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Breaking Up with Friends

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He grabbed my arm and blocked my path. “Come on let me buy you a drink.”

I declined and tried to walk away.

He continued to block my path and now I was mentally going through my calm-down steps in my head. I have a thing about uninvited touching and I become ENRAGED when a man blocks my path. It’s like backing a dog in a corner – you are going to let me out or I’m going to fight you until one of us is rendered immobile. I’ve got a bit of a temper and he was screwing up my Namaste.

The night continued and on several occasions he continued to bother me, offer me drinks, TOUCH ME (lawd!), and attempt to talk. FINALLY, I have to yell “We were never friends!” and walk away.

Sounds like a crazy ex right? Well it is a crazy ex. But it’s not MY crazy ex. This ex belongs to one of my friends. He decided that since she was in the same party, but obviously paying him no attention, he should try to get back in HER good graces by spending the night getting on MY nerves.

Ninety-eight percent of the time when you break up with a partner, you also break up with their friends too.

The only exceptions include:

– You were friends with those friends before the romance began.

– The break up was extremely cordial and you both still spend time together or talk

– The relationships had gone on for several years and with time you did form a legit friendship with the partners individually, not just as a couple

I understand this is a difficult concept but it’s absolutely necessary for a few reasons.

We were never friends

Guys that date my friends think that because we all watched the game that one time that we are somehow friends. They feel the urge to adopt me into their life. I appreciate the gesture, but I’d only like to be adopted by Oprah.

As long as the relationship is going smoothly, I’m perfectly fine hanging out as a group. However, unless I’m helping pick out the engagement ring, we likely won’t spend any time together or conversations without my home girl involved. When your relationship ends, so does our communication. Men assume that if the friends of his Ex stop talking to him that the Ex must have “poisoned” their minds. I can’t count how many guys say “What did she tell you to make you hate me?” I don’t hate you. I just don’t have any reason to talk to you. We were never really friends.

It’s awkward

Can you imagine me saying “Yea girl I hung out with your ex today and his friends, we were all at the bar just kee-keeing it up having a good old time. How was your day?”  It may be the first time in scientific history where someone actually came through the phone to attack. Now I’ve got two competing friendships in my life and that’s too much work. I want to have a BBQ and now I have to decide which side dish I don’t mind missing because one of you can’t come. No thanks. I’ll just keep my original friend and cut my losses.

Playing the Middle Man

If you two had a bad break up, and I remain friends with both of you, guess who is stuck in the middle? I’ve literally sat, phone in lap, and watched two exes text me about each other for two hours. I also played the role of one ex texting a mutual friend. When experiencing a bad break up, you are searching for answers. Talking directly to the other person increases confusion so you find the next best thing – their close friend. The two want to sort through the mess and need a mediator. Suggest their hire a professional or attempt to get on Maury.

I learned the hard way to not get involved but if you remain friends with both people it makes it impossible. Way too much work and stress on my twenty something heart.

No break up is the same and no two situations are exactly alike. Some people are able to keep everyone around like nothing happened. That’s just not my gift.

There’s an old saying – “to the victor goes the spoils.” During times when you were fighting over territory, the winner not only won, but also collected all valuables in that territory. It works the same way for relationships. If the relationship is a winner, you get a great partner and a new set of family and friends. But if you lose that battle don’t expect to keep those valuables. Let your partner go when your break up was a mess and please leave her friends alone too.

Especially the one with a temper…

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