Your best friend has been with their significant other for a few years. You have more faith in their love than you do Will and Jada’s – that’s how enchanting their passion is. And yet, they break up; stating that things hadn’t been working out between them for some time. You love them both, and feel as if you are their child that has been caught in this break-up. Who do you go with? Of course you want to stay with your best friend because according to Part 2 of Section 1 of the Best Friend Guide (if only it really existed), loyalty overrides everything. But you have grown to love their ex (in a friendly way of course) just as much, and don’t think it’s fair to cut them off completely as you’ve grown to be cool. You are probably feeling more hung up than a dial tone.
The first thing you should remember in this situation is that you don’t have to choose who you remain friends with. Neutrality is your best policy here. Okay, so he cheated and she caught him (or the other way around) and now there is this whole drama that is worthy of a segment on “Maury.” As much as you may feel for your girlfriend, this is her situation — not yours. What she (or he) chooses to do to deal with the obstacles that arose in their relationship should have no bearings on your personal actions. I am sure that you were friends with both people because of their individual traits, not just their image as a couple. There is no reason why their behavior within the private confines of their relationship should upset that (except in extreme cases of explosive secrets and abuse, of course).
But, keep in mind that just because you may remain friends with both parties does not mean that you need to be playing telephone with them. You spoke to him, and he has confided in you that he is contemplating getting back out on the dating scene to forget everything (as men tend to do). Is it really your place to go and tell her that? Absolutely not. Don’t be that puppy who runs from one fence to another with different tidbits. If he wants her to know that, I am sure he will find a way to tell her. And ladies, we know she’ll probably find out sooner or later about his actions from someone else or those good ole trackers known as Facebook and Twitter. If you know that you tend to suffer from what I like to call, “diarrhea of the mouth” aka loose lips, refrain from speaking about the situation to both of your friends. Let them know that as much as you love and support them, this break up is not a topic you wish to discuss, nor do you want to talk about the many problems they think the other person has forever and ever.
Most importantly, do remember that it is not your job to make sure your favorite couple gets back together. Sometimes we hold our friends’ relationships on a pedestal making them the templates we want to base our own relationships on. And sometimes we just think we know what’s better for a person than they know for themselves (“You guys have been together for __ years, that’s a LONG time. You should work it out!”). We should use healthy relationships as inspiration, but we should always know a pretty picture takes a lot of work. At the end of the day, your friends know, more than anyone else, why they had to withdraw from their union. Therefore, it is not your job to play matchmaker. You are not VH1 or the dude from “The Bachelor”; it is not your task to help them find their way to one another. Be a good friend to both, give them each a shoulder to cry on (maybe even a Kleenex) and then slowly but surely, find a way to start talking about something else…
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