Who Gets to Keep the Friends?

When a long term relationship ends, who gets the friends?
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A friend of mine is going through a pretty tough break up that was, for the most part, one-sided.  One sided break ups and unrequited love are responsible for some of pretty heinous crimes, and while there has yet to be any murderous rampages or self-inflicted hate-wounds (that I know of) in this case, there has definitely been a handful of drama-filled moments and psuedo-psychotic behavior.

One question that I have found impossible to answer through this entire ordeal: When a long term relationship ends, who gets the friends? Does each friend have to pick only one to side with? If you hang out with couples, do they have to pick one friend or do they have to play the gender card?

It seems to me that as adults we should be able to share friends without it being a “taking sides” issue. If you were friends with each member of the couple, you shouldn’t have to choose one to side with, just because they broke up. The mentality that you have to choose derives from the idea that a relationship is a catalyst to a new moment in your life — that the before is before and the after is completely different. This doesn’t have to be the truth. A relationship is a moment, just like any other, and shouldn’t determine the rest of your life. Your friends before can still be your friends after, and the same with your ex.

What do you think? Do friends have to choose sides, or can you be one big unhappy, twice-removed family?

2 thoughts on “Who Gets to Keep the Friends?

  1. As a twenty something going through this exact scenario and it is horrible. I don’t think it is a matter of “who gets the friends” but more of which side the friends choose. And they will tell you they aren’t choosing sides but they are. And then when one of the ex’s starts dating, then the whole cycle of choosing sides starts all over again. Especially if one of the ex’s starts dating someone inside that friend circle. If you have any advice….I AM ALL EARS!

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