Dating in middle school is harmful

Abigail Weakley, Staff

Imagine walking down the hall and seeing two students holding hands. They are dating, something that is very common in middle school. One week later they break up, causing both people a lot of drama for no real reason.

Dating in middle school can be hard on both students in the long run. The students might have learned some important lessons, but they are more likely to be harmed if they date too soon.

A study conducted in Georgia sheds some light on the situation. After studying 624 students from grades six to twelve for seven years, researchers found that students who dated less frequently, or just didn’t date at all, did better academically than the students who dated frequently throughout middle and high school.

People who dated in sixth through twelfth grade were more likely to drop out of school, use drugs, drink while under age and fall behind on their studies. Kids who didn’t date had better grades and did better work in their classes.

The same study also found that dating a classmate would have some of the same effects menatally as people who have dated a coworker. When the couple splits up, they will still have to see each other in school and even possibly have to see each other move on and date someone else. This can lead to depression and divert attention from studying and doing classwork.

Some might say that it would be fine for students to date because the students might find love and be happier because of that special person in their lives. Although this could be true, most couples in middle school, and even high school, break up rather than have a long term relationship.

According to the UCLA Psychology Department, “adolescent romantic relationships may last for only a few weeks or months, these early relationships play a pivotal role in the lives of adolescents and provide a foundation for developing committed relationships in adulthood”.

Although that can be true, other studies have shown that there was not only a higher high school dropout rate among teens who dated,  but that those kids were more likely to use alcohol and drugs as well as develop behavior problems.

If they date the wrong person they could be messed up for years.

According to the UCLA Psychology Department,“dating someone who is not supportive and trusting or who is violent or abusive can undermine an individual’s sense of self-worth and introduce social and emotional stress.”

In other words, dating the wrong person who is not positive, who is not supportive, is very damaging to students.

Though it might be fun and cool to date in middle school it can have some major consequences in the long run. In the end, it is too much of a hazard to date in middle school for any of the kids involved.

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