Taylor Swift Hits the Road for Work, Conor Kennedy Stays in School
updated 09/08/2012 AT 03:00 PM EDT
•originally published 09/08/2012 AT 10:15 AM EDT
The PDA-loving pair seemed attached at the hip in recent weeks, but with Swift, 22, facing a grueling work schedule, and Kennedy, 18, back to his East Coast high school, the two are being forced to live their lives apart.
On Thursday, the country singer appeared on MTV's Video Music Awards in L.A., where she performed her latest single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," live for the first time. Meanwhile, her beau was having dinner at his boarding school, Deerfield Academy, according to a source.
A day later, Swift performed at the Stand Up to Cancer benefit in L.A., also apparently without Kennedy by her side. Her demeanor was solemn, but that was likely because of her performance's nature. She debuted a new song, "Ronan," named after a young boy who lost his life to cancer. Swift followed the boy's mother's blog and was touched by the story.
And the work will continue for the starlet. She'll get one day of rest before heading to the Canadian Country Music Awards, followed by a trip on Sept. 13 to Rio de Janeiro, where she'll perform at Citibank Hall.
Once things quiet down for Swift, she already has requests from Kennedy's schoolmates to make an appearance on his campus.
"We have a Friday night concert thing – one is in late fall," a Kennedy peer tells PEOPLE. "People want her to come sing."
Reporting by Sara Hammel