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October 1, 2020

Should I Break Up With My Friend?

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Signs the Friendship is Over

Friendships are as varied and complex as intimate relationships and they require investment, commitment and care to thrive. Jess joined Jeff & Carolyn on Global TV’s The Morning Show to answer viewer questions about how to deal with strained friendships. Check out the video and notes below.

My friend is not being cautious enough during the pandemic, she is not abiding by the rules. The virus is dividing us, is it time to break off this friendship?

I think it’s worth speaking up and setting your own boundaries. You don’t have to end the friendship. You might just want to change the ways in which you interact for now. For example, maybe you only see her online. If, however, you feel your values are entirely misaligned and this situation has brought your differences to light, you may want to step back from the friendship.

I don’t get along with my best friend’s partner and they’ve just got engaged. I’m worried because I don’t think they’re a good match for each other. What do I do? Do I speak up? 

Of course you want to get along with those who are loved by the ones you love — including your best friend. I would encourage you to keep focusing on your relationship with your friend and potentially with their partner rather than focusing on their relationship. If they’re recently engaged, chances are, they really like each other and that’s what really matters.

It’s not that your opinion doesn’t matter, of course. In fact, some research suggests that the relationship between your friends and your partner can affect the outcome of your intimate relationship, but I don’t think you want to be a negative determining factor.

I’d ask you to consider why you don’t think they’re a good fit and start with your own feelings first. Do you feel jealous of or threatened by their relationship? Do you feel their relationship is adversely affecting your friendship? Are you projecting your own needs onto your best friend? Do you value and respect your best friend and believe that they know how to make decisions that are best for them? Or do you really think that you know better. And also think about what you like about their partner? They must have some redeeming qualities.

I get that it’s tough when you don’t get along with a friend’s partner, so look for ways to keep investing in the connection with your friend and if you really are worried about their relationship, continue to be a source of support. They will have ups and downs regardless of whether they’re a good  “match” or not and your friendship will likely be stronger if you offer support rather than swooping in with an I told you so.

If you’re looking to make new friends as an adult, check out a few strategies here.

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