Breaking up already sucks enough as it is, without adding in the drama of any other connections you might’ve made through your ex that may now feel different. In the time you dated, you probably became close with their mom, or had a few great conversations with their dad, but can you still be friends with your ex’s siblings? If you’re close in age or really forged a solid friendship, saying goodbye to an ex’s sibling (or siblings) might not be as easy as un-Facebook friending their great aunt.
The good news is, a lot of that decision is up to you and dependent upon each unique situation. "It depends on how you met," Breakup BOOST podcast host, Trina Leckie, tells Elite Daily. "If you came into the relationship and became friends with your partner’s friends (or vice versa), then yes, [the relationship] definitely can change [post-breakup]."
Again, every situation is different, but Leckie says it’s important to keep the feelings of everyone involved in mind. There are several ways to have a productive conversation with an ex’s sibling if you feel like you might need some space. Try to avoid cutting them off abruptly or unfollowing them on social media, especially because they’re not the person you dated. However, it’s important to remember that you are your own priority, and if you need space or time to heal, then staying friends with an ex’s siblings might make that complicated. "Circumstances that could change this would be if the breakup happened and there were no hard feelings or hurt feelings in play… but again, this is rare," she says.
Ultimately Leckie says that ending a friendship with an ex’s sibling is just one of "the consequences of a breakup. This is why it’s so important to have your own separate social circle as well. So then you aren’t left feeling lonely and as though you don’t have anyone."
If you and your ex ended things amicably, and you think you can handle staying friends with their siblings, it’s always worth trying. Just keep in mind that it may be hard to disconnect from your ex if you’re trying to get over them. "You don’t need to be kept in the loop as to what your ex is doing, who they start dating etc." If you’re trying to get over someone, hearing about who they’re currently dating or what they’re up to can’t possibly help move that process along. By remaining friends with their siblings, you may be running that risk.
Even if it was a fairly easy and respectable breakup, "it’s still best to move on in the long run," Leckie says. Also consider whether or not your ex’s siblings still want to be friends with you. It might be a tough pill to swallow, but if you were the one who ended the relationship, then they’re the ones who might want some space. Just like if the situation was reversed, that is something you will probably need to respect.
Moving on isn’t always easy, and speed-bumps like these are part of what makes it so hard. Try to remember that this pain does fade with time, so be patient with yourself. You’re doing the best you can.
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