Warning: There are spoilers for the Girl Meets World episode "Girl Meets Upstate" below.
Shawn Hunter and Angela Moore were America’s TV sweethearts in the late ’90s — after Cory and Topanga, of course. The Boy Meets World lovebirds first became a couple on the Season 5 episode "Chasing Angela" and were on-again, off-again for the rest of the series. But on the July 8 episode of Girl Meets World, titled "Girl Meets Upstate," Shawn proposed to new love Katy — and she said yes. (Trina McGee, who played Angela, gave her blessing to the new TV couple via Twitter: "I feel happy for the characters too.")
During the episode, Shawn leveled with Cory and Topanga's daughter, Riley, and her BFF, Maya, about why he didn't end up with Angela after all: "I loved Angela because I thought I was supposed to, because Cory had Topanga, and they influenced me. But it didn't work." Shawn learned the hard way that what works for one couple won't necessarily be the case for another — and that's perfectly fine. Yes, Shawn and Angela made an adorable, progressive couple on Boy Meets World, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't ship them back in the day. But more importantly, their relationship was a much more realistic portrayal of an angsty high school love turned college breakup than Cory and Topanga’s.
Shawn and Angela had to deal with some heavy, deep-seated issues that Cory and Topanga never experienced. Both suffered abandonment issues at the hands of their mothers — and Shawn's father, at times — and they had to rely on their friends and themselves to raise each other.
Cory and Topanga did not suffer on the show, not really. True, they had plenty of ups and downs — Cory cheated on Topanga, they didn't have enough money to get a cute first house with a nook, Topanga's parents got divorced — but things always seemed to work out for them in the end.
Shawn and Angela were not so lucky.
They didn't meet each other when they were toddlers and spend all of their childhood together. Nothing was written in the stars for their happily ever after because sometimes (most times) people don't end up marrying their first love. What you want at 19 is probably not what you’ll want when you're 32.
Girl Meets World’s reunion of Shawn and Angela last summer was a true wake-up call for fans. Angela had been married for several years to a military man like her late father, and Shawn wondered why she left him years ago. Angela explained how she wasn't ready then: "I think life puts people in front of us so that we can be prepared for what comes next. I was ready because of you."
This is true now for Shawn's proposal to Katy; Angela made him ready for her.
Shawn and Angela not getting married and not ending up together is one of the best things Girl Meets World could've done. Its young audience needs to see and understand some relationships fizzle out over time, and it's completely OK because we're all just meeting people who will make us ready for that next chapter in our lives.