How To Keep Your Mutual Friends After A Breakup

by Christine Schoenwald

For a short time, my ex-boyfriend and I were Facebook friends. Our friendship remained very positive and friendly until one day his status update was something along the lines of how every woman he had ever been involved with (before his wife) was a crazy bitch, and that he never known a truly beautiful and brilliant woman until he met the one true love of his life. It was a really sweet thing to say about Mrs. Ex, but I didn’t appreciate being publicly dissed, even it was a mass anonymous dissing. And while he hadn’t singled me out, all of our mutual friends knew that I was one of the crazy bitches of which he referred. We had been a couple for long enough that we’d forever be initially linked in people’s minds before they mentally uncoupled us as if they were translating French into English before speaking in French. But what do you do when your friends are still friends with your ex?

I immediately de-friended my ex. The problem was that we still shared a number of mutual friends, and lived in the same town, so that we were still slightly connected even if was just people you may know suggestions or invitations to the same weddings.

You can block someone on Facebook, but it isn’t always easy to block them in life especially if you still have friends in common. Here's how to remain with those friends so it's not a disaster for both of you.

1. Don't bad mouth your ex to anybody unless it's your BFF.

It's not your job to let everybody know what an A-hole your ex is, or the many ways in which he/she sucks. Your mutual friends can live happy and productive lives without the information of his evil ways.

2. Limit the time you spend talking about your ex.

Although your BFF loves you and wants to be there for you, it can get boring fast listening to someone drone on for hours, days, months and years about how awful your ex was, and how badly they treated you. Remember many of your mutual friends still think they're a great person, and you'll come off badly if you destroy their fantasy. Make you can't control what anyone thinks your mantra.

3. Don't ask endless questions about your ex—that's as bad as cyber stalking.

You don't need to know that he looks unhappy or if she has a new girlfriend. Pretend that you've both moved on, even if you're still thinking about them.

4. Don't make your friends take sides or put them in the middle.

If you force your friends to choose, you may not like their choice especially if they chose your ex.

5. It's OK to ask if your ex will be at a social event.

It's always good to be prepared, as it can up the awkwardness quite a bit to run into your ex completely unaware that he/she will be there. By being forewarned, you'll be emotionally protected.

6. Plan on what you're going to say.

If you practice being light and non-specific for when you see your ex, you may be able to at least look calm, even if your stomach is tied up in knots.

7. Make the first step.

By recognizing that you and your ex are together in a social situation and being the bigger person, it will put you in a position of power. Say Hi first, smile, and wave, but don't get into it — a party isn't the time to discuss why your relationship failed.

8. Stay calm.

Remember you're not on a Reality Show. There's no need for hairpulling, and drink throwing and unlike a reality show contestant, you are there to make friends, or at least to keep them.

9. Distance can be healthy

Sometimes you need to give yourself and your friends a little breathing room. If you only had your ex in common, it's OK to let those friends go. You don't have to be friends with everybody all the time.

Post break-ups can be difficult, and you may never feel entirely comfortable hanging out with your ex, but in time, it won't feel so awkward seeing them at an event or commenting on social media. They're just someone that you used to know; someone that's friends with some of your friends. And just because you're in the same social circle, it doesn't mean your circles have to intersect in an awkward or bad way.

Images: CBS; Giphy(7)