Break Up Etiquette: Dividing Your Friends

By YourTango

Break Up Etiquette: Dividing Your Friends
The relationship may be over, but what to do with pals you still share?

After learning that he was having an affair with a mutual friend and coworker, "It was a really bad situation, so I was focused on starting over," she says. "I found that my friends from before the divorce were still mine afterward. My large family was also a primary support. Honestly, due to the circumstances, I really didn't really want anything to do with my ex or any of our coworkers." Luckily, Mary mentioned that she was able to cut all ties to them.

And sometimes that's okay. In the throes of heartbreak, what you need are a few go-to friends, not a Facebook-sized army of acquaintances. "At this point in time, a big friendship network isn't necessary," says Sanderson, "but what is are the subset of people who are in your corner.

These are the people whose loyalty you're sure of and who you don't have to worry will report back to your ex." In some cases, says Sanderson, they may almost act as your representatives, making sure rumors are nipped in the bud.

Still need ways to mend a broken social circle? Try these tips:

• 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. "The person who goes 'public' with this news first is probably better off, since the way they frame and describe the situation are important," says Sanderson.

• Act with integrity. Whatever the situation, both parties are ultimately hurting. And while it is okay 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.

• Accept the outcome. Not all "couple friends" are going to want to continue the friendship. And that's okay. Accept the few losses and focus on the mutual friends that understand you.

• Thank your peeps. 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.