What to talk about - Do's and Don'ts meeting up with the ex's dumper friend?
August 26, 2009 8:50 AM   Subscribe

What to talk about - do's and don'ts on a meeting up with a good friend of the person who broke my heart quite badly a few months ago?

I am meeting up tonight with a good girl-friend of the man who broke my heart quite badly and "used" me for some time.

I don't want to create a bad impression , appearing/ talking too happy, or too hurt, or too indiferent etc, about my ex / (her friend )when I meet up with her as she is a good person and I like to keep / start a nice friendship as we were about to just before my broken up with her friend.

I need to emphasise that I am not interested in getting back with the dumper at all, just want to keep my ex's friend friendship.

I feel hurt still about the person who hurt me but I am moving on with my life quite well lately, and as it has been a few months since the broken up I am not as emotional any more. This may allow me to talk about different things , but whn the question arises about my ex situation/ broken up what it would be the best way to approach/ answer the question?

I know I should act natural, but I'd like to have some more ideas, Thank you.

posted by anonymous to Human Relations (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You have the right idea -- act natural! The conversation may naturally steer clear of the ex situation, since she probably finds it awkward, too. I don't think you should bring it up if she avoids it! Don't feel like you have to ask about the ex -- it's perfectly fine to just avoid the topic.

If she does bring it up, I think staying relatively casual and non-committal is the right way to go. Just say, "Yeah, that was kind of a tough time for me; I'm doing much better now." or something along those lines. You could also say something like, "It turned out we weren't right for each other, and I guess it's better to discover that sooner rather than later." if you feel like you have to acknowledge how/why it ended.

Good luck!
posted by cider at 8:53 AM on August 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

I would recommend rehearsing. If you can predict what kinds of questions she might ask you either about the past relationship or any present relationships, or prospects for same, then you can prepare a cheerful but circumscribed response.

If you don't rehearse, you may find yourself trying to respond to such a question spontaneously, from the heart, and you may stumble into more emotional territory than you want. Rather than 'acting natural,' I think you will do well to have a prepared line to go into this with, as in: "Oh, Joe? Well, It was a rough experience, but I learned a lot from the whole thing and am very glad it's over. Now that X months have passed I've really moved on. Did I tell you about the [new project I'm doing/guy I just met/trip I'm taking?]"

And really do move on. If you have a genuine friendship with this other person, make it about the two of you. Leave the ex out. Otherwise you may end up with one of those odd, post-mortem faux friendships where all you do is sort of rehash the end together. And don't worry about appearing "too happy." Friends want you to be happy!

And one last note - It will be great if you can keep a friend of an ex who is genuinely your friend as well. And I know sometimes it can happen. But do take care of yourself first. If you find you can't be around the mutual friends of you and your X without falling into discussion about the relationship or the ex, then it might be a continued source of pain for you. If that's ever the case, there's no need to keep exposing yourself to it. I've been through something similar, and I found that in one case I needed to just drop the friendship because of the tension, and in another I needed to tell the friend how deeply this relationship had hurt me and that I needed not to discuss the other person any more at all.
posted by Miko at 9:00 AM on August 26, 2009

Don't talk about him, especially the first time you go out with this person, because the last thing you want is the ghost of this person steering your ongoing friendships, right?

In fact, "Can we have a rule to just not talk about him at all?" could be really useful.

You can always lift that rule someday later.
posted by rokusan at 9:02 AM on August 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

If she asks you what happened, you say, "You know, that's kind of personal." She doesn't have some right to know just because she's friends with the guy. If she brings him up a lot, tell her you're still a little raw from the breakup and you'd rather not talk about him right now.

Talk about whatever you'd talk about with any other person you met - work, hobbies, family, the news.
posted by desjardins at 9:03 AM on August 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

If it comes up, give her some brief "Oh it was rough, but I'm okay now" statement as suggested above.

If she wants more dirty details, tell her, "I know you two are close, so I don't want to complain to you about him-- I have other friends, who don't know him, who I can turn to for this sort of stuff without hurting anyone's feelings." Then change the subject.
posted by oinopaponton at 9:09 AM on August 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding oinopaponton above about saying that "I don't want to complain about him to you". A mutual friend introduced me to an ex, and I tried to steer clear of talking about the fallout of our breakup with that friend because "I don't want you to feel caught in the middle". Which is another good thing to say.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:30 AM on August 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

If/when the conversaion comes up, turn it 100% into a conversation about YOU rather than a conversation about him. Be honest, but upbeat. In other words...

"So, what happened with you two? Why didn't it work out?"

Only talk about yourself. Never even mention the ex. You could say something like: "Let's just say some things just aren't meant to be, and I'm ok with that. I've moved on now and am happy. That's what matters, right?

If your friend insists on talking about your ex, you can nicely but firmly let her know you don't want to. Again, talk about yourself, not your ex. Say something like: "I really don't want to talk about him, to be honest. The breakup was hard, but I've moved on and I'm really happy. The trick to getting over the past is not to dwell on it, so I don't. I'm more interested in where my life is going than where it's been."

By never talking about your ex, you avoid accidentally badmouthing the ex or making your friend feel awkward as some sort of go-between.

Best of luck!
posted by 2oh1 at 4:36 PM on August 26, 2009

There is absolutely nothing weird about saying "Ugh, I don't want to talk about it". It doesn't imply that you're still in love or anything - it just implies a sort of air of exhaustion about the whole topic. People respect that, and if she doesn't, then she wouldn't make a good friend anyhow.
posted by moxiedoll at 7:42 PM on August 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

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