When Breaking Up, Should You Cut Off Family and Friends?

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 04/29/2014 | 11:30 AM EDT

When calling it quits, breaking up with your ex’s loved ones can be just as difficult

We all know break ups can be painful and messy. It seems the deeper you are into the relationship, the harder it is to untangle yourself from not just your ex and the life you built together, but also his or her family and friends.

Naturally, when you fall in love you also fall in love with the people in your partner’s life. Their family becomes your family, and their friends become your friends. Rule 79 of Centric’s “According To Him + Her” says, “if ‘we’ break up, ‘we all’ break up,” and it could not be more true.

As difficult as it may be, severing ties with your ex’s parents, siblings and the like is the best policy. No one wants to endure the uncomfortable scenario of being invited out by their family or friends, only to awkwardly run into their ex who, too, is uncomfortable at the sight of seeing someone they’re close to chumming it up with their ex. It’s not cool in the least.

Not to mention, sometimes family and friends don’t know where to draw the in the sand. Some often cross boundaries like sharing your dating business with your ex or even trying their best to get you two back together. While the bond you developed as a result of the relationship may be a good one, it doesn’t give them the authority to have a say in your life post-relationship. In breakups, it’s crucial that loved ones are returned to their proper owner, just as you would with any belongings in the home (if you happened to cohabitate).

Another reason why ties with your ex’s friends and family should be terminated is because it makes for a pretty messy situation for you or your ex’s future beaus. No one wants to walk into a new dating realm with their partner’s ex and mother still communicating on a daily basis and sending each other Christmas cards as if they’re still “family.” It’s totally inappropriate. If staying in contact with one’s ex is so important then maybe one should think about whether or not they should’ve broke up with their ex in the first place.

It’s certainly not an easy thing to do, but for the sake (and respect) of everyone feeling comfortable, the wise thing to do is to break up with everyone, and not just your ex. Besides, if you’re fortunate enough to fall in love again, you’ll develop new friendships and be a part of a new family. So do yourself and your ex a favor by letting go and moving on. It’s better off that way.

(Photo: GettyImages)

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