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Keep mutual friends even after a break up

Dear V,

Recently my boyfriend broke up with me and I am having a very hard time getting over him. To make matters worse, while dating we became friends with each other’s friends. The problem with all of this is that I’m not comfortable enough with my friends hanging out with him yet and when they do hang out with him they try to keep it a secret, like I won’t find out about it. I invited a good friend out with a bunch of other friends, and she didn’t want to go out, but when I came back a couple hours later he was in her room with a couple of other people. I feel she didn’t go out because she knew she was going to hang out with him. What should I do?

Trying desperately to get over it

Dear Reader,

I’m glad that you’ve managed to pick up at least one scumbag friend at UM, bravo! Everyone needs at least one, don’t you think? Your “good” friend’s behavior was atrocious, and I would seriously question your “good” friendship with her. The last time I checked, “good” friends didn’t beat around the shady bush with ex-boyfriends. But, hey, I might be the only person living in that world. Oh yeah, is that friend of yours on the rebound or single and looking? Pretty screwed up.

Anyway, dividing mutual friends when a relationship falls apart is usually tricky and awkward for everyone involved. Even my ancient and wise parents still have a hard time following “divorced friends protocol” with their formerly married, but now divorced, friends. The general rule of thumb is that the friendship remains intact with the original friend. I know that it’s a dumb rule because the bonds of friendship should never be able to be broken, etc., etc., but sometimes it is imperative for the greater good to sever the binding ties. In your case, your dumb and insensitive friends need to recognize this fact, especially since you mentioned that you’re having a hard time getting over him.

OK, so it’s not as if you can approach your ex-boyfriend and ask him to stop hanging out with your friends. That would just be creepy-really creepy and really strange. But I don’t think that it would be as big of a deal to approach your “friends” and let them know that you’re still having a hard time with the breakup and that you kind of don’t appreciate their friendships with your boyfriend. If these people are your friends (and I am skeptical, sorry, especially of the “good” friend that you mention), they would know enough to not be so insensitive; it is one thing for your friends to say hello to your ex in passing, or to maintain their friendships with him in other, more covert ways. Basically, since your friend denied your invitation to go out in favor of seeing him, she slapped you in the face. Clearly, her friend loyalties lean more strongly towards him than towards you. And, if a good venting session with and at her doesn’t set things straight, it’s time to axe her temporarily. She is clearly not going to serve her friendly purpose as a support system. So, why bother? Girls are so rotten.

Best of luck!

V.

Fact O’ the Day…Citing a recent study, people who have sex once or twice a week have slightly boosted immune systems compared to those who don’t.

Please send probing inquiries to DearV@hotmail.com or drop V a line in her box in the office of The Hurricane. All questions and comments will remain anonymous.

September 21, 2005

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.