Irene S. Levine, Ph.D.

Irene S Levine Ph.D.

The Friendship Doctor

When Friends Take Sides After a Breakup

Sometimes breaking up can mean losing friends in the process.

Posted Apr 14, 2015


Hi Irene,

My ex dumped me and insulted me by text after dating a year. I had become good friends with his friends and we used to double date. They cut me off and never talked to me again.

That hurt so much more. I really thought these people were my friends. I’m not even the one who lied and cheated.

Signed, Shira


Hi Shira,

After a breakup—whether it’s one between friends or lovers—it’s not unusual for friends of the twosome to take sides. Sometimes these decisions are based on the length of their relationship with one person or the other; or they may simply feel closer to one person for other reasons.

It sounds like these people were initially friends of your ex and felt some loyalty to him after the breakup. Although it’s disappointing, given how badly your ex handled the breakup, it’s probably a blessing that you’ll be able to make a clean break from both him and his friends.

Even if your ex leaned on these people to cut off contact with you, they ultimately made their own decisions. At this point, your only option is to move on. Try to learn from this experience, so your next boyfriend is someone who treats you with more respect.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene

Previously on The Friendship Blog: