Small school dating brings varying challenges

Relationships set sail at CHS, but can float or sink in a smaller environment

Survey of 115 students from Jan. 7 to Jan. 14, 2019.

Blot Graphic by Khushi Kadakia

Survey of 115 students from Jan. 7 to Jan. 14, 2019.

Brigid McCarthy

Only 2 percent of marriages in the US are between high school sweethearts, according to Brandon Gaille Marketing. It seems that CHS has beaten the odds, and not only once: several CHS graduates have gone on to marry a former classmate.  

Some students find romantic success in CHS’s hallways and meet people they would not have known at their home high schools.

Sophomores Matt Sherwin and Francesca DiMiceli, both of Middletown, have been dating since the summer before sophomore year. Sherwin said that they probably would not have even been friends if they went to their home school.  

“It’s a smaller grade, we all know each other,” Sherwin said. “If we went to our home high school, with a bigger grade, [Francesca] probably wouldn’t even have talked to me.”

Although being in a small school has its perks, gossip tends to spread fast.  Seniors Gia Caruso of Howell and Will Dean of Middletown have been dating since sophomore year and said that it was hard for them to have privacy.  

“I remember when we first started dating, everyone was asking us ‘Are you guys dating?’” Caruso said. “Like, everyone.”  

“Because there’s so few people at CHS, nothing happens,” Dean said. “So when something happens, it’s like the biggest thing.”

With small class sizes, large distances between homes and a 3:1 female-to-male ratio, some students argue that CHS discourages rather than encourages dating.  

Sophomore Nawaal Mudassir of Manalapan said that she believes that there’s no point to high school dating.    

“In high school, you’re going nowhere,” Mudassir said. “Are you really going to marry the person you date in high school?  It’s ridiculous.”

Despite some evident challenges, some CHS graduates do end up together for the long haul. Marissa Bauman and her husband, Mike, both graduated in 2004 with CHS’s first graduating class.

Even though they ended up married, they didn’t actually date in high school. Still, Marissa Bauman said that knowing each other in high school led them to where they are today.  

“We ended up together the end of our senior year of college,” Marissa Bauman said. “When we started seriously dating it was comforting to know that we came from similar families with similar values. I think that makes a huge difference to the success of a relationship.”

Married couple Leigh and Jonathan Seely graduated from the Class of 2005, and owe their happy ending to CHS, despite not dating in high school.

“I don’t know if CHS itself encourages or discourages dating, but it does get a group of like-minded people with similar interests together in the same area… some connections are inevitable because of this,” Leigh Seely said.  “You have to be careful, though, because you will likely share almost a whole day’s schedule with your ex if it doesn’t work out.”

While romantic experiences vary from student to student, fitness teacher Ginny Clevenger said that she’s optimistic about the possibility of finding a happy ending in CHS.  

“I must say that we’ve had many CHS graduates get married,” Clevenger said.  “Who knows? Mrs. Right or Mr. Right could be in this school.”