Our Best Advice For Navigating Mutual Friends After A Breakup

Annually, 70% of people in relationships call it quits (via Hack Spirit). That's a lot of breakups. Nobody enjoys splitting with their partner, whether you're ending on good or bad terms. This is likely someone who you've spent time getting to know and perhaps even still care about. If you've recently been through one yourself, then you'll know all too well how difficult the aftermath can be, especially when it comes to any shared mutual friends. 

Not only does the breakup itself likely hurt, but you also have the added weight of mutual friendships. This factor can only add to an already stressful situation. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be so difficult. While navigating mutual friends after a breakup can be challenging, there are a few things that you can do to make the adjustment process slightly more manageable. However, of course, this largely depends on how you feel and how your mutual friends feel. Respect is key here. Below, we'll look at some tips to help you navigate the sticky situation.

Figure out how your mutual friends feel

The first step for navigating mutual friends after a breakup is figuring out how everyone feels about the situation, including yourself, your ex, and your mutual friends. While it may feel overwhelming to begin with, it's vital that everyone is on the same page and that there is mutual respect. Of course, how the situation will play out largely depends on the reason for the breakup. It may be more challenging if it is a difficult breakup and tensions are running high. However, if things end on good and respectable terms, you're more likely to see success.

If everyone is happy and nobody expresses otherwise, then you should be able to continue your friendships as usual if you wish to do so. However, if there are any individuals who don't feel comfortable continuing a friendship for whatever the reason may be, then it's essential to respect their wishes too. While this can be a worrisome thought, it's important to remember that your genuine friends will likely want to continue being your friend. This may ring especially true if your friendships date back over several years. However, this also probably depends on how deep your bond with them is. In addition, it is also very likely that dating within your friendship group is off the cards. Although it may seem obvious, it's good to remind yourself it would likely cause tensions.

You should avoid discussing your ex-boyfriend

Great news: You're continuing your friendships with your mutual friends. While you're likely budding for things to get back to normal again, there are a few rules that you should follow. Speaking to Elite Daily, breakup coach Trina Leckie outlines one of the most important rules that you need to set for yourself to ensure that the transition goes as planned: "Don't engage in gossip, and don't bad-mouth your ex because then whatever was said can easily get back to your ex." So, while it may be tempting to vent from time to time, you should try and refrain from doing so. This way, there won't be any bad blood brewing up between the friendship group, and you'll likely diminish any risk of sabotaging things for good. 

Rather than discussing all things boys, your friendships may benefit from discussing other things that you both enjoy — at least for now. Having mutual interests can often help a friendship grow stronger. However, if you find that you're the only single one in the friend group, then there are also some easy ways you can navigate that too. But that isn't all: As well as thinking of your friends, you should also be thinking of yourself too.

Think about your own feelings too

While it's important to think of your friends, it's equally important to be thinking about yourself. The way you feel about the situation is just as important, and you shouldn't compromise your happiness if you're going to suffer. Licensed psychotherapist Shirin Peykar has some advice on how to go about navigating these tricky feelings: "Start by asking yourself how you feel about maintaining contact with friends and family of your ex. If it's too painful or uncomfortable, create boundaries for your self-care on how much contact you're interested in maintaining. You can even choose not to maintain contact if it hinders your healing" (via Insider). 

As you can see, ensuring your emotions are in check will help you better navigate the situation and make the right choice for yourself. Pushing yourself too much may only be detrimental to your progress. It's all well and good to maintain your mutual friends, but you need to consider if doing so is going to make it harder for you to move on. For some people, it can just act as a constant reminder of the breakup, which can be challenging to deal with.