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by Anonymous

How do you get over someone you see every day?


He lives a floor below me, has half the same friends and spends all of his time with the club we both work for. Moving on is not merely a matter of mind; this kind of moving on means real movement. It means caution in my residence hall, avoidance of our club office and careful maneuvering of conversations so that I can try to prevent his name from coming up.


So far, I haven’t been all that successful.


I don’t have to tell you that Duke is small. It’s half the reason I wanted to come to school here, and most of the time, it’s half the reason I love this place. Random hugs in WU, friendly faces in new classes and solid relationships with my professors are worth a lot. I never thought that going to a small school would be the reason I’m always scared to get my laundry out of the dryer. But maybe I’ll run into him in the laundry room again.


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My first boyfriend and I broke up at the end of our freshman spring for reasons that are probably best described as complicated (original, I know). It threw my life at Duke — a life that was, frankly, lovely — completely out of whack. All of a sudden, my best friend was my painfully awkward acquaintance, inconveniently located a floor and nine doors away.


The first word my mother uses to describe her feisty and opinionated daughter is “independent.” I have always been this way — excessively so — able to take care of myself from a remarkably young age. I was always the kind of feminist that my classmates rolled their eyes at in high school: I ran a young women’s council and once won a history competition with an essay about the power of Taylor Swift. I never had a boyfriend, or anything even close, and didn’t really have a problem with that. Who needs boys, right?


But wow, that’s so much easier to say when you’re not someone who used to have one in your life. And now you see him almost every day. And after eight months, the sight of him still makes your stomach drop to the floor.


I’ve never had less respect for myself than I have the past eight months. Everybody goes through breakups and everybody eventually moves on — except, apparently, me. Which makes no sense given the whole independent feminist thing (see above) and the fact that I genuinely believe women are better fit to spend their time with other women than with men.


I’ve started to think that maybe it’s impossible to move on from somebody you can’t get away from. If this were the real world, not college — or even a bigger school — I could never see him again and I would probably be fine. But we didn’t break up because either of us stopped caring or lost feelings or even really did anything to piss the other one off (see, it is complicated). I can’t do the thing where I forget about him and move on, because you literally cannot forget about someone standing right in front of you. 


How do you get over someone you see every day?


It’s a question I haven’t answered yet.

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