Emotionally destroyed, Buffy left Sunnydale for several months to come to terms with her grief.Shortly after her return, Angel inexplicably reappeared on Earth.
Buffy nursed him back to health and the two had an unstable romance until they were forced to admit the obvious limitations of their relationship.
Angel realized that he was preventing Buffy from leading a normal life, and left Sunnydale for Los Angeles.
They eventually reached an extremely strong connection with each other, especially after Spike confessed his feelings for her once more, stating that he not only loved her, but believed in her completely, and that he knew she was "the one".
To save Buffy and the world, Spike sacrificed his life during the battle against the First in the Hellmouth, despite Buffy’s insistence that he leave with them.
When broached by a jealous Angel about her growing relationship with Spike, Buffy admitted to him that she wasn’t ready for a real, long-term relationship, and came to the conclusion that she was still growing up and getting to know herself..
She became much less active in her romantic life since Sunnydale’s destruction, as she was focused on other pursuits.
In acceptance of Spike’s resolution, Buffy clasped hands with him.
Their connected hands burst into flame in one of the shows most iconic romantic images.
In the past, Buffy was romantically linked to sarcastic slacker Oliver Pike, whom she met shortly before discovering her identity as the Slayer.