Should You Stay Friends With Your Ex's Friends? Here's Why That's Confusing AF

Ad failed to load

When you're in a relationship, your partner's friends become your friends, too. If you break up with your partner, whether or not you stay friends with your ex's friends is really not a given. Keeping in contact with your ex's friends makes it more likely that you will continue to share the same social circles. And that might provide you with more obstacles in the path of your healing than anyone really needs.

You lose people when you are on the way to becoming the person you are supposed to be. That means that you lose lovers and you lose friends as well. Sometimes, you lose both at once. I've had to change friend groups with so many breakups that, eventually, I had to move away from the city where I had lived for nine years. It sounds dramatic, but it got to the point where I felt like I couldn't step out my door without running into someone I had a tumultuous past with. If you have to distance yourself from your ex's friends, it's because you are protecting yourself. There's no shame in that.

Here are some other reasons why staying friends with your ex's friends might not really work out well:

Ad failed to load

1. You Need To Focus On Yourself

When you go through a breakup, it's important to distance yourself as far from your ex as you can for about a month. According to relationship expert Jennifer B. Rhodes, that means that you will lose a group of friends. "Spend time with people who can support you and not your ex," she suggests. She says that spending time with your ex's friends won't help you heal and won't be a good look if you decide to get back with your ex at a later date.

Ad failed to load

There are plenty of other things you can do post-breakup to grow and find peace within yourself that don't involve your ex or their social group. "Go do some self-care, travel, start dancing, enroll for a class — do anything other than spending time with those friends," says Rhodes. When you better yourself, you'll not only feel more secure on your own, but you'll be seen as more desirable to those who want to spend time with you.

2. Reminders Of Your Ex Will Drag You Back

Ad failed to load

Your mutual friends are inevitably going to bring up your ex's name in conversation, and in the early days of a breakup, that will likely send you spinning into nostalgia. This, in turn, will make it harder for you to get over your ex, says Fran Greene, LCSW, author of Dating Again With Courage And Confidence. "Your cravings and obsessions with your ex will lessen if you are not surrounded by the memories of the 'good times' you had with your ex's network of friends," Greene says. She adds that staying friends with your ex's friends also raises the chances that you will run into them again, perhaps with a new love interest. You don't need your fresh breakup wounds to be opened again so soon.

According to Greene, there is one exception to the rule: If a friend of your ex has always been a big fan of you, she says it's OK to reach out to them for moral support. "If you do that," she cautions, "make sure you don't fish around for juicy info or a way to get back at your ex." A clean break is the only way to heal from the pain.

3. Meeting New People Helps You Get Over Your Breakup

Ad failed to load

"Breakups are opportunities to force yourself to meet new people and make new friends," says Rhodes. Think about it this way: If relationships are containers, then when you broke up, the container you were occupying shattered. Why would you rely on the same leaky vessel to carry you? Rebuilding takes work, but once you've established a new circle of friends, you will probably find yourself in a better place than you were before.

When you have your own friends, you can reconnect with the individual that you are and reclaim your sense of self. New friends will help you gain access to a whole range of new experiences that will broaden your horizons and help you move on from the past. You can still appreciate the friendships you had when you and your ex were together, but don't stay wallowing in the mud when you could leap into the fresh water of a whole new start.

Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Ad failed to load

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

3 Important Red Flags To Watch Out For When You're Dating Someone Older Than You

My first serious relationship was with someone almost ten years my senior. We got together during my first semester of college (after meeting through mutual friends) and I'd be lying if I said our breakup didn't have anything to do with our significa…
By Sydnee Lyons

These "Millennial Cruises" Will Make Your Next Friend Group Vacation So Lit

If you're a millennial right now, consider yourself lucky. If you're a millennial with the travel bug, consider yourself luckier. I know, you might be thinking, "But... money!" Trust me, I get it. Plane tickets and hotels can get expensive as you cou…
By Amanda Fama

5 Trends From The '90s Are Making A Serious Comeback, So Somebody Page Cher Horowitz

I was born in the '90s and my childhood was one Caboodles train case packed with scrunchies and butterfly clips after another. If you could believe it, early '90s fashion is already considered vintage (I officially feel old AF) and according to sprin…
By Stephanie Montes

5 Social Things You Can Do To Feel Less Lonely If You’re Single

Being single and being lonely don’t have to go hand-in-hand. Just because you don’t have a significant other, doesn’t mean you aren’t surrounded by wonderful people who love and care about you. But once in a while (especially if you’ve been single fo…
By Veronica Lopez

6 Subtle Red Flags That Could Mean You’re Sleeping Way Too Much

Have you ever woken up after an unusually long night of sleep and felt, well, kind of awful? Whether you roll out of bed feeling super dehydrated, nursing a throbbing a headache, or you simply feel stiff as a board, there are reasons why your body mi…
By Annakeara Stinson

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas