Clark Kent had been in love with Lana Lang, since they were children but was effected by her kryptonite necklace, which prevented him from getting close. Lana was in a relationship with Whitney Fordman, which Clark was very jealous of. However, as Lana and Whitney's relationship came across problems, Clark grew closer to Lana.
Clark and Lana had their first real conversation when she went to the graveyard to talk to her dead parents, Laura and Lewis Lang. Having given her kryptonite necklace to Whitney for good luck in his football match, this was the first time that Clark could get near to Lana without feeling weak. Lana and Clark bonded during their conversation and Lana told Clark that she would save him a dance if he went to school prom. She then kissed him on the cheek, while Whitney was watching from the shadows.
Clearly jealous, Whitney decided to punish Clark and made him the next scarecrow. Since Whitney now had the necklace, he easily overpowered Clark. Tied to a post, half-naked with the necklace round his neck, Clark had to wait until Lex freed him. While Lana was at the dance with Whitney, Clark decided to get his revenge on Whitney by using his super strength to pile up the football team's cars on top of one another, much to Whitney's dismay and confusion.
As Whitney had to return Lana's necklace, Whitney approached Clark to get it back. Clark was still angry with him but Whitney tried to make light of the situation, claiming it was just a joke. Nevertheless, their relationship is not repaired and Whitney clearly hadn't learnt his lesson, as he reacted with jealousy again when Greg Arkin showed an interest in Lana. This led to Greg ambushing Whitney as he drove home, which caused him to crash his car. Despite their differences, seeing Whitney in trouble, Clark ran to his aid and saved him as the car exploded.
Lana soon discovered Whitney's prank on Clark and showed her disapproval. While Whitney tried to apologize, he and Lana are attacked by Greg again. As Lana is knocked unconscious and kidnapped, Whitney and Clark had to unite to rescue her. Having grown up with Greg, Clark deduced that he would have taken Lana to his tree-house. While Clark gave Whitney directions, he used his super speed to beat him there to defeat Greg. Nevertheless, by the time Lana awoke Whitney was pulling her out of Greg's cocoon while Clark, being the real hero, watched them from a distance.
As Whitney was the closest person to Lana, when Tina Greer wanted to kill her, she morphed into Whitney to be able to take her by surprise. Clark came to Lana's rescue again. However, after she was saved, Lana consoled herself in Whitney's arms, which Clark found hard to watch.
Lex Luthor tried to convince Lana that she was with the wrong man, which made Lana consider going on a date with Clark. Lex gave them the use of a limo and Clark and Lana began to bond again. However, during the date, Clark saw on the limo television that Sean Kelvin was wanted in connection with a murder. Realizing that Chloe was with Sean and may be in trouble, Clark ended the date with Lana abruptly without explanation, much to Lana's disappointment.
Whitney arrived and saw the limo. Wondering what was going on, Whitney questioned her relationship with Clark but Lana insisted that she and Clark were only friends. Clark later apologized to Lana and tried to ask her out again. Lana explained that Whitney was now sufficiently jealous that she had no more free weekends. This prompted Clark to boldly ask Lana why she was dating Whitney. Lana confided that he made her feel safe, as whenever she needed him he was there, indicating her disappointment with Clark for abandoning her. After this, however, there was a slight role reversal between Whitney and Clark. While Clark was there for Lana to help study for their math midterm, Whitney told Lana that he was unable to attend her birthday party, as he was trying out for the Kansas State football team. This gave Clark the opportunity to take Whitney's place, but Lana made him promise that it would not be like last time. Although Clark was delayed again stopping another meteor freak (Jodi Melville), Clark quickly made it up to Lana by recreating her last happy birthday with a drive in movie, popcorn and Bugs Bunny cartoons.
Lana was clearly torn between Whitney and Clark, with each jealous of the other's relationship with her. Lana went to a party at Clark's house without Whitney. He then arrived upset at the Kent Farm looking for her, but she claimed that he was smothering her. Despite Whitney's growing jealousy of Clark, he needed Clark's help again when they were held hostage by Earl Jenkins during a school trip to the LuthorCorp Fertilizer Plant. However, Clark refused to help Whitney overpower Earl, as he thought it was too dangerous. Whitney stubbornly attempted it anyway and failed. Clark ultimately saved the day, although avoided taking the credit, as usual.
Keen to keep Clark in her life, despite Whitney's jealousy, Lana invited Clark over to join her and Whitney when she saw him at a charity event in Metropolis. Clearly feeling uncomfortable about getting in the middle of Lana and Whitney's relationship, Clark declined. However, after he noticed that Lana and Whitney were having problems in their relationship, Clark reconsidered making a move on Lana but decided against it when he discovered that Whitney's dad was seriously ill with a heart condition. Clark and Whitney put their differences aside and Whitney confided in Clark about his concerns for his father. Whitney admitted that he didn't want to talk to Lana about it because Lana has already suffered through the deaths of her own parents, but Clark told him that Lana would probably understand better than anyone. Not realizing the reason for Whitney's irritable behavior, Lana was clearly getting fed up with her relationship with Whitney, but when she approached Clark, he encouraged her to stay with Whitney. Putting Whitney's needs ahead of his own, Clark told Lana that Whitney really needed her.
Whitney and Clark's truce was short-lived, as they disagree over Kyle Tippet's supposed attack on Lana. While Clark felt that Kyle did not intend to hurt Lana, Whitney became overprotective again and warned Kyle to stay away from Lana. Witnessing this, Bob Rickman used Whitney's dislike of Kyle to his advantage and used his meteor power of persuasion to make Whitney attack Kyle. Clark intervened during the attack and refused to back Whitney up to the police, much to Lana's fury. Clark reminded Lana that Whitney had strung him up in a field once but Lana retorted that if he didn't like Whitney, then he shouldn't pretend to be his friend. After this Lana and Whitney snubbed Clark, but having second thoughts, Lana went to see Clark telling him that their relationship is worth more than one argument.
Whitney and Clark also made friends when Clark lost his powers and he was able to join Whitney in a game of basketball for the first time. After this, Whitney felt more comfortable with confiding in Clark. He told Clark that he had lost his scholarship, which he hadn't told Lana about. Whitney also confided in Clark about how difficult he found it to see his father so weak and how he had hoped that his father would see him play for the Metropolis Sharks. To solidify his friendship with Whitney, Clark got Lex to arrange this for Whitney.
Lana's inability to decide between Whitney and Clark was emphasized when her inhibitions were lowered by the Nicodemus flower. As soon as Whitney refused to bunk lessons to be with her, she dragged Clark to the swimming pool instead. After she recovered, Lana felt she needed to stay with Whitney to support him, as his father was on his death bed. However, as Mr Fordman began to recover, Lana told Clark that her relationship with Whitney was defined by his father's illness and, as his health improved, they would have to redefine it. As she made up her mind that her relationship with Whitney was over, she discovered that his father had died, preventing her from telling Whitney. During the funeral, Lana looked longingly at Clark, making it clear who her preferred boyfriend would have been.
Following his father's death, Whitney made plans to leave Smallville and join the Marine Corp to follow in his father's footsteps. He broke the news to Lana during a romantic picnic. However, he requested that she wait for him, which Lana was clearly unsure about. She confided in Clark about this and they speculated what their lives would be like without Whitney. When Chloe speculated that this would result in Lana breaking up with Whitney, Clark was clearly hopeful that he might have a chance with Lana, although he denied it.
Whitney and Lana had one final dance before he left in the empty hall before the Spring Formal. As the other guests arrived, Whitney had to leave to catch his bus but before he went he requested that Clark keep an eye on Lana. He apologized to Clark for the problems they had in their relationship in the past and left things on good terms. Whitney bid farewell to Lana at the bus stop, where she promised to wait for him and cried as she drove away.
Having built up a trusting friendship with Whitney, Clark found it difficult to make a move on Lana after promising to keep an eye on her for Whitney. He even recorded a message to Whitney to assure him that Lana was still being faithful. Nevertheless, Clark's feelings for Lana continued to grow.
While Whitney was on a mission, trudging through the wetlands with two comrades in arms, he seemed to be driven by the thought of seeing Lana again. Lana still clearly cared about Whitney, as she maintained regular contact, although she eventually decided to end the relationship via video message, due to her growing feelings for Clark. When she never got a reply she was concerned for his safety. She eventually confided in Clark that Whitney was missing in action and Clark consoled her. Nevertheless, Whitney returned unharmed just as Clark built up the courage to invite Lana to a winter festival with him.
Lana was thrilled to see Whitney was back safely, while Clark admitted to his parents that he was disappointed that this had a negative impact on his relationship with Lana. Jonathan Kent told Clark to put his feelings to one side, as Whitney had fought for his country, but Clark clearly found it hard to do this.
Whitney wanted to pick things up with Lana where they left off, making Lana realize that he had not received her video message. Deciding that it was best not to tell him, she reignited their relationship, as she was pleased that Whitney didn't have all the annoying secrets that Clark had. Whitney inquired about Lana's closeness to Clark and, clearly unhappy about their budding relationship, Whitney flew into a rage in the bathroom, much to Clark's surprise. Whitney confronted Clark but Clark maintained that he and Lana were just friends. Nevertheless, Whitney warned Clark away from Lana. After this, Whitney lied to Lana saying that it was Clark that had had the jealous rage. This made Lana furious with Clark and she disbelieved his attempts to convince her that it was in fact Whitney. Clark was surprised that Lana believed Whitney over him, considering how close they had become in his absence.
Whitney was keen to develop his relationship with Lana further and invited her to move in with him. When she seemed reluctant, Whitney blamed her hesitancy on Clark, although Lana denied this. Suspicious of Whitney's behavior, Clark sought help for him with a specialist in post-traumatic stress syndrome, indicating that Clark still saw Whitney as a friend despite his accusations. Nevertheless, Whitney greeted Clark's offer with contempt and pushed him away with super strength. Surprised by Whitney's strength, Clark x-rayed him to discover that it was in fact Tina Greer disguised as Whitney.
After Tina was defeated, Clark and Lana learnt that Whitney had died in combat. Clark admired Whitney's bravery and was disappointed to hear the news. He later met Lana, who was devastated about Whitney's death. As she began to cry, she confided in Clark that everybody she's ever gotten close to had left her. She apologized to Clark for not being a better friend to him and jumping to conclusions during recent events. In desperate need of a companion, Lana said she didn't care if Clark had secrets because he was such a good friend and a constant in her life. Clark hugged Lana as she began to cry.
In Clark's imaginary world, Lana had never been in relationship with Whitney and was surprised that Clark had suggested that they had. Lana claimed that Clark was the only man that she had ever loved. However, this was merely a hallucination caused by Dr. Hudson, a phantom that was attempting to take over Clark's body and mind.