After a Break-Up, the Splitting Up of Friends

Duduzile Nhlabathi June 21, 2016
women smiling --- Image by © Jack Hollingsworth/Blend Images/Corbis


Many people have experienced a relationship that has come to an end — be it yours or that of a close friend. In my observation, a majority of the time it is only females that become divided as to which friend (one’s girlfriend or the boyfriend) they should side with, particularly if they are friends with both individuals.

Men, on the other hand, pick a side (which is usually that of their friend) or don’t seem to really care. Men tend to proclaim their loyalty from the onset, forcing gossip and speculation to quickly get squashed in the group. On the other hand, females will form alliances, spread rumors among themselves, and burn bridges for life.

The reality of this life is that there is a sad inevitability that friends will be lost along the way. But should you accompany a friend to a war that is not your own enemy and can a person really remain neutral in all of this? And if you don’t pick a side, what happens when your friends move on?

Should You Be Fighting a War That Is Not Yours?

This is particularly hard if your friend was in the wrong and you don’t entirely agree with their decision to leave the friendship. This is especially true if your friend was the cause of the breakup and taking sides with them might make you question your values.

What happens in this case?

Let’s say your friend cheated and broke up a happy family. Do you still continue a relationship with no judgment or is the friendship mature enough for you to speak your mind without jeopardizing the relationship?

And what about this thing called “loyalty”?

Should you choose not to say anything; could you really be there for a friend in silence. What if your friend really needs to hear what a prick her ex was and it is wise for her to leave him? Can you really offer support without catching feelings?

When You Choose To Remain Neutral

Everybody claims that it is pretty easy if all parties assume a mature position, but how many people are really mature during a break-up (even 50 year olds can go psycho at times)? Thus when one chooses to remain neutral, is this really a sign of maturity or being a coward?

Some people just don’t like conflict and choosing not to take sides means they need not ask or face difficult situations. My question is, when one chooses to remain neutral, are they really being true to the friendship?

In my 34 years on this planet, I have learned that people respect individuals that have a backbone, even if it means what they stand for makes someone uncomfortable.

And sometimes you like both individuals; they might not be great together, but they may be really great people.

What Happens When Individuals Move On With Their Lives?

Females find it hard to befriend their partners ex’s friend — just a girl code thing which translates to “I just don’t trust your intentions.” This discomfort is heightened when the ex is malicious and is better kept at more than an arm’s length.

So what happens when one party moves on and their new beau does not trust the neutral party on the basis of such? I mean, it’s human to feel this way, and we can’t say it only boils down to maturity. A human being is a complex and highly emotional being, and we will never completely understand how people process emotions. And it’s difficult enough to understand oneself, what about another?

If you have decided to remain neutral, does it also mean that you must be mature to accept that their new partners might not trust your intentions and might be disinterested in forming any sort of relationship with you?

In closing I would like to say, as human beings we have always taken sides from a young age — be it sibling rivalry, a playground fight when you were defending a friend, or even in the boardroom when you are supporting your colleague.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that some romantic relationships destroy some friendships. Loyalty forms a big component of how we relate, and picking which friend to side with speaks to this aspect in us.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates