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Sex + Relationships

The 7 Types of Breakups That Happen in College

Break out the Ben and Jerry’s! There’s a pretty good chance you’re going to break up with someone during college, but not all breakups are created equal. From the gut-wrenching to the inevitable, some breakups require months of mourning, and others, only days before you’re blasting Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.” Read on to see which ones you’ve experienced (and which you’ve yet to experience)!

1. The Thanksgiving Breakup

Also known as the “Turkey Dump,” this is when you and your high school sweetheart return home during Thanksgiving break and (probably in melodramatic fashion) decide that the relationship is no longer working. You agree it’s time to “do college right” and have a proper freshman year filled with dormcest and frat party hookups. All further contact between the two of you will be reserved for holiday breaks where you may occasionally send or receive a nostalgic booty text.

2. The Taylor Swift Breakup

In her words, “you are never, ever, ever getting back together.” Maybe he cheated on you or just turned out to be a total jerk, but this is the breakup in which you gather all of his things, throw them in a cardboard box and then demand your roommate give them to his roommate. Custody is determined and friend groups are split. Maybe he’ll desperately try to win you back, but to no avail. You are over it. Next, please!

3. The Slow Fizzle Breakup

So maybe you two were never even officially an item, but between missed calls and ignored texts, suddenly you went from consistent late night “study sessions” to barely acknowledging each other. You’re not quite sure what happened. You send a few catch-up texts with invites to casually hang, but it just never happens. You decide he simply got wrapped up in fraternity life or his demanding major and just doesn’t have time for a girlfriend. You’re not too upset about the whole ordeal, but you do reroute your walk to class to avoid him.

4. The Study Abroad Breakup

This is the breakup that you knew was coming all along. You two met each other in a sweaty nightclub in Paris or a café in Barcelona and things were never the same. (That accent, though.) You fell tragically in love with him and at the end of the semester, he even drove you to the airport where you shared such a sad, tearful goodbye that you felt like your life was a movie. You didn’t think you could handle the distance, but you promised to stay in touch. Now your contact is reduced to casual catch-up sessions via Facebook, but you’ll always remember the beautiful times you shared together.

5. The Sigh-of-Relief Breakup

Remember that time you said yes to the rando that asked you out, out of sympathy or maybe curiosity? A few months of dating go by and you realize you’re just not that into him. From his questionable wardrobe choices to his gross habits, this boyfriend was never the One. There simply was no future. Your friends were always confused as to what you saw in him and quite frankly, you were always out of his league. You were a little nervous pre-breakup but you took a deep breath, let the guy down gently and then bought yourself some champagne on the way home. Single never tasted so good.

6. The Déjà Vu Breakup

You broke up with him… and three days later, you two are posting love proclamations on Facebook much to your friends’ dismay. You break up every few months, only to sort things out and then come out strong again. He’s probably not right for you, and you might not be right for him, but for some reason, you just can’t give each other up. This will probably continue throughout your entire time at college only to be stopped by your bestie (bless her heart) who stages an intervention and then sets you up with someone way more stable.

7. The “Let’s Be Friends” Breakup

The relationship just wasn’t turning out the way you had hoped it would. Maybe he was too in love with you or you were too in love with him, but things just weren’t balanced. You decide it would be worth it to salvage the friendship, even if you were never truly friends to begin with. You continue hanging out, sans hooking up, but some flirtation remains. Then, he starts dating someone else and you realize a clean break might have been better. Or, if you’re lucky, you two actually forge a really fruitful friendship and realize that that was what you wanted all along. Friends for the win!

While some breakups are easy, others may leave you with no sense of closure and may still be hard to think about. In all seriousness, breaking up is never easy to do — so if you’re struggling, pop in your favorite T-Swift album, grab the ice cream and let yourself mourn. Otherwise, enjoy the single life, collegiettes! 

Katie was the former Senior Associate Editor of Her Campus. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2015, where she studied Writing Seminars, psychology, and women's studies. Prior to joining the full-time staff, Katie was a national contributing writer and Health Editor for HC. In addition to her work with Her Campus, Katie interned at Cleveland Magazine, EMILY's List, and the National Partnership for Women & Families. Katie is also an alumna of Kappa Alpha Theta. In her spare time, Katie enjoys writing poetry, hanging out with cats, eating vegan cupcakes, and advocating for women's rights. 
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