Everybody will try to tell you that the hardest part of a break-up is the crushing devastation you experience when you lose the person to whom you’ve given your heart, and your heart along with it.
Everyone is wrong. Obviously, the real tragedy you’ll encounter is losing his friends, who turn out to be much cooler than he is. Because as delightful as you may be, they’re his friends, and thus their loyalties lie ultimately with him.
My ex-boyfriend had such a devoted entourage that he sent forth one of his minions on a quest to collect a camping chair he’d left at my house following our break-up. Never mind that his minion neglected to bring as collateral the items I’d left at his place, including a pristine stainless steel wine bottle stopper, the loss of which has devastated my attempts to split the consumption of a Ninkasi 22oz Believer ale into two evenings of indulgence. As I
hurled the camping chair at the minion’s head gently handed over the camping chair to my ex’s loyal friend, we exchanged expletives pleasantries regarding the recent disintegration of my relationship.
Minion: I heard from a friend of your ex’s first cousin’s neighbor’s sister that you’ve been in contact with [name to be withheld for confidentiality]. You realize that [name to be withheld for confidentiality] was friends with [ex whose name not worth mentioning] first and thus he retains sole custody of friendship in the event of your break-up, which occurred yesterday at 2:00am PST at your place of residence.
Me: It’s true that I have been in contact with [name to be withheld for confidentiality] but I assure you I obtained prior permission for said contact from [ex whose name I’ve forgotten]. And while it’s true that [ex] and I may have briefly exchanged the requisite post-traumatic 24-hour period of grossly virulent emails, we are now on sufficiently amicable terms to allow continued contact with mutual friends.
Minion: I was unaware of cordial relations and remain skeptical that a treaty has been reached so soon after battle. I will consult [ex] and if it is determined that you speak the truth, I will begrudgingly allow continued contact with mutual friends. It will be noted in the post-breakup paperwork that these friendships belonged first to [ex] and thus [ex] may revoke your cavorting privileges with said friends at any time. Now kindly remove this camping chair from my head so I may take my leave.
And so it came to pass that at the culmination of our failed relationship, I was given the green light to maintain friendships with his friends, for which I was truly appreciative.
It is not always the case, however, that an ex will so generously invite you to remain included in his circle of friends. Moreover, there are those cases in which remaining within the circle of friends creates a false sense of hope, for one or both parties, of impending reconciliation. There is generally a legitimate reason for a break-up, a reason which can become easily clouded if 48 hours later you’re immersed in the same circle with the same ex, possessing the same feelings you held just 48 hours earlier.
So don’t immediately plunge into the same circle, no matter how comfortable and familiar it may feel. This advice is easiest to swallow if you’ve maintained your other friendships. Letting his friends become your primary friend group is like betting your life savings on a hand of poker before seeing your cards. You’re going to need that twenty dollars someday, and you’re going to need the friends to whom you can freely and privately
bash your ex share your sad feelings about your recently imploded relationship.
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