I'm in grade 11 and my boyfriend is in grade 12. He's going away to university this fall and has been acting crazy ever since he got accepted. I know the summer hasn't even started, and the fall is so far away, I just feel like ever since all this stupid senior class grad stuff started, he's been ignoring me...non-stop! He's always busy with planning something for the senior class and grad, and I'm never invited. We hardly even eat lunch together! It feels like he's going to break up with me. We've been going out for almost two years already and he's never acted like this before, I don't know what to do! We've talked about staying together after he leaves for school, but I'm afraid to bring it up again because he might just say he changed his mind. How do I get things back to normal?
Erin, 16 - Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
There is no easy fix for this problem. The truth of the matter is, even though it is months away, his life is going to change completely when he goes to university, and it will be incredibly difficult to stay together during that upheaval. Two years is an amazingly long time to date in high school, and obviously you both have invested a lot in the relationship. You also were probably always aware that this day would come, but until his acceptance letter came and it became official, your boyfriend wasn't facing up to what was coming. Now that he can't avoid it anymore, it sounds like he is struggling with how to cope with it, and in the process he's hurting your feelings.
As hard as it will be for you to separate when he leaves in the fall, it will probably be almost or equally hard for him to say goodbye to the classmates he has been close with throughout high school (and maybe even elementary school). Like I said, two years is a long time to date in high school, but he likely has friendships that have lasted much longer, which is why he is spending so much time with his senior friends right now. It may be that he feels that he'll have the summer with you, or it may be that he doesn't know how to deal with his feelings about the potential end of your relationship. It is probably just easier to be with people who are in the same boat, and who will be going their own ways after years of lunches, sports, parties and classes - things they have all been doing together long before you entered the picture. It isn't nice of him to cut you out, but it is understandable.
What you should consider doing is using your new free time to reconnect with your own friends - the people who you will be reminiscing and planning grad with next year. As hard as it may feel, you will be spending one more year in high school, and whether you stay together or not, you and your boyfriend won't be going to school together. Your friendships are going to be what make or break your experiences in your senior year. So, rather than moping over some guy, make plans with the people you will be relying on next year.
I started dating my boyfriend before the holiday break back in December. He's my first serious boyfriend, and things have been going great. I feel really comfortable with him. Lately, everyone is talking about grad and getting hotel rooms, and I sorta feel like it would be weird if we didn't get one too. I guess maybe...maybe...if it wasn't for prom, we might wait a little longer, but I love him, and I know he loves me, so I'm not really rushing into something I'll regret, right? Is five months too soon for sex?
Sarah, 17 - Vancouver, British Columbia
The thing about grad (or prom) being the night to have sex, is that there is no real rhyme or reason to that theory. You will be dressed up in fancier clothes. You will be on an official "date". You will be dancing. (If this really leads to sex then the preacher dad in Footloose
had a point.) None of these elements on their own really add up to "sex required," and altogether they don't either. Mostly they add up to a potentially very fun night with someone you really like. Which could mean it's a good night to have sex, or (it could be) a good night to get ice cream and go to an after-party and dance with your girlfriends and scramble to make your curfew.
My point is grad/prom is a night that no matter what you do you will make memories. Some will be good, some may be bad, and, as you get older, most will fade into a general feeling of happiness (or sadness, if on the off chance, it all goes wrong). The first time that you have sex on the other hand, will probably not fade too much in your mind. It is an indelible, quasi-adult moment that will factor in your future relationships. Sex for the first time can be magic, or awful, or just awkward. It will happen, and once it does, it will forever be your first-time story. When you get older there will be sexual experiences that will fade with the wash (you likely won't be able to remember your seventeenth time with your husband for example), but you will never forget your first.
That is why I don't advocate grad/prom night sex. Do it the night before, or the night after, or a month later or two years later - just do it whenever you want to and most importantly, when you truly feel ready to. Grad/prom should be a good night for you, especially since it sounds like you are going with someone you'll really enjoy it with. I can't tell you when the right time to have sex is - no one but you can really decide that. Just don't let expectation and what everyone else is doing affect you, if your boyfriend is as great as he sounds, I'm sure that's not what he would want either. I think if you keep your grad/prom and sex two separate things, you'll get more out of both of them.