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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do


Breaking Up Is Hard To Do


Sarah Jessica Parker’s character meeting the family in “The Family Stone”.


dear miss a,

i broke up with a boyfriend not so long ago. we dated for almost a year, and i became really close to his family. the break-up was friendly (though i’m devastated) and the family has reached out that they still care about me and want to continue a friendship with me. i genuinely like them and care about them and this isn’t just about holding onto them to stay closer to him. but i’m not sure if it’s wise. 

it’s hard enough ending a relationship because you lose your best friend, companion, the person you are when you’re with him, etc (like you said in your post the other day about the five things you lose — that was really good. i’ve never thought about it like that). it’s even harder when you lose shared friends that were his friends first but became your friends along the way. is it better to go cold turkey and say goodbye to everything in your life related to the person? does ending a relationship have to mean ending secondary friendships too?


breaking up is hard to do

Dear breaking up is hard to do,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, or difficult news, but yes, I think it’s best to give up everything related to the time you spent with this person. That means you need to let go of his friends and his family. Just as he needs to let go of your friends and family. Enjoying the company of his friends and family is a bonus of having this guy in your life. If you choose to rid yourself of him, you need to realize that also means giving up the good things you enjoyed with him – including his friends and family.

As much as his friends and family liked you, their priority is to see him happy. It will be hard for them to welcome a new woman into their circle if you are still lingering around. Don’t make things awkward for them. It’s not that they didn’t like you, or didn’t enjoy your company, but things have changed, and their loyalties lie with him.

As much as you would like to believe that you aren’t trying to hold “onto them to stay closer to him”, I think deep down that’s probably what’s going on. The family and friends may also be hanging on to you in hopes that this guy wakes up and sees that he made a mistake. But no matter how much they meddle, he has made a decision not to have you in his life.

I know this will be hard for you, and sounds like it will be hard for his family, but it’s the right thing to do. It will help you move on faster. It will be much harder for you to realize that it’s over if you’re still hanging out with his sister or his mother. It’s not fair to you. You need to be able to get some closure. Also, having these people in your life will be awkward once you start dating again….and you will!

Good luck! And let me know how things go.

– Miss A


In 2008, I launched AskMissA.com which grew from my personal blog into a site with 700 writers, covering the intersection of charity & lifestyle in 20 U.S. cities. With Charity + Life, I am going back to a personal blog where I can share my favorite things, and continue to shine a light on nonprofits, and cause marketing campaigns to inspire others to give as they live.

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