So you've made it to college and realized you might've packed one item too many – your high school relationship doesn't fit anymore. There's no shame in acknowledging that something isn't working out, and college is the best time to realize that it's OK to look out for yourself, even if that seems a little selfish. Here are five steps to help you break up with your high school sweetheart.
1. Be honest with yourself
It sounds simple, but the first step in breaking up with your high school boyfriend or girlfriend is realizing that you want to break up. It's coming to terms with the fact that you two are not the same people you were in high school and that you've grown in opposite directions. College is the time to start figuring out who you are as a person and who you want to be. And if you can't see your current relationship being a part of your new life, then it's time to make changes.
2. Be honest with him/her
The next step is to tell them. After all, you can't break up with a person if you don't tell them. Approach this conversation in the way you feel most comfortable, though preferably it should take place face to face. No one likes getting dumped via text, and you're in college now so you should at least try to be an adult about it. Tell them why you want to break up as simply as possible. Stay away from cliché phrases like "It's not you, it's me," and don't drag it out too long. Just tell the truth.
3. Sever all ties
This third step will probably be the hardest, but if you truly want to break up, it is the most necessary. Severing ties doesn't exactly mean deleting all of your photos with them on social media, or changing your relationship status on Facebook. You might find that helps, or it might make no difference – that's up to you. Severing ties means not texting them when you're bored or when you see something online you know they'll find funny, not "accidentally" running into them, and not calling "just to see how you are." Hopefully you didn't pick a school based on where your boyfriend or girlfriend was going, but if you did, at a school like UCF with more than 60,000 students, chances are you probably won't see them unless you're actively trying to. So don't. (If you both chose to go to Rollins, with less than 3,000 undergrads, it is going to be a lot harder – but you can handle this.)
4. Immerse yourself in activities
This one is easy. There's always something happening on campus, and making plans for activities and events is good not only for distracting yourself, but also for meeting new people. You can join an organization; UCF has more than 600 student clubs, and Rollins has over 100 student organizations for you to choose from. One of the quickest ways to get over a breakup is to stay busy, and joining diverse clubs and expanding your friend circle is a great way to do so.
5. Give it time
It's OK to admit that sometimes you miss your ex, especially at the beginning. You will be tempted to call them, text them or even Facebook-stalk them, and that's normal. Regardless of whether you had been together since you were 14 or started dating shortly before HS graduation, after any relationship ends (especially a meaningful one), you need time for yourself. Of course, since you're in college you'll probably date a bit in the time you're still getting over your ex, and that's OK too. You're going to make romantic mistakes, just like you'll probably switch your major once or twice. But like everything else in life, you'll get it right eventually.
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