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Campus Dating: How Handle the Awkward Break-Up

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I realized as I started writing this blog how much the subject of dating and romance as a reading topic can become trite and cliche, but, nevertheless, I decided NOT to shy away from something that can be a serious hindrance to your time at college—campus break-ups.

Whether the relationship was short-lived, near engagement, or knee-deep in wedding plans, break-ups on campus are especially horrific, owing to the special environment surrounding the split—the campus. There’s no escape of the person. There’s no avoiding hearsay of that person. Like a constantly picked scab, there is never healing.

Relationship break-ups are very distinctive in nature, yet often we hear of stories or experience similar scenarios—he cheated, she fell out of love, he neglected, she nagged. However, the variables differ because people are different. Some people are emotionally strong; others are not. Some people deny and avoid; others deny and antagonize. In other words, people handle break-ups differently.

Emotional Decision Making is BAD Idea

People are emotional beings; thus, it is very easy to be driven by those emotions. The problem lies where emotions are the driving force in daily decision making. Emotions are rash, sometimes unfounded. One minute we’re sad and the next we’re laughing. “Today, I feel…. so I’m going to do…” — a BAD way to justify actions.

With that said, “love now lost” can account for a fury of untethered emotions, which is only natural, but actions that may come based upon those emotions can be extremely damaging: neglecting other responsibilities, not eating, binge eating, angry encounters, malicious gossip, giving up and dropping out, bitterness toward friends, isolation, pouting, promiscuity, drinking and drug abuse, excessive spending, inability to move on in other relationships, and tragically, sometimes suicide.

Next Step Post Break-Up

Break-ups are serious on or off campus, but it is on campus where they are intensified and where so much is at stake. Without sounding as if I’m negating the awful, painful feelings and emotions that come with breaking up, there must be some levelheadedness on behalf of the now single young adults to avoid deeper messes with regard to school. Some sensible decisions have to be made if the pain is too great to continue in the current routine:

  • The twisted desire to see this person or be in the vicinity of that person can come up, but to be sensible, try as best as you can to eliminate points and times where you know you will encounter that person. If you have classes together, work out a new schedule. If you know that person will be a party, don’t go. The dramatics will escalate if you don’t give a wide berth for a time, while it is still fresh and awkward.
  • If avoidance doesn’t lift some of the unpleasantness, consider taking an internship or time off for a semester.
  • As a drastic measure, sometimes transferring schools is an option, and if it is the only thing that will help dilute some of the damaging aftereffects of a break-up, that’s what you have to do.
  • Reconciliation can be also be option, but it takes a huge amount of wisdom and understanding from both parties, not to mention selflessness.

Lastly, be encouraged. The pain of a break-up lasts only for a season, and even though you may have endured break-ups in the past and survived, they are no easier when they happen again. If you have recently been dealt an awful break-up, whatever the nature, do what you have to do to keep a level head and mend a broken heart.


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