riverdale jughead betty
photo: The CW

The split heard around the world happened earlier this week when word spread that beloved Riverdale couple Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse had broken up. Sources confirmed to Us Weekly that Sprouse had been overheard talking about the split with a friend at San Diego Comic-Con last weekend, and fans of the actors and their fictional counterparts have been distraught ever since.

The news came as a shock to most, considering the couple is and has remained extremely private about their personal lives and relationships, save for a few lovey-dovey posts scattered throughout Instagram.

However, people close to the couple have told tabloid outlets that things weren't so peachy keen in reality. Seriously, does love even exist anymore?

Take a seat, Riverdale fans. I'm about to deliver some very sour news about your favorite fictional-turned-real couple.

photo: The CW

As you already know, Bughead's real-life counterpart, Sprousehart, is reportedly donezo, as unknown sources confirmed to Us Weekly on Monday. It's all rather ironic, considering the Riverdale creators have just teased that Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones' relationship is about to encounter troubled waters on the show.

Sources have also told People that this breakup was rather expected among Sprouse and Reinhart's inner circles.

cole sprouse lili reinhart met gala 2019
photo: Getty Images

"Their friends didn’t really expect them to last in the long-run," the anonymous source disclosed. "At the end of the day, their personalities are very different and their lifestyles often clashed."

This is all news to the couple's fans — things seemed so idyllic on the surface, but we guess that tends to happen on social media and in the entertainment biz. If what this source says is true, the couple certainly became experts at hiding it.

"Things have felt super heavy in the relationship for a while, and it got to be too much," the source told People.

cole sprouse lili reinhart five feet apart
photo: Getty Images

"They’re both very professional though and trying to be as amicable and friendly as possible," they concluded. It's impossible to know just how close this source actually is to either member of the couple or if it's someone who works alongside them on Riverdale — that being said, People hasn't been wrong about a breakup like this in a very, very, very long time.

Additionally, a source has also disclosed to E! News that the breakup was "very messy," but they're "currently on much better terms now."

photo: Netflix

Plunge a knife right into my heart, why don't you?

When news of the breakup spread, fans (myself included) assumed or hoped that this breakup was due simply to the respective actor being busy with non-Riverdale projects during the off-season or understandable difficulties remaining professional on set. Turns out that wasn't the case at all.

That source even says, "It seems they could be heading back in the direction of getting together."

photo: The CW

DO NOT PLAY GAMES WITH MY HEART LIKE THIS, ANONYMOUS E! NEWS SOURCE.

In all seriousness, if Sprouse and Reinhart want to work things out and get back together, great! If not, that's OK, too. Riverdale fans have always acted more than a little territorial about the couple and have consistently demanded more access to the relationship that the couple have worked very hard to keep private. This breakup has only caused more of that on Instagram and Twitter, as you'll find with a quick visit to any of their respective social media pages.

The needle of hope in this metaphorical haystack of terrible news is that both of these actors are extremely good at their jobs.

photo: The CW

And that's going to make the fourth season of the show even better. Together or not, Sprouse and Reinhart have consistently proven that they can act their asses off, especially when they're in scenes together.

Bughead will apparently experience strain in the upcoming season, and something tells me that the respective actors are going to use their real-life experiences to bring even more heat to their already fiery performances.

Moral of the story? Things aren't always as they seem on social media and on TV.

bughead riverdale
photo: The CW

And also, celebrity relationships aren't always meant to be, or easy to navigate, even though it's convenient to think that about people who have lots of money and fame (and also people who are trained to hide their real emotions on camera).

Picturing our favorite TV actors going through a painful breakup isn't the most hopeful thought, but things will probably look up in the end.