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My friends hang out with my ex

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  April 10, 2012 08:38 AM

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Q: Hello,

I am not sure which category this falls under. My boyfriend of two years and I broke up a little over a month ago. We lived together and I fully expected to share the rest of my life with him. He pulled that rug out from under me when he told me that he wasn't ready and that he didn't want to bother trying to deal with the issues we had. Needless to say, I was devastated.

I moved out, found my own place, and am trying really hard to move on. Besides dealing with the fact that he was never really clear with me about why he gave up, it seems he has also inherited our friends. They hang out with him and go drinking with him and I never hear from them. All women by the way, who I had been close with for years before he ever came to town and met them. They pretend to care about me, but they are hanging out with him all of the time. I do not know what I did to push them away but the fact is I really need my friends right now. A few of my good friends have been really great to me during my heartache but it is hard for me to ignore the ones who haven't. Maybe he is just a ton more fun than me but I have to admit it really hurts to see them spending so much time with him -- considering I was there for each of them through every heartache and up and down they had. I guess I was just hoping for some reciprocity.

How do I deal with my disappointing friends? Also, how do I move on and make new single ones? It doesn't seem fair that he gets everything.

I am heartbroken and devastated to say the least and I am just looking for the best ways to move on.

– Newly Lonely, Boston


A: I'm so sorry, NL. Your friends should know better -- and your ex should be going out of his way to separate himself from your old life as much as possible.

These friends have been pretty useless, but you might as well try and tell them what you need. Some people require instructions even when they shouldn't. Call them and be clear about what you want. As in, "I'm feeling so shaky right now. Can you come over to the new apartment and distract me? I don't want to hear about the ex. I just want to be surrounded by people who care for me and can make me feel hopeful about what comes next." They'll either rise to the occasion quickly (maybe with apologies and explanations), or you'll know that they've chosen to minimize your friendship.

I could tell you a bunch of ways to meet new friends while you're coping with this, but I'm not going to do that right now. This breakup happened a month ago. Four weeks. You're still in shock and shattered. This is not the time to saddle yourself with a life-changing to-do list.

All I want you to do right now is to stay close to those few loyal friends and to make some fun plans for yourself for the next few weeks. Book a trip to visit someone who lives out of town. Buy two tickets for a concert you want to see later this summer and start thinking about who might want to join you. (Huey Lewis is coming in August, I hear.)

At a month, it's all too new to define. Your only responsibility should be telling people what you need from them and coming up with new ways to make yourself smile. This will all look different in another month. You'll have a better perspective, and hopefully, so will your friends.

Readers? Should she even approach her friends about this or should she just let them go? And what should she be doing with herself after a month? Help.


– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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