High school sweethearts through time

Uma Bhatia and Sydney Ekberg

Love has no bounds. Valentine’s Day is the celebration of love of all kinds. It is a celebration of the love that surrounds us all, which we don’t often acknowledge. We all are fortunate enough to have love in our lives. Love is everywhere. Love is when your dog runs up to greet you at the door. Love is when your parents ask how your day was. Love is when your significant other comforts you. Love is when your grandparents tell you how much you’ve grown. While it is meaningful to celebrate romantic relationships during this time, love is not just limited to these relationships—nor is Valentine’s Day.

“Our advice would be to have good communication on both ends and have lots of fun.”

Aidan Moss & Cadence Peery

Current Juniors of Laguna Beach High School
Together for 2 years
  • We met on a school trip to Paris in 8th grade. We started dating at the beginning of our sophomore year.
  • Our advice would be to have good communication on both ends, and have lots of fun. 
  • Our favorite memories are all of the little weekend trips and fun vacations that we’ve gone on together. We both love traveling and seeing new places especially with each other.
  • In a healthy relationship, both need to enjoy each other’s presence and always would love to be with each other. Even if it sounds a bit much, you’ll always put your partner first.
  • Don’t try to date someone just for social status, do it because you want to be in a relationship. Wait and be patient and don’t try to rush into anything.

“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be in a relationship—you’ll have plenty of time for that later.”

Rickie & Greg Farnes

Current LBHS English 9 and 10 Teacher and her husband
Together for 11 years
  • We met at a junior high surf camp. 
  • In high school, you are still discovering what makes you unique and what you are passionate about. My advice for couples is to be kind, communicate often, and give each other room to grow and change. It’s also important to make time for your friends and family.
  • My favorite memory is when my mom made my twin brother chaperone our first date. He sat a few rows behind us in the old Laguna movie theater and kept throwing popcorn at us. It was super awkward, but now we all laugh about it.
  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be in a relationship – you’ll have plenty of time for that later. Enjoy finding out what you love to do and go do it. Invest in yourself, and it will pay off down the line.

“…if you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion, love actually is all around.”

Mike & Allison Thomas

Parents of Current LBHS Students Keegan and Kayleigh Thomas
Together for 23 years
  • We met at LBHS coaching soccer. Mike was the girl’s varsity coach, and Allison was the JV girl’s coach.
  • A healthy relationship is based on honesty, trust, mutual respect, and love. You also need to be able to have fun and laugh a lot. An unhealthy relationship would not include any of these things
  • Don’t force it, love will find you.
  • Our favorite quote about love comes from the movie Love Actually: “It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there- Fathers and Sons, mothers and daughters, Husbands and Wives, Boyfriends, Girlfriends, Old Friends… if you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion, love actually is all around.”

We my be young, and we may make mistakes, but being in love isn’t something you get to decide on. And even if it doesn’t last, love still existed in that relationship and future ones. So although we’re “too young” to be in love this Valentine’s Day (according to the general stigma regarding high school sweethearts and young love), I’m here to prove that young love exists, and it’s more prominent in our little community than we thought. From underclassmen couples to our own grandparents, love is alive and often everlasting. So now, as we approach and reach the day of love, I ask both the youth and the experienced to open their hearts for reckless, beautiful, unexplainable love. Open your hearts to the kind of love that forever changes us and that affects our actions.