5 Reasons To Dump Your High School Boyfriend

We're gonna stay together forever...or until we get to college and grow apart/find better options.

Upon graduation, my high school sweetheart and I left for different universities in the same city, vowing to stay together, no matter what. “No high school couple lasts beyond their first semester freshman year,” someone told me, to which I replied with a scoff and an eye-roll. That kind of advice was meant for bicoastal couples separated by thousands of miles, and people who just weren’t committed enough to making it work. I resolved to survive the turkey drop.

But by the middle of second semester, I had unceremoniously ended a four-year relationship, citing midterms and the “different directions” in which our lives were headed. What was once was a comfortable refuge ultimately felt stifling, and the messy breakup regrettably tainted years of good memories for a long time after. But I had to do it and it was definitely worth it in the long run.

For those contemplating the High School Sweetheart Breakup (and those of you who are and just refuse to admit it), here’s why it might be better to shelve your boyfriend’s varsity jacket with the rest of your senior yearbook memories:

1. Long distance sucks.
You may have promised to stick together whether you were 30 or 3,000 miles apart, but the truth is, maintaining a long distance relationship is hard. Spending time together isn’t as simple as it used to be; now you have to drive across state lines or fly hundreds of miles every other weekend, cutting into the amount of time you have to catch up on homework, hang out with new friends, or simply explore your new settings. Plus, nobody wants to have to turn down potential weekend plans with, “Sorry, I’m driving to Ohio again to see my boyfriend.”

2. Your interests will change (and so will his).
The two of you shared a bunch of friends and dominated Wii doubles tennis together, so who’s to say you have nothing in common? Though not all high school relationships are affairs of convenience, many of them are, especially if your senior class was only 50 people big. College opens you up to a slew of experiences, and along with discovering you like volleyball and theater (who knew?), you’ll probably switch majors at least twice before you figure out what you really want. Ditto boyfriends. If your nightly marathon phone calls are dwindling down to awkward silences, maybe you guys have less in common than you thought.

3. You’ll be too busy for a serious relationship. No, really.
Between juggling 18 credit hours and trying out for the swim team and joining eight student organizations, free time is hard to come by for a college freshman. There will be many occasions down the road in which you will invariably use the excuse, “I just have too much going on right now to be in a relationship,” but this time, it might actually be true.

4. There are other fish in the sea, and other guys on the quad.
That said, you are going to want to date other guys. I repeat: you are going to want to date other guys. “No!” you protest, “I love my boyfriend, and we’ve gone through so much together.” That may be true, but there is something to be said for the appeal of (and conversely, the fear of) the unknown. Ask yourself frankly: Do you kinda maybe want to see what else is out there, but are afraid of being on your own after so long? Do you wish there were some sort of trial separation you could undertake without fully letting go of your boyfriend? Do you want your own crazy singleton stories? If the answer is yes, it may be time to jump ship (and go fishing).

5. He’s a boyfriend, not a security blanket.
Moving away from home and living on a campus with hundreds, if not thousands, of strangers is definitely daunting at first. That is, until you meet all the awesome people on the floor of your dorm, start exploring the local shops and restaurants, and figure out that the quickest way to get to your poli sci class is through the math building. Holding on to a hometown relationship can be the easiest way to seek stability amid the chaos of settling down in a new campus, but is that really a reason to stay in a relationship? Yes, there exists the rare person who marries his or her high school sweetheart and lives happily ever after, but if you’re only calling your “love” when you need a little comfort and consoling, you are not that person. Face it: it’s just cruel and selfish to stay with a guy only because he reminds you of home. If that turns out to be the case, in the immortal words of Liz Lemon, “shut it down.”



  1. M says:

    Oh, for heaven's sake.

    I'm in a long distance relationship and I don't regret it in the least. It doesn't "suck". I haven't found "other fish in the sea" and neither has he. When you love someone, you make it work. That's all there is to it.

    I really don't understand why you have to contribute to the hundreds of anti-long distance posts on this blog and others like it rather than, say, actually offering some advice to someone who ISN'T willing to dump the love of their life just because they don't live five minutes away.

  2. Q says:

    I agree with M. This article is very negative and is one of many mediocre articles that have been polluting CC recently.

  3. Toralinda says:


    You wanna know what's even crazier than keeping up a long distance relationship after starting college? Keeping up a long distance relationship while your s/o is still in high school and YOU'VE moved on to college. That's exactly what I've been doing for the past 3 years, and I don't regret it in the least.

    Yes, long distance does suck, but we love each other so distance isn't an issue to us.

    Yes, our interests have changed, but we've embraced each other's growth and celebrated new differences AND new similarities.

    Yes, I've become more busy since moving on to college (and so has he, now that he's moved up), but we make sure to carve out a little time to spend together every month.

    Yes, there are other fish in the sea, but no, I don't wish there was some "trial separation" I could try, and no, I don't envy those who have "crazy singleton" stories. I'm perfectly happy with what I've got.

    And yes, he's a boyfriend, and unlike a security blanket, I'm not going to just get rid of him because I'm a big girl now. Just because we're starting a new stage in life doesn't mean we HAVE to do what everyone else is suggesting we do in that stage.

    The bottom line is: this article sucks. Just because your high school relationship didn't work out doesn't mean you should go around telling others why theirs SHOULDN'T. Grow up.

  4. Elaine Low - Dominic says:

    M & Q:

    Thanks for your feedback; that wasn't my intent, but I'll try to take that angle into account next time.

    Actually, this story addresses people who are afraid to let go of their first loves, even if they secretly think it might be time, and the WRONG reasons for holding on to a relationship (long distance or otherwise), as opposed to being anti-LDR.

    I've been in emotionally fulfilling long-distance relationships, and it's very possible to make LDRs work if both people are committed to it. This piece mostly speaks to the nature of high school relationships and the way people change as they grow older.

  5. N says:

    This article actually makes sense… I don't think it's so much that distance is hard as much as people do change. I changed a lot after high school, and after high school I met people who were much better for me than my high school boyfriend.

  6. Star says:

    It's usually a good idea to break up with your high school sweetheart. Occasionally it works out, but normally you grow apart and find new people. If not, then perhaps you are using him as a security blanket and never gave yourself room to grow. I broke up with my fiance when I went to college, deciding to see what I was like on my own instead of getting married. It was the best decision I've ever made.

    And while you may not like it, a long distance relationship is hard. The writer isn't saying it can't work but it's definitely not the right way to go for your freshman year of college. You'll never adjust if you're always going home on the weekend to see your boyfriend, or where ever he lives.

    It's funny how the people on this website always tell those in a long distance relationship to drop it as soon as things get difficult, yet get angry when one of the College Candy writers suggests the same thing.

  7. t says:

    I have to admit, a lot of those points hit really close to home for me. I was devastated when I was given the Turkey Drop (a phrase I had never heard of until this article), but in retrospect, we were just holding onto each other as security blankets and our breakup is what allowed me to really grow as my own person.


  8. t says:

    Also, m, the author mentioned that she and her boyfriend were in different colleges in the same city, so they very likely were not much more than 5 minutes away. And q, just cuz u don't agree with it doesn't make it mediocre. Quit shooting the messenger

  9. NotTelling says:

    Interesting article. A little glass-half-empty, but its actually what happened to me and my HS GF, lol. On a side note, I used to have a lil crush on Elaine back then. Hehe, too bad I was a wuss tho.

  10. d says:

    I'm determined to hang onto my adolescent relationship no matter what! Even if it means passing up the chance to meet new people during what will be the most important 4 years of my life! Even though my bf is probably getting drunk and cheating on me with the hot girls at his school! Nobody understands how SPECIAL my relationship is! GRR!

  11. […] 5 Reasons To Dump Your High School Boyfriend Upon graduation, my high school sweetheart and I left for different universities in the same city, vowing to stay […] […]

  12. X. says:

    College isn't the most important four years of your life. Grow up. And goodness, you're bitter. Your own bad relationship and social troubles don't translate to everyone else.

  13. […] Just because we should dump our high school boyfriends doesn’t mean we can’t have a little winter break friends-with-benefits thing going on, does […]

  14. […] Click on the photo for 5 reasons to dump your high school boyfriend […]

  15. M says:

    I started dating my boyfriend the end of my senior year of high school. I'm attending a UC two and a half hours away from the CSU he decided to attend. It's hard, and I have missed out on some social opportunities–but its worth it, and I don't regret it. Now were both Sophomores at our schools and everything has worked out fine. We see each other about every other weekend, which isn't as much as we'd like, but it leaves time for studies and our own social lives in our own academic settings. And, it has only made us realize that we should pick the same grad school :)

  16. Ash says:

    It took me until the beginning of my college senior year to break up with my high school boyfriend (although it had been dead for over a year). My advice: if it's dead, be done. You could miss a lot of good stuff.

  17. Katey says:

    Me and my boyfriend have been going out for 3 years. I'm graduating from highschool this year,in Texas. My boyfriend graduated 3 years before me and is currently working, attending school off and on. I will be attending college in New York this coming school year and have been having conlficting feelings about what to do. At times I feel strong enough to leave him but the thought of him even talking to someone else really gets to me. I would say he's my first love and it's really hard for me to picture finding someone better, but at times I just feel like I have to let go. In the past we talked about him moving with me or us just making it work. Now I feel like if I'm going to break up with him I should do it prior to my move, I don't wanna miss out!

  18. D says:

    All the people who are trashing this post – relax! I'm glad for you, and I imagine anyone else reading this post is, that you've managed to make it work. Seriously, and without sarcasm, congratulations.

    But, unfortunately I would say that the majority of high school couples are not ready to keep up the long distance… and this article is more aimed towards those who are feeling iffy about it the summer before and aren't willing to talk or think about it.

    My best friend just finished her freshman year dating a boy who is still in high school, so of course I believe it can be done, and done happily. But the unfortunate truth is that most of the time it doesn't work out and causes more unhappiness than it does anything good.

    If you know that the guy (or girl) you're with is The One, then stick with it, and make it work! But what the article is trying to say is that if you're not sure what to do, or you're still on the fence, or you're just holding on… reconsider.

  19. CA says:

    That is great advice. It is funny how we can all type this stuff (the truth that is). I really am in that position and I'm reaching out for anyone who will help me decide. I'm so indecisive as I am a bit of a mental case but these kind raw articles with opinions are what I need. Thanks to all- she has been so good to me but I know what I've been doing every last summer:[ Any internet buddies that want to speak up I would appreciate questions or answers. If not then I appreciate this article no matter how 5 it is or how cliches. It needs to be heard by people in this situation

  20. s says:

    alright, so me and my boyfriend have been dating for 8 months and a few weeks, we had been on and off since march of 2009 till november… i was prettty slutty before him and i started dating.. id get with other guys and things.. but once him and i were official.. i spent every waking moment with him.. after school, every weekend, after practice.. every chance we got to hangout we did.. we barely got into any fights.. our friends would envy up and just be jealous because we got along so well.. but I don’t really understand that fact that I went away all last summer.. but he didn’t do anything and I moved to another state and he managed to stay loyal.. why are we breaking up because he is going to college 4 hours away? He says he “doesn’t want to worry” but what is there to worry about if I have been with him for this long and were doing great?!

    If your in love just like I am and have been for such a long time. To watch the one person you truly love walk right out of your life for some bullshit reason.. hurts a lot, more than one would think. Try and make it work.. no one deserves all this hurt, although him cheating is worse.. so its really up to you.. but your not alone. its going to hurt either way you look at it.. you just gotta think is he worth it?

    1. Marlee says:

      This is true… it is going to hurt either way. If you remain with him or decide to break up with him.
      Like Bob Marley said…
      "The truth is, everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for."

  21. […] or 21? People grow up, and people grow apart, and that’s okay. Very few people are meant to end up with a person they loved at 15. Especially since you’re growing up […]

  22. Some girl says:

    You say to dump your high school boyfriend, the thing is mine doesn't have a choice to go away. He joined the navy before we met and now he wishes he didn't have to go so he could stay with me. I love him more than anything and I honestly feel that nobody will make me as happy as he does. Are you saying i should break up with him because he's going to serve our country?

  23. NSJ says:

    I just came across this article. I kind of agree with the comments above in the comments section. You can't judge all relationships based on the usual "Highschool sweetheart" situation. I'm going to give you all a very different situation to dive deep into with thought.

    Me and my boyfriend have been together three years. Now, you must be thinking we have cuddled our way through highschool, kissed our way through the summers and hugged our way through final exams. No. You're one hundred percent wrong.

    Me and my boyfriend met through a friend. His mother found out I was a candidate for a girlfriend, and being the youngest son, she refused to let him see me for those three-four years because she sees him as "her baby" and won't let him be anyone elses. However, we've done nothing but text message throughout our years together, as she will not let him call me. The distance and the vibe from his mother has not been a factor at all.

    But it gets tougher. Not only can we not talk on the phone, nor see each other, he works during the summer every year during highschool because his parents force him to pay his highschool tuition and for his car.

    We're still together.

    If that's not love, I can't define what is in my experiences. He's coming to New York City, where I am, for college (however, I am not the only factor, he's wanted to come to NYC before he met me). So I have no intention of leaving my boy because of "new experiences".. People need to be grateful for what they have, because that new experience could be the guy who abuses you and scars you for life.

    Also, common interests are not always a factor and shouldn't be if it's true love. If you really love someone, you won't cringe when they mention something they like that you don't. For example, me and my boyfriend are going to be together for good soon (as in no distance, no mother issues), and I promised him a Star Wars Week, where we watch nothing but Star Wars because I know he likes it and let him explain everything to me. You need to be versatile and accept people for who they are if you truly love them, and not go, "You're weird, you like paleontology".

    1. NSJ says:

      And that example of "abuse" is not using him as a security blanket, it is a fact of life. There are great people in this world, and there are not so great people in this world. I can meet great nice guys, but if I want only one, I'm not changing who I want simply because he's my first boyfriend. He fits anything I've ever dreamed about before.

  24. Katie says:

    I started dating my boyfriend at the beginning of junior yr and he was a freshman. Now senior year is coming around and i am very worried about leaving for college because we are so attached. All my friends tell me that relationships like mine will never last once i get to college. One of my friends even decided to break up with her boyfriend the summer before he went to college just so he could experience college without the attachment of going back to highschool. Well just recently they got back together because they were miserable without each other. My advice is if you have something special, don't ever let go of it. Keep it safe and never ever take it for granted. People search for that special someone and the fact that you were given that someone so early in your life is a gift. Consider yourselves blessed and keep what you have forever.

  25. […] High school sweethearts heading to college often receive one piece of advice from well-meaning people in their lives: Break up. […]

  26. wayne says:

    He told me to stay calm and let the spell do it’s work, which indeed it did. Not even 3-4 days later, Wells called me and asked me out for a drink. He apologized to me and sincerely begged me for forgiveness and to give him another chance. I loved this man so much, I could not say no. He now treats me like a princess better than before if I may add. Dr. cool made a believer out of me. I wrote to him and apologized for my rudeness and lack of trust and patience. He also explained to me that magic is not like a push-button kind of thing. It sometimes takes longer than anticipated but it always works and he was right. You may also need help in your love life and i recommend him as he is a great spell caster. Contact him via:

  27. Indignant observer says:

    You are really quite a shitty person aren't you? A relationship is not some kind of fucking game that people play until they get bored and pick another piece to play with, it is a serious commitment. Just because your relationship with your highschool partner didn't work out because you are too mentally weak and morally challenged does not mean that other people should not have a chance for happiness that you wasted because you wanted someone new to get into your pants. Something that is generally forgotten by most adults is that teenagers are fully capable of rational decision making and can also have meaningful and loving relationships with others, who are you to tell another person that what they have is not special because they only recently became adults according to the law? I do not understand why you made this article, because if a person would break up with their partner they would do it regardless of your "advice" and therefore it seems that you are just trying to add another source of doubt into otherwise stable relationships because you cannot stand the thought of someone else having a better relationship history than you. I sincerely hope that eventually you will find out how to be a better person.

    1. dan says:

      i am available for your hostility and anger needs. bring your blue cross insurance card.

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