Really, Katie? At 21?
I would have holed up in my room, crying my eyes out and hoping no one would ever find out that I'd been so stupid.
If you've ever had your heart broken, it's not hard to imagine the confusion and humiliation Te'o must have felt when he realized that the girlfriend he'd so publicly loved was nothing more than an avatar, made to order by a stranger trying to meet his own warped needs online.
His pain was real, even if the girl wasn't.
I'm sure that Te'o has drawn a lesson from this — and I hope it goes beyond online tactics, like "make sure your next girlfriend has Skype."
What he experienced online is a magnified version what happens in love in real life. People aren't always who they claim, or what you need them to be. You give your heart to someone before time reveals their mysteries. Online romance has big risks, but falling in love face-to-face doesn't replace those with guarantees.
I've learned something watching this unfold: Love online, when you're young at least, isn't all that different from love in person. You fight, you make up, you talk all night. You bond through shared revelations, intimate rituals and their requisite drama.
I found it comforting to discover that Lennay Kekua was killed off not in service of some Heisman dream, but because "she" thought Te'o was cheating on her. He was Skyping other girls and not returning her calls. That hurt, said the man who pretended to be Lennay, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
He'd fallen in love with Te'o, he told Dr. Phil. The heartbreak made him realize "I had to move on with my life."
And now that the drama is winding down, it's time for the rest of us to move on and leave this, like a disappointing lover, behind.