Relationships are complicated and breakups can get messy. But what if you are on both sides of a team? Can you really be on both the boats and still be afloat? These are the questions that strike you when your friends break up. You will inevitably be caught in the crossfire, with both expecting you to be on their side and questioning where your loyalty lies.
Chances are that they both will cut you off, but can you really be diplomatic when it comes to friendship? Your situation will be compromised, especially when both of them will come to you to vent. You will try to mediate, but may be held responsible for the best friend breakup status.
But are you ready to deal with all the trauma at the same time? Yes, “trauma”, since it takes a toll on your mental health. You will feel responsible for them, and find yourself wondering” why do best friends break up? You may even want to help and restore the status quo ante, but can you dissolve a dispute this big?
Knowing what to do when your friend breaks up with her partner who also happens to be your friend can be hard. We’re here to help.
6 Things To Do When Your Friends Break Up
Sasha, Zack and Jen were thick as thieves right from their freshman year. As college progressed, Jen and Zack started dating. Sasha felt like a third wheel in the relationship at the beginning, but with time, all three became comfortable with these changed group dynamics. After a rosy ride of two years, Zack and Jen broke up, and Sasha felt the weight of the split as much as the two partners.
Breakups are always complicated and heartbreaks excruciating enough to change you as a person, but when your friends break, you’re caught in the middle of a split without even being part of the relationship. This can be a particularly bad situation, and here are 6 ways in which you can navigate it more effectively:
1. You can’t win both of them
What to do when your best friend breaks up with her boyfriend? This question becomes far more complex when the said boyfriend is also one of your closest friends. Then, it all comes down to the moment where you learn to prioritize what’s best for you.
Then, you will choose. But choosing is not really diplomatic, so you will choose neither. You will take some time off from them and get some headspace for yourself. You will need a lot of space for yourself during this time of crisis.
If your best friends broke up, remember that you are well within your rights to take a step back until you can figure out how to maintain your friendship with them without letting their relationship status get in the way. If you are strong enough to deal with them separately, then draw a line to make sure that nothing overlaps.
Listen to both of them and call them out when you feel that they were wrong. Be very objective when you call them out. If you lose objectivity, they will call you biased and chances are that either of them will cut you off.
2. Avoid and dodge when your friends break up
You can dodge the shrapnel emerging from your friends’ exploding relationship if you are smart about it. Here’s what to do when your friend breaks up with her boyfriend: start maintaining your distance from both of them since they will try to bring you to the center field to mediate.
Don’t be the referee in a match you don’t want to be a part of. There is no moral obligation for you to help sort their mess out. It’s their responsibility and you can point that out. Be practical and don’t let your best friend’s breakup status affect your life.
3. Don’t shake off the feeling that their relationship is falling apart
Breakups can be anticipated, not just by the people in a relationship but also those around them. So if you see the subtle signs that your friends’ break up is near, don’t dismiss them. By acknowledging and accepting the inevitable, you will be equipped to deal with the mess that is about to unfold.
Or you can just ask them to resolve things in a civil manner. It can either spiral out of proportion after that or can be resolved at the very beginning. You, being the good friend that you are, can mediate these things in the initial stages. But then again it is not your responsibility, don’t do it if you feel that helping them would take a toll on you in any way.
4. Don’t get involved altogether
What to do when your friend breaks up with her boyfriend who you’re friends with? Explicitly tell them that you don’t want to compromise any sort of companionship because of their breakup. Ask them not to drag you into scuffles that don’t concern you.
Be vocal about your stance, but never take sides when you don’t want to be involved. You will either hang out with them or you will ignore them altogether. Don’t be a diplomat who plays nice with both sides. In doing so, you will be reduced to a ping-pong ball oscillating between broken-up friends. They rub off their issues on you until you run out of all the juice to endure their BS.
5. Don’t let it affect you
Breakups are hard and when you see your closest friends breaking up, you can get triggered too. It might trigger some sour memories that you have from your own relationship in the past. Don’t let these get to you.
You may also feel insecure since you will feel like you are about to lose your friend, but don’t be. With time, you will hopefully be able to restructure your friendship with both of them. It is also possible that your friends’ breakup may cost you at least one or both your friends. As much as it may suck to be in the situation, that’s just how life is sometimes.
You have to brace yourself for these possible outcomes when your friends break up. Also, if you feel they are being toxic post-breakup, you have all the right to cut them off.
Related Reading: Dost dost na raha: How to break up with a friend
6. Accept that you are on your own
If your best friends broke up and you ended up losing two of the closest people in your life, it can feel like you’ve been handed the short end of the stick. In these circumstances, it helps to remember that we all are on our own. The sooner we realize that, the easier it gets to deal with unpleasant situations such as your friends’ breakup.
Nothing is as utopic as it seems on the silver screen or on any summer flick, so make sure that your friends understand that part. They are on their own and there is little you can do to assist them.
When your friends break up, the temptation to get in the middle of it and help them sort out of the mess can be strong. But in all likelihood, it will only exacerbate the aftermath of the breakup for you. Your best recourse is to be there for them individually and help them move on from the breakup as best as you can. But never get in the middle of it.
To help a broken hearted friend, you can be there by their side as they wallow and grieve, and eventually, nudge them toward moving on by distracting them from the pain of the breakup with things that they enjoy the most.
To help a friend move on, take them out, plan regular fun outings over the weekends, be available whenever they want to vent or grieve, and most importantly, keep reminding them why they broke up, so that they don’t fixate on their ex for too long.