Here’s the thing about breaking up in college.
You want it to be easy. You think it will be easy.
You have friends, who no matter the grounds of the separation, will agree with you and will tell you that you made the right choice, and wow, look how well you are doing. You have work, who no matter the grounds of the separation, will still be staring back at you on that ripped syllabus, convincing you that you should just put 100% of your efforts into school and then maybe you will be so fucking smart that nothing else matters and no one else matters because wow, you’re definitely going somewhere. And you have boys, and boys, and boys, and boys to admire and fantasize about who, no matter the grounds of the separation, know absolutely nothing about you, wouldn’t even want to know, and wow, you really try to console yourself with this sad reality.
But as soon as you see another couple, I’ll tell you, it all goes out the window. The feeling that takes over is not jealousy. It is not misery or desperation or longing. It is shock. Shock that there are people that have what you had, right here, right now, and it is in that moment the bubble of once being in love with someone pops right in your face. You’re shocked that this is what you once looked like holding his hand. Shocked that all the tiny little things you used to do with that person can be, will be done with someone else. There will be another girl in the passenger seat of his Expedition, someone else telling him their schedule in hopes they are free at the same time, someone else ordering him a pizza to his dorm when he had a bad day. You are shocked because nothing is special. Anything you thought you had can be repeated with another damn girl. Anything you thought you had can be seen in the eyes of other couples, right here, right now. It is shocking to watch people you don’t even know, won’t even know, but register every emotion going through their bodies at that moment. You had that. You had that.
And it isn’t special.