How to Navigate Your Friendships When Your Friends Break Up
There's a lot to like about your friends dating one another.
Instead of having to deal with that awkward conversation of whether or not your pal should bring their new S.O. to your casual friend hang, it's obvious: They're already on the text chain.
Of course, there's also a downside: What happens when your two dear friends decide they don't want to be in a relationship with each other anymore? Suddenly, you're flung into seriously tough territory. You may feel like you have to pick a side, or feel compelled to bad mouth one friend in order to defend the other.
Fortunately, you can survive your friends' breakup without harming any of your existing relationships—and it all has to do with how you communicate with your newly single pals. Here are some things to do and say so that you can navigate the new status quo.
Ask How You Can Support Your Friends, Without Bringing in Their Old Relationship
When your friend breaks up with someone, it can be easy to spend hours discussing that other person's flaws or how they did them wrong in the relationship. While that may be a way to show support under different circumstances, it's not ideal for you, as someone who is maintaining a friendship with both parties. Instead, ask your friend how you can support them outside of those kinds of conversations. Does your friend need a new plus one for a family outing they were going to bring their significant other to? Do they want to watch Mean Girls and eat Sour Patch Kids? Are they looking to throw an Olivia Rodrigo dance party? There are plenty of options to show support without having to bash their ex.
Create a Boundary When It Comes to Info About Their Ex
Since you're friends with both people in this former relationship, it's inevitable that one of them will, at some point, hit you up for intel. Instead of dishing about your friend's whereabouts, or whether or not they're really dating that blonde your friend saw on their Instagram, set the boundary clearly. Say that while you want to show support in any way that you can, you don't feel comfortable breaching the other person's trust by sharing any details about their personal life. No, it's not an easy conversation to have, but it's one that they'll have to understand if they want to maintain your closeness.
Give Them a Heads Up
There are going to be times when you'll need to invite both your friends to certain events, like a birthday party—and yes, that may mean the other may even potentially bring a new significant other. While you shouldn't feel like you can't invite one person if you invite the other, you should give your friends a heads up that both of you got the invitation (at around the same time, ideally, so no one feels blindsided) and that though you want them both to attend, you understand if they don't feel up for seeing the other one.
Don't Cut One Out of the Group
A friend breakup can definitely divide a friend group, but there's nothing worse than isolating one person just because they're no longer dating their ex. It will make them feel like they never had real friends to begin with. If you are hoping to maintain your friendships with both people post-split, talk to the greater group about how you can make each one of them still feel supported. Maybe that means changing your annual big group trip in the summer to smaller day events so that both people can feel like they had time with the group, sans any awkwardness.
Want to read more about breakups? Click HERE to read about what to do when your ex makes things awkward.