Jane and I belonged to the same group of friends since childhood. In this group, we all used to hang out, go camping, all kinds of stuff. Despite all of us eventually growing older and parting ways, most of us stayed friends and would hang out regularly on holidays, still go camping in summer and so on.
Jane and I started dating when I was 16 and she was We dated for 7 years, last 2 years living together. During the time we were living together, we would often hang out with Mike, another friend from the childhood friend group. One year before our break-up, she cheated on me with my then best friend Bob.
Despite me willing to forgive her and move on, she wanted to break up, but we eventually agreed to try again. After a rather ugly year of her doing stupid things just to make me angry and me being afraid to say a word without triggering another episode of threats of her leaving me, she finally broke up with me and moved out. Despite realizing Ex gf is dating my friend it was the inevitable outcome at the time, I was devastated.
I found out through a mutual friend that a few months later, she started dating another of our friends, Mike. Her dating Mike, in fact, did not surprise me that much. What surprised me was that I had to learn about it from a third party, since I would expect and very much prefer Mike to approach me and tell me about it face to face. I realize that what she does is not my business anymore and I have to deal with my feelings.
I am quite introverted I did not make new friends since high school. If I want to keep my very few friends which I doI am bound to come across the couple eventually. I don't have to interact with both Jane and Mike, but I want to.
Chances are that if I wanted to break any contact with them, I would lose all my friends. I would like to keep in touch with these friends and keep hanging out with them regularly.
I want to keep my friends including Mike and basically not address the fact of them dating. That would be awkward for everybody, so I am looking for a solution which would do the least damage to friendships and still keep my face. My issue is that given our history, I have no idea how to interact with them when it comes to it. What would be a mature way to handle it? I'll start out by quoting apaul's very gracious answer:.
It's good to recognize they can do what they want, but your feelings are also valid. If these people are your friends, they should care about you too. Dodging the issue and sweeping it under the rug won't do anything to reduce tension, it will only allow it to fester. Maybe Mike feels just as awkward about it as you do and is planning to remove himself from the friend group so you don't have to see him - you won't know until you talk to him.
Pretending they aren't dating is not a viable solution, so you might as well deal with it. Approach the conversation with a goal in mind. Do you want an apology? Do you want to know XYZ? Do you want him to never talk about XYZ? Do you just want to say your piece? This will help keep you on track if things get difficult.
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Try to stay focused and calm during the conversation - remember that he didn't do this to hurt you - and don't be afraid to take a step back if you need to. If your goal is just "be not awkward around Mike", what would that look like for you?
Try to frame it as unemotionally as possible. Perhaps this means "we won't talk about Jane", "we will acknowledge each other at events and act civilly, but I won't expect him to talk to me one-on-one". Take this to your conversation, too, and discuss ground rules and expectations for your relationship with Mike going forward.