How My High School Relationship Failed Out of College

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Have you ever looked into someone’s eyes and just known you were staring at the person who completed you perfectly? Don’t blink. If you do, the person you fell in love with might disappear.

Halfway through my freshman year of college, I blinked.

We began dating when we were 16, after working on a project together for our Spanish class. Sparks flew as we attempted to write a fairy tale in a foreign language–quite an ironic assignment to begin a love story. In an instant, we became inseparable. It felt like I found my other half, and I didn’t want to be with anyone else. I had never felt so adored in my entire life.

But sometime after our high school graduation, I noticed that he didn’t look at me the same way. When he would look at me I felt like the most beautiful girl in the world, but that spark in his eyes was dulled sometime when I wasn’t looking. His kisses felt forced, and I began to feel like a burden to him. The love I felt wasn’t there anymore, and instead of walking away I held on tighter than ever.

I spent my entire first year of college trying to make him love me again. I began dressing in clothing I hoped he would find me attractive in. Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds. When we would hang out, I made sure we were doing something he wanted to do. It was exhausting, and I lost sight of who I was. I forgot about the things I enjoyed in life. I let go of the things that made me happy and focused solely on making one human being happy. I became that girl who desperately tried to hold on to her boyfriend because she thought she couldn’t live without him.

It got to the point where I stopped hanging out with my friends, and my parents noticed something was wrong. My dad pulled me aside one day and told me that the light in my eyes was gone; that broke my heart. Deep down we knew we needed to break up, but we couldn’t even admit the necessity of terminating our toxic relationship. We we’re both clearly unhappy and being together was affecting both of us negatively. But, we were both too afraid to make the first move and venture into unknown territory.

As our sophomore year of college rolled around, our relationship crumbled even more. I didn’t tell anyone about what was going on, so when he decided to be the brave one and break up with me, my friends and family were surprised. I, on the other hand, wasn’t.

Although I saw the breakup coming for some time, I was unprepared.

After about a week of feeling numb, my body seemed to lose all functionality and only retain the ability to cry. I probably cried everyday for about a month or so. There were times I left in the middle of class to cry in the bathroom and then go back in as if nothing happened. I even found myself bawling in my car in the parking lot of my college.

The funny thing is, even though it seemed like I was at a low point in my life that was the highest I’d been in three and a half years.

Despite the fact that it felt like someone stabbed my heart repeatedly, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt free and more motivated than ever to accomplish my goals. I went away for college, began a fashion blog and even started planning for New York City after graduation—all things I had put on the back burner. I rekindled my old friendships and enjoyed meeting new friends in college. I morphed back into a curious girl who wanted to soak up what life had to offer and I learned to love myself again—the most rewarding feeling ever.

I realized that I gave up my interests, my friends and even my personality just to please him. He defined me, and I was so blinded by love that I was OK with that.

It’s been two years since that breakup, and I’m proud of my growth. I realized that I was over it when Facebook informed me of his new girlfriend and I didn’t smash everything in sight. He deserves to be happy.

I haven’t seen him since our breakup. He texts me here and there to see how I’m doing, but I’m not interested. It’s kind of sad in a way; we went from being best friends to complete strangers. I realized that your first love most likely won’t be your only love and those wounds will always linger. Little things will remind you of that relationship every now and then, but as time goes by, it hurts less.

Alyssa is a public relations senior at the University of Florida. She likes to incorporate her passions into her career and is eternally curious. NYC is calling her name.

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