There’s a reason many companies have a no inter-office dating policy. A romance with your co-workers might be convenient but things can easily turn sour, leaving the work environment hostile–or worse, awkward. Luckily, the formerly romantic co-stars on this list didn’t seem to have that problem once they broke up, and if they did we sure couldn’t tell by the way they continued to play together on camera, especially when their characters continued to be romantically involved.
Nina Dobrev & Ian Somerhalder
After denying rumors of a romance, Vampire Diaries co-stars, and dysfunctional onscreen lovers, Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder came clean to being romantically involved in April 2011. The pair broke things off in May 2013 but portrayed a couple onscreen during season 5 of the show as doppelganger Elena Gilbert and vampire Damon Salvatore. Rumors began circulating that the two were back together in November 2013, but they pretty much denied it at the People’s Choice Awards during an awkward onstage speech in January 2013.
Jennifer Carpenter & Michael C. Hall
Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall played fairly troubled but very close adopted siblings Debra and Dexter Morgan on Showtime’s Dexter. Though not exactly an onscreen “couple,” they certainly had a crazy chemistry. There was also that weird, almost cringe-worthy stint in season 6 when Deb realizes that she’s in love with Dexter, and that hold-your-breath moment in season 7 when she confesses her love to him, but nothing ever came of it…However, in real life the pair had a relationship. The two met on the set of the show in 2006 and married in December 2008. After Hall’s battle and recovery from cancer the pair divorced in 2010. They not only continued to work together on Dexter until its end in 2013, but maintained a close relationship off-screen as well.
Martin Lawrence & Tisha Campbell
Not every onscreen couple can keep it cordial on set after dating in real life. Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell reportedly carried on a private affair during some of their years on Martin. After Campbell broke things off with Lawrence the atmosphere on set got hostile. They continued to portray their lovey-dovey, dysfunctional counterparts but Campbell eventually slapped Lawrence with a sexual harassment suit and left the show. Eventually the parties settled the case, and Campbell returned for the season 5 finale but only under the condition that she had no scenes with her leading man. Season 5 (1997) effectively became the final season of Martin.
Chad Michael Murray & Sophia Bush
One Tree Hill co-stars Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush tied the knot in 2005. The lovebirds wouldn’t stay together for long, sadly. Bush filed for divorce in February 2006 after it was revealed that Murray had reportedly cheated on her with his House of Wax co-star Paris Hilton. It didn’t help that he had allegedly been dating TV extra Kenzie Dalton three months before the divorce was filed. The worst part? After the divorce was finalized, OTH was still on the air, and the two were still working together as an onscreen couple. Awkward… Luckily, Sophia was able to find romance elsewhere…on the set.
Sophia Bush & Austin Nichols
While most TV couples meet on set, Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols had already been dating for two years by the time Nichols made his first appearance as Julian Baker on One Tree Hill in 2o08; in fact, he got the role in order to be closer to her. Ultimately, things didn’t work out between the actors in real life, and Sophia ended the relationship going into the final season of the show. On camera, however, she and Nichols played a married couple. After a failed marriage with Chad Michael Murray, a year of romance with James Lafferty (who played the brother to Murray’s character on OTH), and a six-year romance with Austin Nichols, Bush has finally decided to seek love outside the set of One Tree Hill. She is currently dating Dan Fredinburg, a program manager for Google.
Blake Lively & Penn Badgely
Meeting as early as their childhood, it could be seen as fate that Blake Lively and Penn Badgely (aka Serena and Dan) eventually dated down the line as co-stars on Gossip Girl. The two were confirmed to be an item in 2007, but broke things off in 2010. Not only did they have to continue working together onscreen for another two years, but their characters got married on the series finale just one month after Lively got hitched to Ryan Reynolds in September 2012. Badgely claims that he was happy for his ex, and that it wasn’t difficult to still work with her after she got married because “ultimately they were professional.” However, he also said that he didn’t send her a wedding present.
Katie Holmes & Joshua Jackson
Before the crazy days of Scientology and overzealous expressions of affection on talk show couches, Katie Holmes’ love life was once a much simpler affair. Holmes and her Dawson’s Creek co-star Joshua Jackson got together in 1997 while filming for the show, and dated until 1999–right around the time things began to heat up between their characters Joey and Pacey onscreen in season 3. Though Katie and Joshua were no longer an item, Joey and Pacey continued in a heck of an entertaining roller coaster-romance right up until the show ended in 2003. Off-screen, Joshua Jackson went on to a long-term relationship with actress Diane Kruger and Katie, well…you know.
Jessica Szohr & Ed Westwick
Gossip Girl stars Jessica Szohr and Ed Westwick were an item starting in late 2008 and ending in 2010 due to Szohr’s alleged flirting with actor Marc Minuto. The two continued to work together and were even caught having a few intimate moments after the supposed breakup. As of 2013, after a few sightings in the latter half of the year, rumors are floating around that this on-again-off-again couple is back together. Guess still having to work together on set after the breakup wasn’t really as uncomfortable as we would think…
Jennifer Morrison & Jesse Spencer
Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer, who played Dr. Cameron and Dr. Chase, respectively, on the critically acclaimed House began dating in July 2004. The couple planned to wed in late 2007, but called things off in August that year. Meanwhile, the pair began a friends-with-benefits relationship onscreen during season 3 of the show. The romance between their onscreen counterparts continued to escalate well beyond their real life, eventually getting engaged and married in season 5. Sadly, for fans of the couple, their TV marriage fizzled in season 6 (2010), and Morrison made her exit from the show.
Daniel Sharman & Crystal Reed
While it was never officially confirmed that Daniel Sharman and Crystal Reed were in a relationship, Crystal did confirm their split for Us Weekly in 2013 after taking a trip to Paris by herself, apparently, “just getting over a breakup.” The co-stars met each other on the set of the MTV series Teen Wolf for season 2. They both returned for the show’s third season, which was well underway in June before their breakup that month.
Rachel Bilson & Adam Brody
Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody played unlikely couple Summer Roberts and Seth Cohen on the Fox TV series The O.C. Off-screen, Rachel and Adam also began a romance that lasted for three years. The duo called it quits in 2006 but continued their onscreen romance into the final season of the show in 2007 when their characters got married.
Andrew Shue & Courtney Thorne-Smith
Melrose Place cast members Andrew Shue and Courtney Thorne-Smith played lovebirds throughout the show’s run, but only briefly dated off-screen during the first season in 1992. The couple had to continue to feign romance on the Beverly Hills, 90210 spin-off until Thorne-Smith’s departure in season 5.
Jennifer Garner & Michael Vartan
Alias co-stars Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan played love interests as Sydney Bristow and Michael Vaughn from the inception of the show in 2001, but it wasn’t until mid-2003 that the two began dating off-screen after Garner ended her marriage to actor Scott Foley. Vaughn and Garner were together for nearly a year when the relationship went kaput in March 2004. The pair remained lovers onscreen, even getting married and having two kids.
Johnny Galecki & Kaley Cuoco
After meeting on the set of the hit series Big Bang Theory, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco (who play romantic interests Leonard and Penny) secretly dated for two years. There was no word of their relationship until 2010–well after their breakup. Reportedly, the pair didn’t want their romance to spoil the perceptions of their onscreen characters.
Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony
After eight years of marriage, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony separated in July 2011. Lopez and Anthony remained business partners post-split, and did a reality talent competition together called Q’Viva! The Chosen, which premiered January 28, 2012 on Univision (March 3, 2012 on FOX.) The show was cancelled after its first season. Oddly enough, in its original run on Univision the last episode aired in April–the same month Anthony filed for divorce.