The ‘ex’ factor: How to deal with a former lover around campus?

Alyssa Morlacci

Amy Romanelli, junior art education major, enjoys hanging out with her friends on weekends, but when she sees her ex-boyfriend downtown, she said her “stomach falls to the floor.”

Romanelli and her boyfriend dated for two years before breaking up around Christmas. She said the last time she saw him she was downtown.

“I just waved, smiled and was really nice, and I turned around and my heart just stopped,” Romanelli said. “That’s how I feel every time I see him now. It’s so hard to face the past. When I see him, I face the past.”

Seeing an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend after a breakup makes it a challenge to move on, whether it is downtown on the weekends, around campus or on a Facebook newsfeed.

Jason Boone, senior sports administration major, said his girlfriend called him after four months of dating to say, “it’s not you, it’s me”.

Boone’s ex-girlfriend moved in with him and his roommates last year when they needed someone to fill an empty room on the second floor of their house, when she was just a friend at the time.

“They told me to ask her because no one knew I wanted to date her yet, so it was kind of a mutual thing where we decided that if we broke up it wouldn’t be weird,” Boone said. “And that wasn’t really the case at all.”

They continued to live in the same house for about six months after the break-up while the other residents tried to keep on good terms with each of them.

Boone said the toughest part of the breakup was when his ex-girlfriend started dating other people and bringing them to their house. He said moving on was very difficult because “it’s hard to get over something when it’s right in front of you.”

“It’s not so bad when you see someone once or twice and it doesn’t make it awkward,” Boone said. “But when you live with someone, you know their daily routine, you know where they’re going, you know where they’ve been, you know who they’re hanging out with.”

Jason Miller, director of the Counseling and Human Development Center, said that he was in an uncomfortable position once after a breakup.

“In college, in Spanish class, I sat beside a girl, we went out and then before the semester was over we stopped dating and it was a little awkward,” Miller said. “But I think we always strive to be comfortable in every setting and I think it’s OK to feel awkward in settings and to not know what to say.”

Shelby Muter, sophomore visual communication design major, said she and her ex-boyfriend didn’t have a casual conversation the first time they saw each other after the breakup.

“Me and maybe two or three of my girlfriends were downstairs at Damon’s eating dinner and [he] and two other guys came down there and we all made awkward eye contact,” she said. “Neither one of us went up and said ‘hi’ or anything.”

After seeing her ex-boyfriend on campus, Muter said she realized they were going to continue running into each other, so she decided to talk to him about it.

“I told him I’d really like to still be friends with you,” Muter said. “Obviously we’re not still friends, but we’re civil.”

Muter said now when she sees her ex-boyfriend she’ll give him a hug and ask him how he has been.

Miller said the best thing to do after a breakup is to “minimize your drama as much as possible and just communicate.”

Contact Alyssa Morlacci at [email protected].