Your best friend just ended it with a guy who you thought was a good match for her. You loved spending time with him and have even befriended his friends. You’re happy that she made this decision and want what’s best for her yet you are a bit bitter that you are losing him as a friend. Why does this have to be goodbye? Why do you have to avoid hanging out with her ex boyfriend and your new friend group? Here are some tips for staying friends with your bestie’s ex, or his or her friend group, while supporting your bestie.
Talk to Your Friend
Though it may be awkward at first, explain to your friend how you really liked their ex partner and liked spending time with them. Tell her how you thought he or she had a great friend group and you would like to continue hanging out with them from time to time. Assure her that you want her to feel comfortable with this decision and that you continue to support her and her decision. Take into account her input on the situation and her concerns. Some girls may not feel comfortable with their best friends hanging out with their exes because they feel as though their exes will talk bad about them or their friend will spill too much information. Be up front and honest and try to reach a compromise.
Stand Your Ground
At the end of the day, though you do love your new friends, keep in mind that you should always have your friend’s interest in mind. If you don’t want to talk about your friend when out, don’t be tempted to engage in a conversation about her or any negativity towards her. Don’t forget about your friend and her feelings. Never place yourself in a situation that would compromise your friendship or make you feel uncomfortable. If you want to stay friends, set some guidelines in the beginning. It may be to your advantage to have your friend help you set these guidelines or approve of them. Stand your ground and keep in mind those guidelines. Don’t be afraid to take a step back or change the subject if you are uncomfortable.
Avoid the “Accidental Hook Up”
Though you may have no intention of hooking up with your friend’s ex or acting inappropriately, anything is possible. Many friendships are ruined and thrown away because of drunken decisions and the inability to think before you act. Always think how your actions might affect your friend and, as always, walk away and remove yourself from the situation if the ex begins flirting with you or acts inappropriately towards you. On the other hand, there are many girls all across the country who have dated each other’s exes. If you find yourself developing feelings for the ex, talk to your friend about it subtly. Depending on the situation and how serious the relationship was, your friend may even be okay with you developing a relationship with her ex and support your choice. Don’t count on this happening though. Put yourself in her shoes and think about how you would react if she hooked up with one of your exes. If it happens, don’t hide it from her. She will absolutely find out somehow and will not trust you and your friendship will quickly change for the worse.
It’s completely normal for your friend to become jealous of the fact that you are spending time with the ex instead of her, or even suggest that you and the ex are romantically involved. Jealousy is a part of life especially in sensitive situations. You need to be extra careful not to say things or do things that will make her jealous. Don’t tell her about his new fling Sara, or how you and him went to the Red Sox game instead of going out to the bar with her. If she truly is over him, no need to remind her of the times they had together or talk about how much happier he is. If she asks, simply say that he is doing well. Leave it at that and only include small talk. Talk about the job he just got and how he is excited about it, or that he is going to spend time with his aunt in California next week. Keep the conversation basic and comment on the happenings of his professional life or family rather than his romantic partners, or lack thereof.
Group Hang Outs
Group hang outs are probably the easiest way to ease yourself and your friend into the situation. Assure her that there will be other people around and it just not you and the ex. She will be much more comfortable knowing that you are not hanging out alone and will see that you are not hanging out with him to spite her. You like spending time with his group of friends and it might even give her hope that in time, she can become friends with everyone again soon. Group hang outs offer plenty of opportunities to escape from awkward situations that might come up.
Things Will be Different
Accept that things will be different. He is no longer dating your friend. The double dates have ended and the relaxing nights in have ended as well. Know that this is difficult for your friend no matter how “okay with it” she claims she is. Somewhere along the line you will be introduced to new girlfriends and new romantic partners. You will probably more than once have to defend your friend and change the subject. You may even discover that you really don’t even like them or their friend group all that much after attempts to stay friends. Have the courage to always do what is best for you and for your friend and understand that things will be different. You are seeing them in a whole new light and a whole new situation. Stand your ground and keep an open mind. Remember to not jeopardize your relationship with your best friend. Have fun and as always stay safe. It is very possible to stay friends with your ex’s friend group after a breakup and for everyone to feel comfortable and approve of the situation.