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Mutual friends and break-ups

idisrsly

I'm serious
V.I.P.
We've all had mutual friends who broke up with each other at some stage. What do you do when this happens? Do you pick sides? Do you stay more loyal to the one friend than the other?

My friend recently broke up with her boyfriend of almost a decade. We've all been friends since school (in fact, I dated him before her in school :lol: ). I care for both of them and we've all come a long way as friends. So now that they are broken up, should I be picking sides of who I stay friends with, or can there be a friendship with both of them, just not in the same place at the same time?
 

AnitaKnapp

It's not me, it's you.
V.I.P.
It's difficult to say. Why did they break up? Did it end badly?

In most situations you could probably stay friends with both. However, if one of them did something really bad to the other, it may be more difficult to stay neutral without hurting someone's feelings.
 

Unity

Living in Ikoria
Staff member
You know, usually when I've had this it's more that I'm friends with one person and the other I've known as their girlfriend or boyfriend, versus meeting them as a couple.

If I were in this scenario circumstances of the breakup would be a big deal, but otherwise I'd probably try to stay friends with both and just hang out at different places at different times as you mentioned.

I'd advise that in your specific case since they've both been friends of yours (not her being the friend and him being a boyfriend she met, if that makes sense). Is there any kind of reason that you wouldn't want to see one of them, such as bad breakup circumstances?
 

idisrsly

I'm serious
V.I.P.
The break-up was probably as clean and civil as could be. There was no cheating, hurting or anything extremely bad that happened. It was literally just not going anywhere, after almost 10 years. She wants to settle down, get married, have kids, while he still wants to party it up with his friends. They just outgrew each other, I guess.

I don't think either of them will be mad or mind if I remain friends with the other, but out of respect for both of them, should I not mention the other when I am with the one? Do I pretend like the one friendship doesn't exist?
 

Unity

Living in Ikoria
Staff member
I don't think either of them will be mad or mind if I remain friends with the other, but out of respect for both of them, should I not mention the other when I am with the one? Do I pretend like the one friendship doesn't exist?
"Honesty is the best policy."

If it were me I'd definitely run it by the one that you're going to stay friends with the other and vice versa. If not to see if it's ok with them, just to show them respect.
 

AnitaKnapp

It's not me, it's you.
V.I.P.
IMO, I think that you should remain friends with both, but try to keep it as separate as possible. Don't mention the other person, unless they mention it first. Be honest, but don't offer information on your friendship unless it is asked about.

I wouldn't run it by either, but just because it would seem like you're asking for permission to be friends with the ex. That may invite one or both of them to wanting you to choose sides, especially while the break up is fresh. I would just let it lie, and let them come to you if they have a problem with you being friends with both.
 

Impact

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Definitely a hard position to be in. Just make it clear to each person that you were friends with the other before their relationship, and you will continue each friendship now their relationship is over. Be honest about it. And yes, keep your time with them separate, at least for a while. Maybe in time you can all hang out together again, especially as it was a clean breakup, but that will take a while.
 

Bliss

Sally Twit
Their relationship ending has nothing to do with you so you shouldn't have to pick sides. You are a mutual friend and they have to respect that.
Obviously you can't hang out with them at the same time which could be a problem if there's a group of you that are friends, but you'd just have to compromise a little. And they would have to understand you don't need to pick sides because you're friends with both of them.
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
I don't take positions at all. The couple are the only ones who know what happens and know the reason of their separation. I don't think taking part is fair. You'll never know for sure what brought this break-up so it's better to stay out and get over it. It was their business.
 

Wade8813

Registered Member
We've all had mutual friends who broke up with each other at some stage. What do you do when this happens? Do you pick sides? Do you stay more loyal to the one friend than the other?

My friend recently broke up with her boyfriend of almost a decade. We've all been friends since school (in fact, I dated him before her in school :lol: ). I care for both of them and we've all come a long way as friends. So now that they are broken up, should I be picking sides of who I stay friends with, or can there be a friendship with both of them, just not in the same place at the same time?
Actually, I haven't had that happen :p

Picking sides seems completely absurd. In fact, in your case, there's no sides to take.

This is part of what bugs me about dating - somehow, even though NOBODY involved did anything wrong, somehow the people who were dating get it in their head that it's okay for them to make things difficult for everyone around them. Frankly, that's immature and selfish.

The break-up was probably as clean and civil as could be. There was no cheating, hurting or anything extremely bad that happened. It was literally just not going anywhere, after almost 10 years. She wants to settle down, get married, have kids, while he still wants to party it up with his friends. They just outgrew each other, I guess.

I don't think either of them will be mad or mind if I remain friends with the other, but out of respect for both of them, should I not mention the other when I am with the one? Do I pretend like the one friendship doesn't exist?
I would say at most you should avoid mentioning the other for a little while - but it's possible there's no reason to avoid mentioning the other person at all.
 
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