No couple exists in a vacuum, so it can be tricky to figure out who gets the friends in a separation. How do you deal with it when you're one half of a split-up couple, or the mutual friend in the middle?
Over the course of my dating years I’ve been friends with many couples. ‘Sixsome’ dates (I’m the proud member of a threesome friendship) game nights and fun times would soon follow.
However it can be a challenge when you’re friends with a couple that’s now broken up. You may want to stay friends with both of them. The following three tips may be helpful in this sticky situation.
“I can’t tell you what it really is I can only tell you what it feels like”
I have always believed when a couple breaks up, it’s never just for one concrete reason. Sometimes things build up over time before they finally explode. No matter how close you are with two people, you never truly know what goes on in a couple’s relationship. You only know what’s being projected in both speaking and outward appearances.
So what happens when you’re caught in the middle between two fighting parties?
Tip 1: Do not take sides
If you truly want to remain friends with both members of the now ex-couple, then you want to avoid taking sides. If one of them starts to complain about the other but you truly feel loyal to both, then it is reasonable to ask that you stay out of it.
Of course you can listen to them about their feelings but there is a difference to listening to them express their sadness and hearing them call the other names.
Tip 2: Do not bring up the ex’s name unless she/he does
Different people deal with breakups in different ways. Many people do not want to talk about the other person at all. This in turn will also make it easier for you.
Tip 3: Be supportive of both
You want to show your support to each of your friends. Breakups are usually difficult on everyone involved, no matter who did what or who said what. You may want to try to do things for each of them and spend time with both, so that neither feels like you are favouring the other.
It is also important not to throw them a ‘pity party’. Many breakupees want others to treat them like normal and not as if their world is falling apart (even if it is). Try to cheer them up and remain upbeat.
What about when you are on the other end of the broken-up couple?
A few years ago I went through an “I love the way you lie”-like (not exaggerating) breakup. Although there weren’t any houses set alight it got to the point where our mutual friends were getting involved and putting their two cents in about a relationship none of them really knew anything about.
We all know a lot of unpaid actors. They’re commonly known as friends and family
There were screaming fights, cheating accusations and plenty of he said, she said. While I confided in a few of our mutual friends about what was going on, the true friends and consequently the ones I’m still friends with today told me they refused to get involved. Although it hurt at the time I knew for the future if I ever wanted us all to be friends again it was for the best.
Mutual friends are plentiful when you are in a relationship. But what happens when you two call it quits?
In the throes of heartbreak what you need are a few go-to friends, not a Facebook-sized army of acquaintances. At this moment a big friendship network isn’t necessary but what is, are the people whose loyalty you’re sure of and who you don’t have to worry will report back to your ex.
When the dust settles remember that you called it quits because something wasn’t right. But your true friends will be there ‘til the end
If you are going through a breakup, don’t make your friends choose sides just because you have a problem with your ex. After all, you were the one kissing your partner when it was all hearts and roses; not your friends. Let them make the decision.