When you have a close-knit friend group, made up solely of couples; what happens if one of them breaks up?
Who gets the group in the divorce?
As we all know, friend groups almost always go through a break up; and while on the surface, a couple breaking up has absolutely nothing to do with you, when you really start to think about it, sometimes it does.
When you're friends with both parties, who stays and who goes?
We'd like to believe that in the land of 20-somethings, we're all mature enough to handle a break -- our own or otherwise and that we'd never ask our friends to pick a side; but, who are we really fooling?
Think about it for a moment, have you ever called your best friend crying in the middle of the night after a break-up and made her unfollow your ex out of solidarity? I'll wait...
The sad truth is, sometimes we're just not that mature and that's okay -- break-ups are hard; but, what happens when your close-knit group of perfectly curated couple friends is shattered? How do you pick a side?
At a glance its simple -- just hang out with them separately and viola problem solved! But what happens on your birthday, or Friends-mas, and lest we forget the quintessential group hang. These are the idiosyncrasies we often forget to factor in. Sure -- we’re all friends; but unless the couple is super mature and amicable -- which we already established they're not -- who gets an invite?
When dealing with a friendivorce, I think there are three possible ways to deal with the break up.
Depending on the dynamics of your friend group, you realistically could share your time. Sure it'll mean a lot of extra group outings; but, it's entirely possible to split your time evenly. Simply put, alternate invites to events.
Who are we kidding??? As newly initiated members of the workforce, there's only one word to describe most of our wallets...Empty. When you factor in rent (and by rent I mean the bill-sucking swamp monster absorbing 65% of my finances), student loans (the swamp monster's witch of a mother), utilities, groceries, and that daily coffee run we (and by "we" I mean me) just can't live without; double-booking gets VERY expensive. Fiscal standpoint aside, it can also get pretty emotionally, and physically draining trying to appease both sides, especially if the break up was messy.
If you choose this option I would suggest keeping your standard outings the same. DO NOT double them to accommodate. Sure they will see you less because they'll only be able to go to every other outing; but, why are you paying for their relationship status?
#2 - PICK A SIDE
This is the least popular option, but in the event that you don’t want to share, you can actually just pick a side. Picking a side is the trickier option; but it is an effective solution and eliminates the financial and emotional burden of trying to accommodate both parties.
This can get messy in the event that the group is divided with regards to sides, and can potentially end in the dissolution of the group as a whole.
If approached and discussed correctly; it can work. Have a mature group discussion and address the facts of the break-up and come to a mutual conclusion.
To do this you have to consider factors such as:
Who caused the break up?
Who introduced who to the group?
Who do you actually like better?
Who will bring the least amount of drama?
You can still be friends with the losing party outside of the group - they just won’t be invited to group events.
#3 - DO NOTHING
In “do nothing” cases, the overall group just doesn’t get involved period. They leave the separated couple to decide what they think is best for group-hangs. It's by far the easiest option because usually one person takes the L and removes themselves on their own.
In the event that one person does take the L, what happens when you get stuck with the half of the couple you didn’t want?
This literally happened to me.
In my own group of friends, there was a couple. We had met the boyfriend first and embraced his girlfriend with open arms. They were the perfect 5th and 6th; rounding out or double to a triple. Then she cheated...
Initially, they decided to handle things maturely; but eventually the relationship got too messy and he decided to take some time away from her. The only problem was because she always came to group events, he ended up taking time away from us!
In theory, he made things easy because he made the choice for us; BUT, here's where it gets tricky, if we had the choice, we would have chosen him -- unanimously.
In the end, we lost the friend we wanted to keep; and though we still see him on occasion, the dynamics of our group was never quite the same.
In cases such as these, the best thing to do is speak up about your feelings. If you don’t want a particular person out of the group, it's best to say so up front. Yea its harsh, but it saves a LOT of hurt feelings in the end. Just be mindful that you should always be respectful in what you say because they could get back together in a week.
Have you dealt with a "friendivorce" before? What do you think is the best way to deal with it?