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What Does it All Mean?

Valentine's Day is a day that people either love or hate. Whether you have a significant other or not doesn't seem to affect people's feelings of Valentine's Day in any drastic manner. It has been this way since the tradition began.

There are a lot of differences in teen relationships today in comparison to a few decades ago. Today's high school relationships can be complicated; when we say "you won't understand," we're probably right. To get a little more informed, we asked some high school students to define some of the terms they use for relationships.

We asked different students to define the following terms:

Hanging Out

They're probably just friends, but it might come out to be more. Cary Erickson, a junior says "It's basically just hanging out, just chilling."

"It's just sitting at someone's house watching TV and talking to each other," says senior Angie Hartman.

Seeing Each Other

They go on dates, but they're not serious. Tyler Goering, a junior likes to summarize seeing each other as "You just go on a couple of dates, getting to know each other, it's a little intimate." It can also be said "Going on dates every now and then, just one guy and one girl. You're not tied down," as Erickson puts it.


We feel dating's definition is very simple. Two people go on dates.

Going out

The two people are now considered to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Goering defines it as "serious and official."

Hartman says, "I don't like the label of going out, it's the same as dating."

Saturday night seems to be the designated night for dates for obvious reasons. The typical evening hours are filled with going out to dinner either locally or out of town, renting or going to a movie and hanging out at one of the person's houses.

We were curious as to how our relationships differ from our parents era of high school dating so we talked to the older generation to learn about their high school relationships. A term they used was "going steady," which meant boyfriend and girlfriend.

Mr. Don Featherstone, the high school athletic director, said "for our evening dates, we did the 'cat the loop'." Everyone would drive the same route around town over and over again. Featherstone said, "Everyone who was dating put hundreds of miles on their car every weekend. We also would take in a movie or a game."

Dating appears to have become a more public thing at Red Wing High School. Anyone in the halls can see a relationship that goes on.

The older generation thought holding hands or showing affection was a big deal and never happened in public. "We never held hands," Featherstone stated. In a complete reversal of these days gone by, current teens do show their affection.

To sum it up, here are a few ideas for your next date. Make your significant other a dinner, go sledding or ice skating together, make cookies, go bowling or go to a sporting event.

You could also stay out at night looking at the stars, or maybe just "cat the loop." Whatever it is that you choose, have fun and don't worry about the terms people can place on your relationship.