Breakups: Who gets the Friends?
Boy and girl meet. Boy and girl develop a liking for each other. Boy and girl lime. Boy and girl fall in love. Somewhere in the mix, liming with friends happen and the friends eventually become a part of the relationship that helps keep the love intact.
After some time of liming and laughing, boy and girl marry and by extension, they marry the friends too. But what we don’t realize with the union is that when you get married, the words ‘til death do us part’ don’t include the friends that we inherit.
In a marriage, friends are a very important component in the relationship. They serve as the go between when fallouts happen. Friends also provide random company on any given evening to come and eat the groceries you just bought. It is a well-oiled machine when the relationship is intact, but when the breakup comes, what happens to the friends? Do they get split up? Who gets to keep who?
I’ve experienced a breakup first-hand. However, I didn’t bond with any of my ex’s friends, so I didn’t have the privilege of selecting who I wanted in my corner, and didn’t expect any of them to take my side in the breakup. But not every situation will be as clean cut as mine. Sometimes the friendships are so strong, that when the breakup happens you expect them to be comforting, supportive and very understanding through your period of hurt. Not your ex’s. Selfish I know, but it’s an emotional mechanism that places you as the only one in the situation to be comforted.
But, as I mentioned, not all breakups are the same. There are different situations to analyze, and some of them help tell where the friends who get caught in the cross fire, will fall, or not. So not only are you figuring out who gets the house, car, the kids, and how much alimony a month. You’re also trying to figure out who gets the friends.
Here are some typical breakups and how friends get reassigned.
You have the “boy-go-from-here-and-don’t-come-back” breakup. This is the break up where you just want him out of your life, so bad that you don’t even want his friends. He and the whole crew need a revamp, that they serve you no purpose. They’re free to go without reservations.
Then there’s the “we-only-done-for-now-but-we-making-back” breakup. This is the breakup where you’re not really sure if it’s fully over. So you continue to lime around his friends because it keeps you close to your pending ex. Maybe just so you could maco the scenes to see if he with somebody else. So these friends you keep close. They come in handy when the moment is right to rekindle the love.
Then you have the beast of all breakups. The “take-him-for-everything-he-owns-even-the-dog” breakup. This breakup is where he hurts you so bad that you want to stomp him to the ground, file divorce and take him for everything he owns, even the hairs on his head. Maybe he cheated with your best friend, or he boldly announced in bed one night that he’s well “an undercover brother”, “coming out of the closet”, or what’s the popular slogan? – “He’s just not that into you”. Whatever it is, he’s hurt you so bad, that you expect friends to take your side and stay on your side, leaving him friendless.
Take a look at the less-than-often “we-can-be-friends” breakup. This is the breakup where it was a mutual decision between the two parties, simply because they both know it’s at the wrong time in each other’s lives. So friends don’t have to choose. Limes still go down on the usual nights, and everybody still have a good ol’ time. (This is a very rare occasion, please do not attempt without careful consideration.)
And one other scenario, but definitely not the last, the “its-over-and-the-friends-dump-you-too” breakup. This is the breakup where friends leave through the same doors as the ex, and at the same time. It’s one of the tougher situations to deal with. You’re left feeling confused and unclear as to why you’re left alone to deal with the breakup.
Just as much as the friends play an important role when the relationship is going well, they play another role when the relationship ends. But again, not every breakup situation is the same. So, sometimes friends who are very close knit to both the ‘dumper’ and the ‘dumped’ feel trapped in within expectations. They become nervous about being caught in the middle. So nervous that they tend to disappear and avoid the drama. Leaving the dumper feeling exalted, and the ‘dumped’ individual feeling neglected and unwanted. It’s a tricky situation to be in.
With all the commotion going on about who’s right and who’s wrong in a breakup, the friends now have to find a way to shuffle liming habits. They have to pencil in extra time to spend with each mutual friend. If the break up isn’t a “we-only-done-for-now” breakup, then liming can become very expensive and tiring for the friends. They now have to lime twice as hard, and spend more money in the long run.
On most occasions, breakups come without warnings. There’s no flashing sign in neon lights signalling the end. So friends hardly have a heads up as to how to react. They don’t get a chance to prepare for what the splitting couple expects of them. And once the breakup is official, friends too have to pick sides, or figure out if they can handle a tug-of-war. You’d mostly find that the women tend to stay friends with the women, and the men will stay friends with the men. I guess it’s a natural tendency to draw to the same sex because it’s easier to listen, understand and comfort.
Inheriting friends at the end of a relationship depends on the emotional phase that you take on. And aside from the emotional rollercoaster that you’re on, keeping the friends also depends on the friends themselves. The friends you keep are the ones whose sincerity and commitment are strong enough to withstand the changes that you’re going through. Experiencing a breakup comes with a lot of emotional changes. It most times involve letting go of everything and everyone associated with the relationship. Often, it’s the only way you can really heal. Having things and people around to remind you of the relationship creates setbacks. So trying to figure out who gets the friends is a tough call. It depends on the situation, and how it all ends. You may or may not want the friends to be a part of your healing process. But I guess that’s where the test of true friendship comes in.
What do you think? Ever expected friends to side with you, or had to side with a friend in a breakup? Add yuh two cents.
Look out for a new issue of Outlish.com every Monday!
Stalk us on Facebook @facebook.com/outlishmagazine