Breaking up is hard enough to do when it only concerns you and the soon to be ex. What complicates matters even more are the factors that we rarely think about once we make the decision to end it. Factors such as common places we hang out, visitation for the household pet (as petty as it may sound) and all too importantly…the friends. As couple and relationships develop, friends are brought into the mix. You will want to know who your girlfriend/boyfriend is close to and hanging out with and vice versa. Their close friends might be in a relationships as well, so naturally you all become close, intertwined, and develop a kind of kinship and routine of hanging out together.
So what happens when you and your ex break it off? You all are so used to hanging out collectively, but with the breakup taking place obviously boundaries and lines need to be drawn to reduce the already pungent awkwardness and just all out pain from the death of the relationship. So what can be done to sustain the breakup if you and your ex have the same circle of friends? You can bury your circle along with your ex and make all new friends. Or you can follow these seven tips that might help you avoid that hassle:
1) You can have a custody agreement on which days you and your ex will hang out with your friends. Keep in mind the possibility to run into each other is real. Just exchange hi’s and bye’s when it does and keep it moving.
2) Large parties where the chances of running into your ex are minimal. Tuesday night movie night with the clique is a no go. It’s an intimate setting and how likely is it that you WONT lock eyes with your ex at some point (talk about awkward).
3) Don’t make it more awkward than it already is for your friends by putting them in the middle. Try to avoid making them choose between you two and talking down on your ex to them. At the end of the day, they still care for you both.
4) Don’t use your friends as a way to get back with your ex or get back AT your ex. The tension will be at an all-time high for them too so be respectful to all parties involved.
5) Keep your friends in the loop and don’t shut them out. They will have questions and even if it makes your uncomfortable….answer them.
6) Know the right time (if there is one) to let it be known there is a new love. That may take several months minimum but timing is key.
7) Expect that you will lose a few of the friends you and your ex had in common. His/her best friend from the 5th grade cannot be expected to take your side in something as big as a break up. Time to be a grown up and say your good byes to the both of them.
One parting thought, take it one-step at a time. Break ups are hard regardless but taken as a learning experience it can be a tool for growth.
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