Dr. Danny: A Guy’s Take on Love and Relationships in High School

Senior Danny Thompson on  love from a man's perspective.

Senior Danny Thompson on love from a man's perspective.

By Danny Thompson

A few weeks ago it was suggested to me that I write something about relationships, as up until this point nothing besides female voices on the subject had appeared on the website. I decided the best place to start would be to actually READ what had been previously written. (You see, when a dude sees the word “love” in the title of something, his natural instinct is to go watch sports highlights.) So despite my qualms, I tore into some beef jerky (to keep up my testosterone) and read every estrogen-filled piece of gushy love crap on the NWN that I could find. Twenty minutes later I was enraged at females, my hormones were out of balance, and I was ready to go break every unsuspecting girl’s heart that I could find…

Yeah I didn’t think you guys would buy that…

Actually, I read four incredibly sensible pieces on a topic that doesn’t often make much sense. I really only had one objection. The vast majority of situations were written from the female perspective because a woman had written the article, and while that only makes sense, like Alyssa said, a relationship is a two-way street. Everything that can happen to a girl in a relationship to make her happy or sad can also happen to a guy. Men don’t show feelings to the same degree that women do because it’s not in our chemical makeup to. Contrary to popular belief, men and women are NOT equal. Each sex has its own strengths and weaknesses for a variety of reasons. It’s genetics. We don’t look the same, so we can’t be expected to act the same.

Now while I’m not Dr. Drew, I HAVE listened to his radio show, and if that doesn’t make me just as qualified as someone with a PhD, I don’t have any idea what could. Dr. Danny is in.

First off, keep in mind that we’re teenagers. As my eighth grade gym teacher once said, “teenage relationships are like socks. You change them often, especially when they start to stink.” Take that to heart, and think of high school dating like spring training for baseball. You’ve gotta step up to the plate and take a swing. Even if you strike out, get hit by the pitch, let the bat go flying into the on-deck circle, it doesn’t matter that much. It’s practice. Same with high school dating. This is four years of your life, and you never have to see these people again, so go for it. Allow yourself to be hurt. Even if you’re rejected by a crush or betrayed by someone you had something real with, the odds of this person seriously being “the one” are so slim it’s laughable how worked up we get. I understand why we get worked up though. Being presented with everything you’ve ever wanted and then having it taken away feels worse than getting sucker punched in the crotch. Trust me. I’d let you personally — whoever you are — bust my balls if I could get certain days of my life back. In the end though, it’s just spring training.

Secondly, love is a two-player game. There is no single-player-story mode. I mean there is, but it gets boring and just ends in you listening to lots and lots of old Green Day and Blink-182 CDs, while wondering why someone you’ve never spoken to doesn’t magically show up at your house wanting to run away with you on your birthday. Trust me on this one, too. But I digress. Both people have to be on the same page for a relationship to be successful, and either one of them can ruin it.

This is where gender politics and the NWN’s other love columns come into it. The other columns tended to focus on breakups and relationships from the woman’s perspective. Feeling special and loved is a euphoric feeling, regardless of whether you pee sitting down or standing up. Being kicked to the curb by someone you care about is the same way. A nasty break up or a betrayal is not always the guy’s fault. It just tends to seem that way because we (men) talk about this stuff less, only with our friends, and we don’t repeat other dudes’ problems to other people. I’m not trying to seem elitist, but we honestly don’t find this stuff that interesting for the most part. Obviously there are some guys who complain about their stuff to the whole world through things like Facebook, but I think this is just a bi-product of the MTV generation. Everyone wants his or her 10 seconds with the camera to say something scathing. C’mon man. This isn’t “Jersey Shore.”

My point is that love affects a man just as it does a woman, but we show it differently. Gretchen’s article about not allowing someone to ruin your life does sort of paint men with horns and a forked tongue, but the only reason it does so is because of the perspective it was written from. There are plenty of women out there who resemble the devil as well. Women lie, cheat, manipulate, tease, and then lie again… Men also lie, cheat, manipulate, tease, and lie again. Both genders share the ability to make you eat a tub of ice cream by yourself, it’s that simple. As a man or a woman, to say that the other sex is responsible for heartbreak is silly.

Aside from what I’ve already said, there isn’t really anything else to add on the topic of love. There can’t be. Relationships are like mystery meatloaf; you won’t know what’s inside until you take a bite, and even then you don’t know for sure. Every person is different so it’s incredibly hard to say “this is how to have a good relationship.” All you can do is swing the bat and hope for the best.