MHS couple shows how it’s done

Two years and going strong

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MHS couple shows how it’s done

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Everybody knows someone who is in a terrible relationship.  Your best friend who goes out with someone who cheats on them, or puts them down.  Another who seems afraid to make decisions without texting their boyfriend first.  And other couples, seemingly tied at the hip, fade away from their friend groups never to be heard from again. True love is just in the movies, right?  Sometimes it seems as though it might just be best to forget the whole thing.

But then there’s Bella Spear and Cameron Dunbar.  The couple, both seniors, have been dating since their sophomore year without even a speed bump.  They don’t fight, they don’t argue, and they don’t smother each other.  She dances, he plays rec basketball.  Both are good students. They each have their own group of friends. Drama you say?  Although Bella said that early on some of her friends would try and stir things up by hinting that Cam was cheating, after a few heated text fights, she decided to trust him.  Since then…nothing.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services adolescents date less now than they did in the past.  Although healthy dating relationships can help teens develop social skills, learn about other people and grow emotionally, the percentage of high school seniors who do not date increased from 14% in 1991 to 38% in 2013.   Partly this is because the I Generation (that’s us) are so used to socializing online that we don’t feel the need to meet up in person.  On the plus side, this means that the teen pregnancy statistics are at an all time low but on the negative side, our lack of socializing has made us more “mentally unstable” than any generation before us.

Cam remembers first meeting Bella in 9th grade biology when they were partners in a “Penny “lab.  She was “fooling around”, lost the penny on the floor and the two spent the rest of the time trying to find it so they could start the assignment.  She recalls their first date at a local carnival the summer before Sophomore year, and thinks they fell for each other right away.  Maybe opposites attract- she’s an only child, adopted at six months old from Russia while Cam has three younger brothers.  She’s outgoing and eager to make new friends while he’s a little more introverted. While both are serious about school, they also like to be active when they have free time, choosing to eat out, or go to Boston to see shows and concerts and sporting events.

A recent study published in the journal Child Development showed that, in general, today’s high school seniors are behaviorally more like fifteen year olds were twenty five years ago.  We stay home more, have fewer car accidents, drink less and engage less in sexual relationships.  Obviously those are good trends, but teens who don’t date are also less prepared for living independently before going away to college.

One of the reasons kids give for not wanting to date, or be in a relationship, is that there’s too much fighting or arguing or negotiating or accountability.  And social media seems to magnify every issue.  Bella, who wants to be a psychologist, thinks that when couples have their first fight they “kind of freeze up and don’t know how to figure out what to do next.”  She said that she and Cam are good at “problem-solving together,” and tend to ignore social media.  Cam, who is attending Bentley in the fall for accounting, said that he knows that Bella “is going to have other guys for friends,” and doesn’t get jealous.  Kind of cheesy, right?

It’s possible that Cam and Bella were made for each other.  And if they’re not, they have at least had the lucky experience of being in a healthy relationship that makes them both happy.