The young stars of the TLC reality series 7 Little Johnstons are growing up in front of our eyes — and cameras are capturing some major milestone moments. For Jonah, it's his high school graduation and for Anna, it's learning how to drive.
Unfortunately for oldest daughter Elizabeth, that major milestone is her first heartbreak. Lizzie's breakup with longtime boyfriend James has fans devastated — but she is determined to stay strong.
"Once I turned 16, that is officially when James and I started dating," she said on the show. "But I received a text from James ending our relationship. I guess you can say I am angry but I have to put on the mask and show that I am OK." To make matters worse, James posted a photo with another girl just a couple of weeks after their breakup.
"It hurts just seeing him move on so quickly," she added. "I miss him a heck of a lot."
So, why did James end his relationship with Elizabeth?
The breakup definitely came out of left field for viewers and Elizabeth. James has been a regular on 7 Little Johnsons since last year, when he took Elizabeth to homecoming. "Being close to James is just like being close to any other average-sized person," she said at the time. "I mean I have to look up to him every now and then but that's it."
Before their split, James was extremely protective of Elizabeth and her family – especially when people used the m-word. "I want to hurt them," James said of the bullies. "But Elizabeth is over there, 'Stop. Calm down.' And I think she's right because if I was to go do something about it, they probably just want to keep doing it because they see it gets to me. But since we're smart about it, it just died down. We don't have to worry about that stuff anymore."
Trent and Amber were also big fans of James. "Amber and I caught on very quickly, with us being little people and with Elizabeth being a little person, that it was not an issue for James," Trent said. "He wasn't interested in a little person. He was interested in Elizabeth."
Amber added, "In relationships like this, whether it's a person in a wheelchair or a little person, you're always going to catch flak like that. If the two people in that relationship... it's doesn't matter to them, that is what's important. And clearly with James and Elizabeth, it doesn't matter to James that Elizabeth is little."
How is Elizabeth doing today?
According to her Instagram, Elizabeth is not letting boy troubles get her down. She recently posted a photo with her family on the social media platform, writing, "I’m thankful for this wonderful bunch who I’m proud to call my family. I love them all unconditionally even when we butt heads we all come out stronger in the end."
She also attended this year's homecoming solo, but was all smiles.
Plus, she has all her followers supporting her. "I just watched your show and it reminded me of my first break up. It will be one of many kiddo! You are beautiful and have a lot going for you. Keep that strong bond with your family. They will always be your best cheerleaders," one fan wrote. Another added, "Really pretty girl... Don’t be sad about James he doesn’t deserve you anyway."
Your loss James. Watch 7 Little Johnstons Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on TLC.