try new things. It is all too easy to fall into a rut when you are so comfortable with someone. So while really knowing each other is something incredibly special, it is also something that comes with a lot of work.
Having been together for so long we have a lot to reminisce on. The memories we have together make up a pretty extensive list and it is fun to be able to look back on a memory from when we were only 15/17 years old. There are so many happy memories to look back on, so many fun times that we’ve had and so many laughs we’ve shared together. It’s a great way to reflect and remind each other of how far we’ve come and why we are still here.
However, while it is always fun to look back on the good times, because we’ve been together for so long, there is also an extensive list of not so good times to remember. For me, I am just learning how much the past can still be part of the present. Especially if there are things we haven’t dealt with or healed from. It can be difficult at times, to not only have to remember these bad memories, but also learn to deal with them so many years later.
We’ve Grown Up Together
As high school sweethearts, we’ve made it through some incredibly tough/intense times together. Those critical teen and young adult years where you are trying to figure out who you are and what you want, dealing with the past/childhood, while still trying to plan for the future. We went through all that together which forms a bond that I am pretty sure most couples do not get to experience.
Of course, all couples grow together, but a lot of them don’t make it through those growth spurts. It can be incredibly hard to navigate, especially when one person is growing and the other seems to stay stagnant (we’ve been there). But we had to learn how to deal with the growth at a young age and early on in our relationship. Dealing with it isn’t easy, but it has allowed us to now recognize when we are going through a rough patch. When things get rough for us, it’s probably a good sign that things are starting to shift and that we need to figure out how to go through it once again.
Growth never stops, so this isn’t something you deal with once or twice in a relationship and then move on from it. It’s an ongoing thing and it’s not easy to go through over and over and over again. But when you want something or believe in something hard enough, you figure it out. You learn ways to adapt and love the new person/relationship that has come from the growth.
Brandon and I were never that “cute couple” or I guess “couple goals” as the cool kids say nowadays. We went through too much at too young of an age, in too small of a town to be all that.
We aren’t perfect and I will be the first person to advise anyone against a high school relationship.
But like I said above, I have no doubt that we were meant to end up here. We will no doubt continue to learn about each other, reminisce on all we’ve been through, and grow together. And as much as I hate the term high school sweetheart, I’m sure happy that’s where it all began.