How to handle the "friendship custody battle."
After a break up, everything about your life changes. You're living your life without your partner which means a lot of stuff is changing. This includes any mutual friends you may have.
All of a sudden, you may find yourself divvying up your friends with your ex. This can be tough, especially if you've bonded with friends that were your ex's friends first. Any new friends you two had acquired will be in an especially tough position as they will feel as if they're choosing sides. So, how do you determine custody of these friends? Is it even possible to do that?
It's a war between you and your ex that nobody wants to be involved in.
There's of course going to be a lot of bad mouthing between you and your ex about each other to your friends. That shouldn't be surprising as you both are going through a great deal of pain (though of course I don't recommend bad mouthing). If your ex bad mouths you badly enough, it's possible you may lose a friend or two over what your ex has said.
The bond you have formed with your friends will play a role, too. If you didn't hit it off well with some ... you're probably not going to remain friends. However, those you did get close to will likely end up staying your friend.
There will also be friends that will remain friends with both of you who cannot choose sides.
As you go through this friendship custody battle, follow these steps:
1. Tell your side of the story.
Nobody likes a martyr, but if it was a messy separation, make sure friends in common know your side.
2. Act with integrity.
Whatever the situation, both parties are ultimately hurting. And while it's OK to vent a bit, don't trash-talk your ex in front of mutual friends. Not only is it bad dating karma, but it also makes for an even more uncomfortable situation.
3. Accept the outcome.
Not all "couple friends" are going to want to continue the friendship. And that's OK. Accept the few losses and focus on the mutual friends that understand you.
4. Appreciate your friends.
Friends are supposed to be there for you through thick and thin, hot dates and heartache, but still, everyone likes a bit of recognition. Let them know that you appreciate their support and that you'll be there to get their backs when the time comes.
When the dust settles, remember that you called it quits because something wasn't right. But your friends will be there till the end.