How To Deal When Your Friends Are Friends With Your Ex

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How to deal when your friends are still friends with your ex

Breakups have a lot of fall out, and not just for those ending the relationship. Friends and families can end up getting caught in the mix, making it hard to get a clean break.

If you’ve been dating someone for a while, you’ve probably met each other’s friends, and often, these friends can form bonds with your partner. That’s great when you’re in a relationship, and everyone lives like one big, happy family. But if you break up, things can become messy.

If your friends have maintained a friendship with your ex, even after you guys broke up, you might be a little angry.

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Heartbreak is painful enough without having the full support of your friends! It’s hard knowing that the bonds and connections are continuing on after your relationship ends, and moving on is difficult when your ex is still in your friend’s life.

But this doesn’t need to cause any drama. You need your friends more than ever when navigating a single life for the first time in a while. So before you go burning any bridges, learn to deal with this situation in a way that serves everyone involved.

What to do if your friends are friends with your ex

1. Be mature about it.

Let’s just think about this rationally for a second.

Breakups are tough enough to deal with without having a falling out with your friends, too. Having to share friends with your ex is far from ideal, but it’s not the end of the world.

Your friends probably know a ton of people that you don’t talk to them about or have to hang out with, so why should it be any different with your ex? You can’t really tell people who they can and can’t hang out with, and if you do, it might only drive a wedge between you.

Good friends should still be able to have your back, even without cutting off your ex.

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2. Consider the circumstances.

Did your friends know your ex before you started dating? Did you encourage them to be friends during the relationship?

These are difficult situations to try and control because their friendship might be entirely separate from yours. Sure, you may have been the thing that brought them together in the beginning, but your friends can’t be expected to end their relationships just because you and your ex did.

But if you had a particularly nasty breakup or your friends only became close to your ex after the relationship ended, you have every right to be upset. It’s hard knowing your friends can look past the terrible thing that happened in your relationship, but it’s important to stay calm and speak up.

3. Talk it out.

Honesty is the best policy here.

You must use your voice and let your friends know what isn’t working for you. Let them know how you feel. It helps to ask them questions, too, so you can get insight into why they’ve maintained a friendship with your ex.

Without being confrontational, ask them why they enjoy hanging out with your ex. Are there any details of the breakup that they should know that might change their outlook? It’s possible they just don’t realize they’re upsetting you or don’t have all the facts to make an informed decision on their friendship.

You don’t want to be manipulative or controlling, but you have the right to speak your truth. This might mean having several conversations as time goes on and your feelings continue to change. Open conversations will only make you closer.

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4. Set your boundaries.

It’s possible that even after talking to you, your friends will choose to stay in touch with your ex. This is totally fine, but you need to protect your heart.

Maybe it would help to not hear about their conversations or not see their posts together on social media. Maybe you don’t want to be part of the group chat anymore, or you’re not ready for your ex to be invited to your Friday night cocktail hour.

Ensure your friends know you need time to adjust and move on without seeing your ex everywhere. If your friends know your boundaries, they’ll be able to plan accordingly and make time for you. They can hang out with their ex another day.

5. Know who you can and can't confide in.

Letting go and letting your friends be close to your ex can be isolating, especially if you no longer feel comfortable opening up to them, fearing that whatever you say will return to your ex.

But we all need a shoulder to cry on. Good friends should be able to stay neutral and support you, even if they’re also close to your ex. You don’t need to bad mouth your friend in order to get breakup advice.

It might also help to have other people to turn to when you need someone in your corner. A parent, sibling, or another friend will be there for you when you need it, and they won’t go running to your ex afterward!

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Alice Kelly is YourTango's Deputy Entertainment and News Editor. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest.