Should you remain friends with your friend’s ex on social media?

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Your friend breaks up with his or her significant other. Do you stay connected with the ex on social media? 

Being caught in the middle of someone else’s breakup can be extremely tricky, and the transparency of social media often can make the situation even harder to navigate. 

You could remain friends on social media as a “silent” connection because, after all, you may gain valuable intelligence for your friend on the ex’s actions (if your friend is interested), but ensure you are being a very good IRL (in real life) friend to your friend. 

Alternatively, you can quietly cut online ties, but it is best done without any grand gesture or act of aggression. Remember, this breakup is not your battlefield, so it is best to focus your efforts on helping and supporting your friend, rather than scoring online points on his or her behalf. 

— Jo Bryant is a British etiquette expert and the editor of more than 15 books on etiquette and modern manners. 

In most adult, mature relationships, it may be possible to stay friends with both without jeopardising either friendship. However, it may depend on a number of factors, such as how close you are to your friend, the reason for the breakup, who initiated the breakup, how often and under what circumstances you might get together, etc. 

What you may want to make clear for both is that you will not divulge any of the conversations that you have with the other party or serve as a messenger between them. This firm rule may help maximise the likelihood of not damaging either friendship. 

The best course of action is honesty. You may want to approach your friend and explain your dilemma and your wishes to stay in touch with the ex if you have become friends with him or her as well.  

— Angela Londono-McConnell is a licensed psychologist in Athens, Georgia, president of AK Counseling & Consulting Inc and specialises in parenting, relationships, college mental health and mind/body health. — Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service

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