Jack and Jill: Class with a Significant Other: After the Break-Up


There are few better feelings than the first time you meet someone and something just clicks. That spark that ignites the potential of a new romance is so intoxicating that it can cause even the most levelheaded individuals to make some highly questionable decisions.

Slowly, however, things start to change. All of those seemingly cute habits become annoying, the sweatpants become a staple of both of our wardrobes, and the passion disappears as if it was never there. The idea that once seemed so great collapses as the relationship heads for its inevitable conclusion – the breakup.

Nobody likes a breakup, but it isn’t the end of the world. More importantly, this breakup isn’t the end of this class. In a situation like this, my feelings are set aside (albeit temporarily) in order to focus on what has to be done.

It’s fine if you want to parade around in skimpy outfits, flirt with other guys or do anything else that might upset me. While I probably won’t like it, I cannot let it affect my performance in the course.

I was a person and a student before this relationship began, and a breakup doesn’t do anything to change that. You might think that I’m insensitive, but I’m just trying to keep my personal and academic lives separated.

There’s a clear line between the professional and personal lives. Whether in school or at work, a relationship in close quarters can cause a great deal of tension if it ends. As tough as it may be, life, class, and work goes on.

You can switch your seat, if you’d like. Or don’t. I’m going to stay in my same, second-row-from-the-back spot that I sat in before I met you, and that I sat in while we were dating. I’m going to fist bump that
kid who sits behind me who thinks he’s Aziz Ansari when I walk in. I’m going to participate in class when I feel like doing so, and I’m going to skip class if I was out too late the night before. I know you’re going to read into everything I do in class, and you should know that it has nothing to do with you.

The one thing I won’t do is engage you in a debate, no matter what format the class is. You know how I feel about universal health care; don’t go on a poorly thought out rant in our government class that’s clearly designed to get me going. I won’t bite, and you’ll look bad.

Does this mean I don’t care about you, or never did? Of course not. I vent to my friends about you way too often – they’re sick of hearing about it. But I’m not going to let our breakup get in the way of my classes. I call it compartmentalizing. You’ll be better off if you do the same.


Nothing beats that feeling when you walk into a class on the first day of the semester and there is an open seat next to the smokin’ hot guy in the corner. As classes pass, the flirting will continue and just about the time we’re about to register for classes, it’ll be official – we’re a couple. And of course, we have the same schedule next semester.

Fast forward through the romantic winter break and beginnings of the next semester. Fights are becoming more frequent and before we know it, midterms are around the corner. We don’t make it through the stress. Now I’m screwed.

Suddenly I have to get dressed (hair, makeup, the works) for class every day. There’s no way I’m going to let you forget what you lost. The first day after the break-up is the most awkward, so I will time it perfectly to walk in right before class starts, ensuring there is no time for pleasantries or any other interaction
between the two of us. I will walk in smiling, regardless of whatever heartbreak I am truly feeling, and maybe even wave to someone else in the class as I hurry to my new seat.

That’s the other thing. I am moving seats. I will not keep sitting next to you, even though I know this is a giveaway to the rest of the class about our relationship status. As if they hadn’t already seen it on Facebook. I’ll try to walk by your seat as I take a seat behind you. It’s much easier to keep an eye on you from behind and no one will ever have to know.

God forbid that we’re in the same group for a project, but if this is the unfortunate case, I will make sure to get all my work done ahead of schedule. I will not address you unless it’s necessary. That being said, I will be civil. I will not try to start rehashing our break-up. You will be just like any other randomly assigned partner.

However, you should not take this opportunity to hit on the pretty girl in our group. First of all, she gets around. Second of all, have some respect for me. I won’t act like it bothers me. But it will. A lot. I don’t care if she’s smart and funny or dumb and dull, it will seem like you are throwing it in my face.

After the break-up, I don’t want to interact with you at all. But I do want to keep an eye on you. I will analyze everything that I see, I will hear about it anytime any of my friends see you even looking in the direction of a pretty girl, and I will check your Facebook page.

We’re stuck on the same campus for the time being and I realize that I will probably run into you. Whether it is at a party, in Marillac, or at the basketball game, you should just walk away. But know that I have my eyes on you.