Going to College With My High School Sweetheart Was the Best Heartbreak I've Ever Had

I was a teenager who loved everything about high school.

I had a solid group of friends, classes were fun and adventurous for me, and I didn't mind the 8:15 a.m. bell reminding me to take my seat Mondays through Fridays. I wouldn't necessarily say I was a part of the "popular" group, but I knew everyone and was regularly invited to sit at a variety of lunch tables in the cafeteria.

My high school was unique in that everyone from my middle school poured into one high school, so thankfully I didn't have to learn 300 new names more than once. Everyone knew everyone and their business, and everyone knew that since middle school I had my eyes on one one boy and one boy only—We'll call him Kyle.

Polly and Jason Riverdale

(Riverdale via The CW)

Our Relationship

I saw Kyle for the first time outside of Miss Victor's social studies classroom at Cocopah Middle School in Paradise Valley, Arizona, and thought he was so cute. I was a young, tenderhearted 11-year-old baby. Kyle was wearing this lame Hawaiian print shirt with his backpack on high. His blue eyes and full bodied blonde hair made him feel like a Ken doll to me. We locked eyes once and I don't remember much of the story after that.

We were attached at the hip. In middle school, we did everything from becoming square dancing partners in P.E., to having our parents chauffeur us to and from the movies. As we got even older and entered high school, he'd walk me to all of my classes, sit next to me when he could, drive me to lunch since he got his license before me, and so on.

Our classmates always joked that we were going to get married. We'd both smile and laugh, but I knew in my head and in my heart that I was into it. We were inseparable. After all, Chaparral High School was like one, giant  bubble since we had all grown up together. I was just following suit.

Planning for College

Senior year of high school came in the blink of an eye, and I had to start thinking about college, but all I could think about was, "Well, what about Kyle?" At this point, I was 17 years old, madly in love, and convinced Kyle was my forever teenage dream. He and I were looking at different colleges except for one—Southern Methodist University. I knew it was his first choice.

He knew I was looking there, too, and never gawked at it, so I rolled with the idea of it being my first choice as well. Kyle always had better grades than I did, so he ended up getting in as an early admit. I got deferred and subsequently nauseated at the idea of not getting in and watching Kyle go to Dallas, Texas, and riding into the sunset with some other broad. I just couldn't let it happen.

Couple on Couch

(via Shutterstock)

I checked the mail daily. Waiting to hear on college was the most angst-ridden experience I can remember. Kyle asked me constantly for updates, but we tried not talking about it every second of every day since he already knew his deal. Like every senior, I knew a big envelope from a school meant "accepted," and a little one meant it was a no-go.

One day, I did my daily strut to the corner of my street and there it was—a big, white envelope from Southern Methodist University. I ran inside and called his house and shouted so loudly, "I got in!" I cried. I laughed. I cried some more. We were both so excited. And just like that, I envisioned moving away to school with Kyle, getting married, having babies and living happily ever after.

Kyle and I were actually one of three couples going to SMU from our high school. We visited the school together right before graduation with our moms in tow, and I knew this was the right decision for me. Kyle told me that it was my choice, but he would be so happy if I went to Texas with him, so I did. I knew I wanted to marry that boy. After all, I believe in love, fate and everything in-between. In the seven years I knew him, he'd never given me a reason not to trust him, so I instructed my parents to send the non-refundable $5,000 deposit, and my spot was reserved. My life was set!

The Unexpected Split

A few weeks later, Kyle called me asking if we could meet up for coffee. We sat in a parking lot in his car, where out of nowhere, he told me his mom was really concerned about him going away to college with a girlfriend and that he was going to be focusing on the wrong things (aka me) and that he had to end things.

Just like that, my dreams, my world, my plans were shattered. We just got back from Texas, prom was around the corner and he asked me to literally move halfway across the country so confidently for him. Just like that, plans changed. We decided to keep the breakup under wraps so people wouldn't gossip. Kyle took me to prom the following weekend and it was one of the worst nights of my life.

girl looks miserable at school dance

(via Shutterstock)

Graduation came and went and so did summer. I took some space from Kyle, and every day was harder than the next. I literally cried on the daily. I missed him and still couldn't process how someone would ask me to move away with them and dip out because their mom told them to.

The Makeup-to-Breakup

I knew I'd see him again soon, and sure enough, I get to Dallas and my cool, new cell phone rang. It was Kyle wanting to meet up. We met up and it was like nothing ever happened. He wanted to switch classes to be in mine, hang out with me and my friends, go out on the weekends with me and keep his arm around me so every other guy knew I was taken. I was into it and felt in control again.

Then, a couple of months into college, he wanted nothing to do with me. He suddenly started ignoring me. I was even blocked from some new website called Facebook. I knew I somehow needed to move on, but how? He was all I knew.

We lived in the same dorm and I just couldn't move on. I couldn't find any other guy I liked even half as much as him. I felt stuck. I tried getting a job, finding a club to join, making new friends, etc., but nothing could take the pain away. I knew I couldn't bear to be back in Dallas one more year, so I made the best decision I ever made and transferred schools right before the beginning of Sophomore year. I sent him a quick message letting him know Dallas was all his and he never replied. I couldn't believe the Kyle I knew and fell in love with flipped on me like that, but I learned the hard way that people change.

Finding Myself

I was changing, too. I decided to enroll at The University of Arizona, and for the first time in a year, I felt happy. I felt free. I felt like I was taking charge of my life again and doing things my way. I met friends who ended up being my best friends in the world, I figured out that I really loved college basketball, joined a sorority and even met some boys I really liked! I didn't have to worry about what Kyle would think of my outfit, if I would see him kissing a girl, or if he was thinking of me. I learned that I could take control of my life and a situation.

Years later, Kyle and I reconnected on Facebook. We texted as recently as Christmas time this past year. I still feel like he was the one that got away, but I've realized that him dismissing me from his life was the best thing that could've ever happened to me.

I still get a kick out of the fact that he likes my Instagram posts, and of course I wonder, "Does this mean anything?" But a little mystery is good sometimes. Following Kyle to college turned me into the person I am today, so I give thanks to him often for breaking my heart the way he did. I wouldn't be the woman I am today without him.


Even if your relationship ends, you probably learned some of THESE things about yourself when you were dating your ex.