A chance encounter on the street, being introduced through friends or even seeing them walk down the halls every day, it’s unclear when you may meet someone that could end up becoming an important part of your life. For some, that meeting may result in a best friend or in a new found family. But for others, that person feels like their family and best friend wrapped in one–their partner.
Junior Whitney Fahs met her boyfriend, junior Gavin Benson, in middle school when they ended up in the same English class.
“It was Mr. Sidel’s class and we sat next to each other,” Fahs said. “It was the first class that we’d ever had together, and that’s technically where we met.”
Fahs and Benson have been together for three years now, and Fahs said they have grown a lot but remain extremely close.
“Conversation with him is so easy,” Fahs said. “We really know everything about each other. We know how to react to each other’s moods and how to make each other feel better.”
Sophomore Stella Burger shares a similar sentiment when talking about her boyfriend of one year, junior Oliver Neff.
“It’s really nice to always have someone to talk to,” Burger said. “After a long time it really is like you have a best friend all the time.”
Burger said the two easily find time to see each other because they are next door neighbors. She added that she enjoys attending Neff’s hockey games and they hang out at least once a week.
“We hang out every single Wednesday no matter what,” Burger said. “We are both always free that day and lucky that our schedules just line up.”
Burger explained her favorite tradition of theirs are the meaningful cards they give one another with every gift for birthdays, holidays or simply because they want to.
“Every single time we give each other a gift, we also give each other notes,” Burger said. “I always keep them and I know he keeps mine on his mirror.”
Similarly, junior Dominic Loucks added that for his birthday, his girlfriend of one year, senior Grace Jones, gave him an important gift.
“She likes painting,” Loucks said. “So she got me a notebook that she put some of her paintings in, and the rest of it is for me to write in. I thought that was a very thoughtful gift.”
Fahs said her favorite gift from Benson is a charm bracelet. She explained that Benson adds a charm for each year they date. The charms are related to Fahs or their relationship, she added.
“Its charms represent our relationship or me,” Fahs said. “Like for example, he got me a pink heart because pink is my favorite color.”
Junior Maria Cantrell and her boyfriend, junior Brian Haynes, have been together for two years and share many special gifts such as a leaf necklace, Cantrell said. However, she stated that some of her favorite memories with Haynes are more experience based.
“We go on a lot of picnics,” Cantrell said. “The last time we went to Schiller Park in German Village and got sandwiches from Katzingers.”
Cantrell said these dates are frequent and part of the reason the two stay well connected and present in each other’s lives.
“Something that has kept us together for so long is definitely being able to spend quality time with each other,” Cantrell added. “We make time for each other in our busy lives.”
Loucks agrees that spending time together is what he looks forward to most.
“I just love talking to her,” Loucks said. “She’s really smart and we have great conversations.”
Fahs explained that a big part of why the two have stuck together so long is because they are both so similar, but she added that communication and dedication is a huge part of being in a long term relationship.
“Not keeping things to yourself or from them, and being very open is the most important part of it all,” Fahs said. “And keep treating them well, never settle down.”
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