Tuesday, January 11, 2011


What Kind of High-School Girlfriend Were You? And Are You Miserable Now?

Were you a cool one? Were you a slutty one? Were you never one because _____? Were you one of the ones who always asked "do you really care about me"? Uh oh, if you were that last one. (All the other ones are good, though.)

Adolescents and young adults who excessively seek reassurance in their romantic relationships are at increased risk for depression, according to a new psychological study at the University of Maine. Excessive reassurance seeking — such as constantly asking, “Do you really care about me?” — is associated with poorer relationship quality and internalizing problems, especially for girls and young women.

Let's all say things that happened with high-school boyfriends, and then say if we're miserable now. If you really care about me you'll do this.

[Thanks, Simcha!]

56 Comments / Post A Comment


I was too hopeless to seek reassurance from my also-depressed high school boyfriend! So I guess I won the esteem game?


I had one boyfriend in High School for about three months. He went to the tiny weird private school down the street and lived in a different town. He was really hot and goth and his name was Antonio. He started telling me he loved me after two weeks and this struck me as legitimate. He had just broken up with his girlfriend in a different town when we started dating. . .except three months later it turned out he actually didn't.

As for whether I'm miserable now, I'd like to quote Rob Gordon:

"It would be nice to think that since I was 14, times have changed. Relationships have become more sophisticated. Females less cruel. Skins thicker. Instincts more developed. But there seems to be an element of that afternoon in everything that's happened to me since. All my romantic stories are a scrambled version of that first one."



"Struck me as legitimate."


Oh also, your quote reminds me of this quote which is similar, I think?

"What can the England of 1940 have in common with the England of 1840? But then, what have you in common with the child of five whose photograph your mother keeps on the mantelpiece? Nothing, except that you happen to be the same person."
— George Orwell


I was more the "isn't it adorable that I'm constantly criticizing you like we're an old married couple"? girlfriend, & I'm now very glad that I didn't end up spending the rest of my life continuing to be that person.


Thinking back on it, I was kind of a bossy one! But that doesn't mean I don't toss back my daily Wellbutrin like everyone else.


Oh, my god: your avatar.


I constantly told my high school girlfriend how much I loved her, unsought and unsolicited. It was kind of a passive-aggressive way to get her to say it to me. I was a pretty awful person in high school.


Flashback to the night of the Winter Formal, senior year of college, 1991. Having misjudged the amount of champagne imbibed, I was hunched over the john in my wrinkled party dress while my then-boyfriend held my hair back and I wailed "Doooonnn't Leeeaaave Meeeeee" between heaves.

(He didn't. But he still teases me about that night. And I wasn't subject to depression. Bullet dodged, phew!)

Edith Zimmerman

Wait, but this is so incredibly sweet.


I know, right? So all you insecure adolescent girls seeking reassurance from your boyfriends, there is hope!

Jane Marie

i had too many and they overlapped a lot and most of them were skaters who were old enough to buy beer but not too old to be sleeping with some girl in the grade below me. none of them could ever convince me that they loved me, even after i hit them in the face and asked again. then i dropped out. now i'm in a perfect relationship with a normal, incredibly handsome, kind, thoughtful and successful man who is almost 2 years YOUNGER than me. all true.


Hmm. I was the high school girlfriend whose boyfriend was secretly hooking up with my best friend behind my back for a year! Ooops! So I was a dumb one. Also, he was super emo and gross, in retrospect, so, a lucky one too. Teen traumazz.


One of my high school boyfriends wanted to be a rapper, and he wrote me a birthday rap that ended, "You know how I feel, my feelings are real, now you're a year older and it's a done deal." And two weeks later he broke up with me! But it helped prepare me for my relationship with Eminem, who I'm now dating.


Oh, I was so the bad kind. I can't believe that guy ever married me! But it's cool because we're divorced now, and my self esteem is just fine. Maybe it took 30 years to know myself (and love myself), but that's what 30's for right?

Oliver St. John Mollusc

I had one boyfriend for my last two years of high school, and because I'd waited until the ANCIENT age of almost-seventeen to start dating, I assumed I was incredibly wise and that we'd avoid all the pitfalls of high school dating that everyone else fell victim to, and probably get married. And he agreed with me! But he also made fun of me all the time and said the "if you don't know what's wrong, I'm not going to tell you" line on several occasions, with no trace of irony. I gritted my teeth and stuck it out for two years, then I woke up from my repressed-aggression-induced stupor right before college and dumped him. It's all been uphill from there.


MY high school boyfriend was a winsome little JV (lol) hockey player who was dumb as rocks. He was very concerned about his weight, as I recall. He talked a lot about us getting married. When we tried to do sex for the first time he had issues maintaining his excitement, and when I looked at him with watery eyes and blubbered "But…but…what if it's never as good as everyone says it is?" the asshead said, "Well, blowjobs are, so I'm not worried."

Anyway, he left for college like two months before me and I hooked up, like, immediately with a super funny coworker I had. It was so much awesome fun that I got home, took a Vicodin left over from a bad bout of tonsillitis earlier that year, and called up Wayne Gretzy Jr and broke his ass right up with mine!! The best. The end.


I was a collector girlfriend, in that I strove to date (or at least make out with) every possible high school boy stereotype. My longest stint was with a burnout who worked at a record store and wanted to be a pro-BMXer–since I was a walking J. Crew catalog, it was an interesting reverse Blaine/Andie from Pretty In Pink-type pairing. Even more fitting is that my best friend at the time was kind of like a James Spader, always leaning against her convertible in the senior parking lot and sneering at my life choices.


I was a born-again Christian in high school, and, not coincidentally, I also went through high school without having a boyfriend. I'd say, as cheerfully as I could, "Jesus Christ is my boyfriend!" Good times.


Did Jesus ever pressure you to give it up?


That Jesus is always getting nailed.


I am so glad you gents are regulars at this joint–you round things out rather pleasingly and make it feel like home.


what garge said.


I dated the prettiest English boy in the school, and then I was a lesbian. He felt great about that!


My two significant high school boyfriends were two guys from the same punk band (which only had 3 dudes in it). One guy junior year, one guy senior year. But it was okay because they were like a year apart, I think that makes me not a ho or a groupie? But it did make me a legend in my tiny all girl's school. It kind of made up for not having a real boyfriend until I was 16. And also gave me confidence to go after any guy I wanted, for like, the rest of my life. Until I got married and had to cut that shit out.


I never had one because I was wildly unpopular. I always wanted to be a slut, but was to shy and socially akward. But! when I went to college and wasn't stuck in my tiny town full of people that still made fun of me for things I did in 3rd grade, I got the chance to be a slut! And boy was it fun. Then I married my first boyfriend. Boy was that stupid. Then when I got divorced I got to be an even BIGGER slut! Even more fun! How am I now? Fine after my daily 6 shots of whiskey. Even better if there are other choice intoxicants available. Excellent if on top of this, there's a good chance of getting laid. Which there usually is.

Redd Delicious

I was the crazy one who was dating the even crazier boy. We had great sex. He was bipolar, which lead to funny times like when he decided that he knew exactly what to do to fix his life, i.e. break up with me and shave off all of his body hair. Yes, including eyebrows. We got back together after that because, duh, true LOVE. Also did I mention the sexing?
Anyhow, we had a very tearful breakup our first semester of college, at which point I was dating the guy I am still with 9 years later*. Except not dating, because who dates in college?

*I feel the compulsion to mention that current boyfriend and I are both happy sluts, so yes, I have done it with more than 1 person since high school.


I never had a boyfriend in high school, mostly because I was an intolerable human being from the ages of 13-17 and was under the impression that high school boys were beneath me. I only dated one guy the whole time, when I was 16 - he was a 20-year-old college baseball player who was playing on a summer team in my hometown. He had a tongue ring and 17 tattoos, almost all of which were variations on a flaming baseball, he went tanning daily, and he dumped me after like 2 weeks to date a 17-year-old who would put out. I wonder what happened to him...he clearly hasn't made it to the MLB, which just makes be feel bad for him, because how hard must it be to go through life with 17 flaming baseball tattoo reminders of his failure?

Queen of Pickles

I transferred sophomore year of high school to the fancy private High School for the Arts in my hometown. Most of the other kids were boarders, but I lived right down the street, so I didn't hang out with people much. Most of them were superambitious, with cool clothes and a love of gossip. I was this strange gawky girl in a hideous coat that appeared and disappeared at random, and loved "Harold and Maude".

Oh, and I was a "theater major". 2/3 of the students were guys. 2/3 of the guys were gay. Nuff said.


My high school boyfriend was in a band. A BAND. Of the "pop-punk emo" variety. He also dyed his hair to look like Mark Hoppus (we were 15 in 2002 so…yeah). Our relationship lasted exactly one month: he dumped me because I was terrified of blow jobs (having received my First Kiss from the same boy at…age 15), but he said it was because of his parents' disapproval RE our different religions. I hated his mother for like FIVE YEARS until I figured out what his real problem was.
My confidence these days is fine – he's still in a band (no label, currently touring with Brokencyde), and last I heard, he was still sexing the 16 year olds. "Committing a little statch" as they evidently put it.



I had to, I'm sorry. I'll see myself out.


Oh, but you can't help the way you feel.


I must move fast, you understand me...


Why is the last mile the hardest mile?


Because if it's not Love, then it's the bomb that will bring us together.

Seriously I could go on like this forever.

Caitlin Podiak

My only serious high school boyfriend was very cute and sweet and rich and preppy and boring. He took me to fun private school parties, and thought it was sad and unattractive for girls to smoke pot.

One weekend, my best friend and I did a college visit together. I smoked pot for the first time and made out with a relatively-intellectual-and-deep-seeming college boy. A few months later, my loving and adorable high school boyfriend found out and broke up with me, but dragged it brutally out over the course of a month. By the end of that ordeal, I was toying with the notion that I was such a terrible, selfish, evil person, I didn't deserve to live, but soon concluded that suicide would be even more selfish.

I had a silly rebound fling with a dumb snowboarder over the summer, and then slutted around a little for the first couple months of college. By the end of the first semester I had met my current boyfriend. (We decided we were officially dating on January 11, actually, and today is our seven year anniversary. We canceled our dinner reservation because he's sick.)


To be entirely too honest, my only high school "boyfriend" interaction was so fucking damaging I can't even come up with enough details for a funny story, I've blocked that much of it out. It ended when he left my for my best/only friend, so that was special, though far from the worst of the things he did.

But fantastically, all of my subsequent relationships have been exponentially better. So, um, IT GETS BETTER, or at least it can, even if you start out as a loudmouthed fat girl with dangerously low self-esteem. So I am very much not miserable now, though thinking back on what I went through with that fucking jerkwad has made me a bit sad.

princess rainbow

I was a ______ (LESBIAN!!!) but I still had a boyfriend for two months, until I broke up with him on the phone while giggling. Ugh. He was the WORST. And I am the gay-est. Bad combination.


I was crazy, but I got away with it by being super-sexual. High school boys will tolerate a lot of crying and carrying on for a girlfried who's really into doing it. I was disturbingly obsessed with my high school boyfriend (the relationship lasted 4 years), and I really had no plans or interests other than him, marrying him, and talking incessantly about him. I wasn't bipolar, but my love for this dude was. And I'm fine now, so let's chalk it up to the raging hormones.


High school boys tolerate it? Or, every man of every age? 'Cause it still works and I'm almost 30.


I'm new here, but my high school boyfran was THE BEST. He wanted to be a police officer/modern day terminator (despite being kind of scrawny, by oddly muscular?) and I wanted to be an artist and psychiatrist (who would possibly combine the two with some ground breaking case studies, and then replace Freud, obviously). We were kind an odd couple because he ....kind of didn't leave for the air force like he was supposed to, and stayed behind so he could be with a not that yet emotionally stable 16 year old with pink hair that his jar head friends did not approve of.

Everything was great in the beginning (LET'S GET MARRRIIEIDDDDD! I'M IN HIGH SCHOOL AND WORK AT MANDEE AND YOU GO TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE! THIS IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA! SKIPPING AND RAINBOWS!!) but then a few months later he had some sort of psychological break and started getting really possessive and controlling (HOMEBOY WANTED TO CONTROL MY EYEBALLS, HE WOULD GRAB MY FACE IF HE DIDN'T WANT ME TO LOOK AT SOMETHING. and not like, some superfly other gentleman or anything, but shit like cute puppies and fun colored nail polish). Things escalated over the year, and he did some pretty inexcusable things that I had to call 911 for (but they were totally my fault, guys, because my passion for classy television shows such as "Flavor of Love" obviously meant that I was actively pursuing the affection of a former Public Enemy member, and not just being A REAL AMERICAN who loves trash TV).

It ended when I got sick of him reading my emails, which contained bank statements, and we would have arguments over where I spent my money. For example "What did you spend $18.73 on at Duane Reade on this date?" "Uhh? A month ago I needed some tampons and deodorant?" "That's a lot of money for those things. WHAT ELSE." "Probably something stupid like some lip balm and gum? I don't know? Do you you how much a box of goddamn tampax costs these days, buddy?" "HAVE THEM LOOK UP THE RECEIPT FROM YOUR DEBIT CARD, THAT'S HOW MUCH THINGS LIKE CONDOMS COST. LIAR RARRRRRR HULK SMASH YOUR FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS" One day I changed all my passwords, and he called me incessantly while I was at school, demanding the new password. THEN SHOWED UP AT MY SCHOOL WHEN IT DIDN'T WORK BECAUSE I PURPOSELY GAVE HIM THE WRONG ONE. SHIT.

Soo uhhh, yeah. That was fun. Then years later he started booty calling me, saying I was obligated to come get down with him (IN HIS PARENT'S HOUSE WHILE THEY WERE THERE?) because I ruined his life. A year or two after that, I was living in NYC, and he said he was going to be in town for a sports game of sorts and wanted to see me, so I begrudgingly went to have dinner with him in Times Square (romantic) on the advice of a roommate that maybe he wanted to apologize, only to find out over our gourmet meal from Sabaro's (that I paid for) that he wanted to tell me he was going to thing hockey/basketball/ping pong/whatever game by himself, because I ruined any chance for him to ever form a normal relationship or friendship with anyone, because I wouldn't let him "own me in a loving way." Then after the game ended and I was back home, he texted me and said that he was going to jump in front of the subway, which he did not in fact do. YAYYYYY STORY.

Also, as a footnote, his mom was BATSHIT crazy. She only left the house on Saturdays (would not even go out to get the mail Sun-Fri), always wore thin white shirts with no bra, with her monster chichis showing through 97% of the time, and had a room in the house entirely devoted to dolls (like that person on hoarders, but only slightly less hoardy.)

BUUTTTT now everything is fine, because I learned all the warning signs to look for in a person who is crazy face, and I'm in a healthy, multi year relationship with a dude who wants to marry me after he finishes his master's program and lands a well paying job so that we can live in happywonderfultown and I can continue earning my never ending PhD, because he is not a possible serial killer. Also, HE LETS ME LOOK AT ALL THE CUTE DOGS THAT I WANT. SUCK ON THAT, HIGH SCHOOL BOYFRIEND!


That was really long, whoops. But I couldn't sleep, and typing all of that made me tired. So, you go hairpinambien!


That is a story I am glad to have read. Congrats on being ok now.


Oh my goodness that story is whoa not okay. Glad you got outta that.

Edith Zimmerman

Hoooly shit!

The eyeball thing. That's … I can't even find the right word. Definitely never see that guy again, ever!


I think the correct medical term for that behavior is "crazy balls."

That guy, woof.


Oh, I was definitely the "do you really care about me" girlfriend. I had one boyfriend, my senior year of high school. He was hot and smart and infinitely more experienced than I (and talked about his infinite experience all the damned time.) I immediately became paranoid and clingy and insecure and it took years before I calmed the fuck down and started enjoying relationships.

Randomly, I've since emigrated to another country; that boyfriend also emigrated here at some point between our break up 13 years ago and now we live in the same city, 7,000 miles away from our high school.

We don't hang out.


When I was 10 years old, I used to ask my school friends that question. I'd be like "Do you like me? Are you really my friend?".
So I apparently was an emotionally early bloomer and a high school girl


i was the high school girlfriend with the older hockey star boyfriend that i thought i could 'save'. He did my math homework while I wrote his papers and quizzed him for tests. After 5 years we broke up because I went to college and he didn't. Now I've graduated college; write for fun, still am terrible at math, and he's been my longest relationship.


This is the best story time ever.

I was just super stupid and believed everyone who said they loved me really loved me. And would complain about not getting any, but then if things got too real with a guy and I might be in danger of getting more than I bargained for I'd freak out and leave and never see him again (looking at you, creepy 20-year-old who hung out at high school parties and lured me into the hot tub by merit of merely seeming attracted to me). But in college I found a guy who really meant that he loved me and moved at the same pace as me and now we're married and I think I'm closer to normal than not. Which is really all I could ask for.


I had my heart broken so then I got super chubby in high school and dated chubby, emo guys and had mediocre high school sex.
I was definitly not the "do you really like me" type b/c I didn't really like them except for driving, movies, cigarettes, and of course - snacks.

I "dated" two boys who were in musical theater. The first relationship lasted about 5 months, and I repeatedly told him that I wouldn't come near him unless he got his shit together. We've remained close friends (he's offered to be my sperm donor if I want to have kids one day), he has his shit together, and we still have the same bickering, snarky conversations that we had 10 years ago, but grown up. He's such a ginger. The other was a quiet, pasty kid who I dated because my friends thought I was gay, and I was in denial. I don't think I sought either of their validation, despite feeling very alienated as a closeted, scared queer kid. I didn't kiss either of them, ever (or do anything else). My first kiss happened during my sophomore year of college, on an elevator with a girl on the rugby team who knit her own mittens and smelled like cedar.

I'm now a queer, non-monogamous, kinky law student. I'm not miserable.

But why do these people think there's a causal connection between clingy "do you care about me" girlfriends and depression? How about they're one in the same -- sense of self worth, sense of self, self esteem much? None of this "increased risk for depression" bullshit, how about "already depressed, or on their way there, manifesting itself in different ways?"


my single high school romance experience: a torrid weekend in the spring. with this boy that i loved so much. SO MUCH YOU GUYS. after our last day i waited...like...a month and a half for him to call me. i was the "if i behave like this http://community.livejournal.com/vintage_ads/2064763.html maybe a boy will love me" girl. have not spoken to him since then. a couple years of college and a handful of anonymous hookups later, i have not shaken the sinking feeling that the days of knee-shaking-when-your-man-walks-in-the-room have passed. "you want to make out? but...but...i just want to go skipping through daisies with you! and make you sandwiches, and serve your every whim." i think i am not very good at being a modern woman. i think this is a problem.

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