Women often stay in unhealthy relationships out of fear of losing mutual friends. I can relate to this, as I've been in that situation before. At one point, I realized that I didn't have to sacrifice my happiness to keep these friends. I could get rid of my terrible boyfriend and keep most of our mutual friends. Although I knew I might lose a few loyal friends of his, I was willing to put in the effort to maintain the others. If you're in a similar situation, it's possible to keep your mutual friends with a little work and patience. Here are some tips on how to do it.
1. Make Your Terms Clear
Your friends may also feel uncertain about how to behave after your breakup, which could lead them to avoid you. It's important to communicate with them and let them know what's acceptable and what's not. You can clarify whether you're comfortable attending the same events as your ex or if they should avoid mentioning him. By establishing clear terms, you can make the situation easier for everyone involved.
2. Never Trash Talk The Ex
Don't forget that your ex is probably still friends with your mutual friends. Even if you don't like your ex, don't talk badly about him to your friends. Your friends are aware of your feelings, so don't make them feel uncomfortable by ranting about him for a long time.
3. Don't Make Your Friends Choose Sides
Asking your friends to pick a side is the worst thing you can do. Don't give them an ultimatum where they have to choose between you and your ex because it's not their fault that you broke up. If you do this, they will either pick your ex or stay away from both of you. This puts them in the middle of your personal problem.
4. Make The First Move
Your mutual friends are aware that your breakup was not smooth, but they may not know how you feel about them. Take the initiative to reach out to them and show them that you still care. Some of them may not respond, but most of them will appreciate it. Let them know that it's alright to maintain a friendship.
5. Keep Your New Love Life Private
Occasionally, you may want to brag to your ex about how fantastic your new love life is. This, however, can make your mutual friends feel uneasy because they don't want to keep secrets from your ex. If they don't ask, refrain from discussing the specifics of your new relationship and just inform them that you're dating someone.
6. Avoid Gatherings That Include The Ex
In the beginning, it can be especially challenging to navigate shared friendships with an ex. To avoid putting your friends in an uncomfortable position, it's best to decline invitations where both you and your ex are present. Instead, suggest alternate arrangements or plan to hang out with your friends when your ex won't be around.
7. Let Your Friends Divide Themselves
It's unrealistic to expect your ex's best friend to automatically become your own confidant after a breakup. Instead, reach out to mutual friends and express your feelings without forcing them to take sides. Some friends may choose to support you or your ex, while others may remain neutral. Allow your friends to make their own choices about who they want to stay close with.
8. Take The High Road When Your Ex Is Around
When sharing a friend group with your ex, it's inevitable that you'll cross paths at some point. Rather than stooping to petty behavior, strive to be respectful and avoid direct confrontation whenever possible. If your ex tries to provoke a reaction, rise above it and disengage. Ultimately, taking the high road is the best way to show your maturity.
9. Decide Which Friends Are Worth It
Not all mutual friends are worth maintaining a relationship with post-breakup. Be selective about which friends you make an effort with and prioritize those who respect your boundaries and won't gossip about you with your ex. It's okay to let go of friendships that no longer serve you and focus on building positive connections with those who do.
10. Answer Your Friends' Questions
It's probable that your friends will have inquiries even after setting your boundaries. Rather than getting angry, answer their questions respectfully to ensure they comprehend what you need. They may ask about the breakup, but avoid casting blame and instead, stick to the facts.
11. Offer To Take Turns With The Ex
It's important to give your mutual friends equal attention and not hog all of their time. Consider taking turns spending time with them instead. For example, you could hang out with them one week and let your ex have a turn the following week. Putting in the effort to share time with your friends will benefit everyone involved.
12. Don't Try To Take Them Away
Avoid using underhanded tactics like stealing your ex's friends, no matter how much you despise them. This will only make the breakup more challenging, and those friends will eventually leave you too. If some friends decide to stick with your ex, allow them to do so. Always take the high road and keep only those friends who genuinely care for you.
It's important to remember that mutual friends may not immediately take sides or fully comprehend your perspective in the aftermath of a breakup. Practice patience and collaborate with your friends to navigate this transition. Speaking from personal experience, I have been in this situation before and have maintained mutual friendships to this day.