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January 13, 2011

Friends don’t let friends make breakups worse

Filed under: Celebrities — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:14 am

You know how when you break up with someone and then you tell your friends and they make the shocked Macaulay Culkin Home Alone face? Apparently, that’s pretty much what’s happening to Mila Kunis right now. As a “close chum” of hers told E!, “We all found out [she and Mac broke up] and were like, what?” Over at Jezebel, Anna North reacts to that reaction. “It’s nice that Mila’s doing well, and that her pal acknowledges that fact, but when a breakup leaves all your friends So Surprised, it’s even worse than the usual variety,” she argues. Why? To summarize:

1. It was, in fact, probably sudden. And if that gives your friends “emotional whiplash,” what about the actual exes?

2. “When you just broke up with someone, you don’t want to hear how great you were together.”

3. “You feel a sense of unease with the universe.” “…[W]hen your friends are “like, what?!,” as it were, you’re brought face to face with the terrifying unpredictability of life.”

So yes, as North suggests, if a friend’s breakup blows your mind, process with a different friend, mmmkay? To the breakup friend, show compassion, not surprise. Let her or him tell you how they feel, not the other way around. Let’s remember the immortal words of Bridget Jones’s friend Magda, who said, “People’s relationships are quite mysterious. No one from the outside ever really understands what makes them work.” Or not work. But we do know what makes friendships work.

For more on our reactions to friends’ breakups, click here.

3 Comments »

  1. TOTES agree except the idea that saying you two were so good together is bad. It’s all in context of course, but in my worst breakup context, people suggesting we weren’t good together left me wondering WTF was wrong with me that I missed it, and could I ever actually be successful in a relationship if I was such a nincompoop.

    Comment by Lisa — January 13, 2011 @ 11:37 am

  2. Hear, hear. I’ve recently split with a husband of 11 years, and the reactions of some friends have been astounding, especially the friend who emailed me saying “I thought we had found the ‘dream couple’ of friends and now I’m disappointed!” Uh, you think YOU are disappointed?

    Comment by Louisa — January 13, 2011 @ 11:38 am

  3. Oh, Louisa! Let me take my own advice and say I”m so sorry to hear that! To hear ALL of that! :(

    Comment by BG — January 13, 2011 @ 11:39 am

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