A glimpse into romantic relationships in a small, close-knit, college community
Small School Sex
At small schools, it seems pretty common for friends to get physically or emotionally involved with each other. There aren't as many people to meet as there are at bigger schools, so often times, the person you end up in a relationship with or hooking up with is somebody you already know. And even if you didn't know them before, chances are, you'll see them around campus everywhere, all the time, whether you like it or not. This was the case for two friends, Ryan and Sarah.
"Sarah seemed really smart... um.... I knew she was really talented. Obviously she's attractive," Ryan said, his eyes darting around the room. "We were in the same friend group and in the same major, so that made talking to her really easy, I guess," he folded his hands and looked up at me. "She was really passionate about science- usually conversation would flow pretty easily. So eventually I was like, 'Yeah, I think I kind of like this girl," Ryan chuckled.
"The first thing I noticed about Ryan was his height. He's like, what, 5'10? 5'11?"
"He's 5'11," I responded. Sarah giggles.
"I mean, 5'11 is a pretty attractive height," she goes on. "And he's really funny, so that was a plus for me I guess," Sarah smiled. " she paused. "But he had a girlfriend..." Sarah's smile faded. She looked down at the green water bottle that sat beside her foot.
"I realized that I had feelings for Sarah while I was in a relationship with another girl," Ryan tells me. "Sarah and I became best friends on snapchat, which doesn't sound like much- but when a new girl bumps your girlfriend down to number two, it usually means something," he continues. "Eventually I came to the realization that I needed to break up with my girlfriend. My feelings for Sarah were getting too strong to ignore."
"Ryan just snapchatted me one night saying, 'I'm sad', and when I asked why, he told me that he had just dumped his girlfriend," Sarah squints and looks up. "And I'm pretty sure I slept with him that night," her voice trails off.
"I thought I was ready to move on," Ryan explains. "But then, by the time I realized that I wasn't ready, I had already gotten Sarah involved. It was too soon."
"One day Ryan just stopped talking to me. It was maybe like... four or five weeks after we started hooking up?" Sarah took a sip from her water and looked away. "Being in the same friend group made things really awkward. He avoided talking to me, and our friends knew how upset I was at him," she continued. "And, the more he avoided me, the more I began to resent him."
"I needed space from Sarah to figure out my feelings, which looking back, I should've just verbalized," Ryan bites his lip. "She deserved to know. Maybe things wouldn't have gotten so weird."
"Maybe the whole situation wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to see him every day," Sarah says. "Even outside our friend group, I would consistently run into him multiple times a day. I know we have, like, more than 2,000 students at this school, but I swear sometimes it feels like there's only 100. It made it impossible to get over him. I just wanted to forget about Ryan," Sarah sighs, "but every time I saw him, any progress I made in getting over him went right out the window."
"Yeah in hindsight, I guess I kind of fucked things up," Ryan winced. "Sarah hates me now. I know it. Everyone knows it," he looks up at me. "Word travels fast and far at such a small school."