‘High School’ vs ‘Real’ Love


George Hernandez and his Wife at graduation.

Finding a Valentine’s Day gift is one of the many tasks that go into creating a special day for a loved one, though for some people finding a special someone is the harder task. The most common meaning of love is defined as an intense feeling of deep affection. It can be made clear that shifting from the narrow perspective of love in high school to the sea of underlying responsibilities involved in “real” love, takes maturity. So with the assistance of time and reflection, are teachers able to better vocalize now what the difference between “high school” love and “real” love is?

Content mastery teacher, Joshua Boone is married to a woman he met in high school. Progressing into adulthood, his perception on what love is and what it takes to maintain a healthy relationship became evident as he faced responsibilities outside of high school.

“High school was basically fairy dust, unicorns, and rainbows. The persona of holding hands and having everybody cherish that their so cute together and the most valuable couple. In real life, its a full time job. It’s a task you got to work at and if you don’t put in the work to make it last, then it will crumble just like anything else you put your hands on,” said Boone.

Boone feels the essence of love has lost its meaning and become just another word with the current generation. He says if you don’t fall in love inwardly and emotionally, then it’s not real love.

“There’s not a lot of value on the word ‘love’. Its more than just falling in love with an outside appearance, you have to fall in love with the inside appearance because the outside will fade one day and what you fell in love with outwardly won’t be the same 50 years from now,” Boone said.

Spanish teacher, George Hernandez, sadly recalls that his most memorable girlfriend broke up with him. It wasn’t until after his ex girlfriend had left that Hernandez acknowledged his love for her.

“She broke my heart and said she wanted to break up. I realized I loved her when we broke up. I was like ‘wait a second, I do miss her’ I did love her,” said Hernandez.

Now happily married, Hernandez has someone he can count on. She has his back no matter what. Hernandez feels that high school relationships didn’t require a team effort, however adult relationships do.

Hernandez and his Wife during their honeymoon.

“My wife and I are a team. Our daughters, house, jobs, and family are part of the team we have to make sure doesn’t slip up. I know that if she can’t do it that I have to step up, vice versa. In high school it’s more of a one on one thing. Once you get married and have kids, it’s a group effort,” Hernandez explained.

Hernandez finds that love can be shown in many ways. He doesn’t have to say ‘I love you’ to show his wife that he cares.

“There’s other words and actions I can use. You have to work at it and show it instead of just saying it,” says Hernandez.

English and creative writing teacher, George Olsen, says love wasn’t easy to understand in his youth.

“I loved more people than loved me back, because I realized later I had no idea what love was,” says Olsen.

Olsen had different girlfriends throughout high school. Love to him at a young age was more a question of opportunity.

“I had a different high school sweetheart every year. I did not play around as other people did, but my relationships seemed to dissolve every time summer came around. We went different directions,” Olsen said.

Olsen’s understanding of love, in his adulthood, derives from going through both good and bad times with his wife. He now concerns himself more with his wife’s needs than his own.

“Love is absolutely for better or worse. You can never know that until you hang tough when it gets worse. No hair, illness, so many negatives that you have to become selfless about that person. To love someone is almost being selfless,” said Olsen.

Olsen won’t be spending a lot of money on some fancy jewelry for his wife this Valentine’s day.

“She’s more practical now. She knows how much I love her so I don’t need to demonstrate it with chocolates or gifts. I give her fresh flowers every week,” said Olsen.

Boone did buy a few gifts for his wife, but they will be celebrating after their work commitments end.

“It’s not really Valentine’s Day to us, it’s really our anniversary. With us both being in the step world there’s always a show on Valentine’s weekend so we always wait till the following weekend to celebrate,” said Boone.

Hernandez and his wife of 20 years don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day.

“The cool thing about my wife is that she’s not really into Valentine’s Day. If I get her a card or just say Happy Valentine’s Day it’ll be alright,” said Hernandez.

The yearly tradition of Valentine’s Day remains the same but as high school boys and girls mature into adults, the true meaning of love is broadened with both unimaginable joys and responsibilities.