Meet Harrison Bach and Jacqueline Martin, two 22-year-olds who dated for three years before breaking up a little over a year ago.
Still, because their families are close, the two still see each other every now and then and are on good terms.
"Being that we were each other’s first significant others, first lovers, first all of that, there’s a weird sense of nostalgia," he said.
"When we go home, what feels more normal than just seeing that person you spent all your time with?"
When the two were home this past New Year's Eve, Bach got a "quirky idea." He wanted to do a breakup photo shoot.
Bach said the photo shoot, which he shot with a self-timer, wound up being unexpectedly emotional.
The photos went viral after one of Bach's classmates shared it on Twitter.
And it's been received...well, not exactly as intended.
Okay, REALLY not as intended.
Bach said the public reaction was completely different from the "surprisingly positive feedback" he got when his friends saw it on Facebook.
"They instantly related to the images. They saw themselves, as opposed to seeing me, if that makes sense," he said. "It was really neat because I never intended that. I originally thought this is ironic, this is funny, and it ended up being an emotional rollercoaster for everyone."
But he's fully aware that most people don't feel that way.
"I see where they’re coming from," he said. "But for me, to be around her, it became such a personal thing more than I cared what everyone else thought."
Martin told BuzzFeed News that Bach "is probably my best friend in the entire world" and the photo shoot with him "felt like slipping back into something so comfortable and warm."
And the feelings seem to be mutual. Bach said he doesn't rule out that they might still be together if it weren't for the distance.
Even so, Bach said he now sees why so many people are ripping on them for the shoot.
"Looking at it now, I guess it is a little weird," he said. "Like why would she be OK with doing that? We clearly don’t look happy. Why the hell would we do this?"
Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Julia Reinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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