The Pressure to Date: Teens Suffer Through High-School Romance


Lenox Johnson

Dating Dilemma: Junior Danielle Milburn and Wiley Hartley get swept up in the high school trend to find a date.

“Degrassi,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and “One Tree Hill” all have two things in common: they’re amazing shows, and they perpetuate the teen RomCom stereotype. If you aren’t dating then you aren’t cool; God forbid the characters focus on school, for once. This RomCom trope has begun to bleed into everyday life as more and more teens feel the pressure to date.

Picture this: It’s the year 2050, your only company are the 9-and-a-half cats you adopted to fill the void. The room reeks of loneliness and depression as jeopardy plays in the background. There’s a college degree hanging on your wall, but the pride you once felt from it fades with your self worth as your realize your love life, along with your youth, is long gone. This is your reality without a significant other, right? Probably not.

From the day we begin consuming media, the RomCom trope is pushed into our minds, beginning with Aunt Becky and Uncle Jessie and ending with “iCarly’s” Freddy and Sam. Junior Lucanna Fortunato believes that the pressure to date in high school is sky-high. “It’s ridiculous, there is a lot less focus on self-care and school and a lot more focus on who is cute and who is dating who,” she said. “There are bigger problems out there.”

As for Fortunato, dating isn’t a major priority. “If it happens then it’ll happen,” she said. “I’m not really concerned about it honestly, I’ve never met anybody who shared the same mindset and goals as me. When I do meet somebody who is right for me, then I’ll be sure to keep them on lock.”

As the pressure to date grows stronger, and RomComs become even more popular, the influence of Aunt Becky and Uncle Jessie will only grow with them. In this time of suffering it’s important us single woman to stick together and ride out the storm of love, candied hearts and honeymoon phases. If all else fails, there’s always RomComs to keep us company.