What To Do When Your Friends Break Up

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How did Joey, Chandler, Monica, and Phoebe deal with the Ross-and-Rachel situation all those years? For those of us outside of sitcom-land, it’s hard enough to see our friends break up once, let alone once a season.

We’ve all had that Friend Couple: They’d never arrive at group hangouts separately, and they used “we” more than “I.” You inevitably came to know them as a single unit, which is why you were probably so busy playing Auntie/Uncle to their imaginary-future children that you didn’t even consider the possibility of their breakup — until it happened. Now, what’s a torn friend to do?

Related: 10 Ways to Get Through a Breakup

You might get the sense that you’re supposed to pick sides, especially if one half of the now-defunct couple feels closer to you than the other. But, even if you’re better buddies with one of them, you don’t have to make such an awkward choice — as long as you stay honest and open with them both. Hanging out with Ross shouldn’t feel like you’re cheating on Rachel; tell them you value their friendships and plan to spend (separate) time with both of them.

Related: Should You Be Friends with Your Ex?

You might need to remind formerly coupled folks that you respect their decision to end their relationship. Remember, respect goes both ways, and they need to respect your decision to stay friends with both of them — even if they have a hard time accepting that. Make it clear that you want to be there to support them; with luck, you’ll be back to your sitcom-esque, (but IRL) friend group soon enough.

Click through for more useful tips on how to be the best Phoebe you can be. Shape.

Related: How to Heal a Broken Friendship