The Worst Breakups Sometimes Create The Best Friends

If you have great friends, you can get through life’s hardest moments relatively unscathed. This is definitely true when it comes to bad breakups. Ending a toxic relationship will show you who your real ride or die BFFs are and what that special bond of friendship really means. Here are just a few things my numerous messy romances have taught me about my platonic relationships:

  1. A true friend will take your side and stick by it during a breakup. I had six or seven exes who literally went on some of the vilest smear campaigns on me that I could have imagined. Sometimes, they even started to talk smack about me while we were dating! Needless to say, a lot of my “friends” distanced themselves once they heard rumors of me being abusive, a cheater, or a crazy-violent psychopath. The ones who stuck by me were the ones who kept me sane(ish) during those breakups. I now know that those are my true friends, not the ones who bailed when I needed them.
  2. A friend who sticks up for your ex is probably not your friend. This rule comes with the assumption that you did nothing wrong to deserve the bad vibes people are giving you. Someone who picks an ex’s side over yours when you’re actually in the right is saying that they don’t care about you enough to do right by you. Most of the time, people who act this way are very self-serving and may have actually been using you throughout the friendship. The people who chose my exes over me now know that they’re free to mingle with my exes — and that I want nothing to do with them.
  3. People who choose your ex over you will often come back when they need something from you. This is a good time to tell them to ask for that favor from your ex. Nothing has ever come good from me doing favors for people who ended up siding with my exes during very ugly breakups. By cutting things off with them, I could seriously save time, money, and feelings for people who are worth it.
  4. Any man who tells you that you have to lose your friends in order to stay with him isn’t worth staying with. Yes, I gave up my friends for a guy once. Surprise — he was abusive. I should have known since abusers often will isolate targets from friends as a way to disenfranchise them. Thankfully, after we broke up, my friends were awesome enough to come back to me and have my back.
  5. If a friend dumps friends for a guy, you should cut her some slack, though. Love makes us do crazy things. It makes us lose our minds, and at times, makes us have bad judgment. So, if you can, cut her some slack. That being said, there’s only so many times you can forgive someone for doing this until you realize that they just want a man rather than friends around her.
  6. Sometimes, the worst breakups create the best friends. My best friend was engaged to my ex-fiance, and I know this because my ex-fiance had introduced her to me right before she popped the question. Much like what happened with me, our now-ex was emotionally abusive to her. We ended up bonding over it, had crazy adventures, and through her circle of friends (myself included), we were able to convince her to dump the evil ex. Though her breakup was bad, she ended up getting great friends because of it, and all is well now.
  7. Any friend who doesn’t tell you your partner cheated or tries to “steal” him is not a friend. This is never acceptable behavior — ever. I had one so-called friend in college who did this with three of my exes and we stopped talking after I found out. At the end of the day, I didn’t lose anything, but she lost a friend and the respect of people who found out. It hurt at first, but I realized I’m better off without her.
  8. The best friends you have are the ones that put up with you when you’re going through a breakup in “psycho mode.” When I have a really bad breakup, I tend to turn into a hot mess. The friends I have still had my back when they saw me drunk to the point of being permanently banned from a bar, were still there for me when I did nothing but say depressing things, and even would bring me food when I refused to leave my room for three months. Those are real friends, and I’m thankful for that.
  9. Sometimes exes really are better off as friends than boyfriends. A good friend of mine is also my ex. He’s a phenomenal friend who can get me into parties, drink with the best of them, and also give me clear, good advice. However, when we were together, it was a match made in the deepest pits of hell. Go figure, right?
  10. Beware the guy friends who go into Vulture Mode after a breakup. I’ve had more than a few guys increase the amount they hang out with me once they heard I was single. Then, the majority of them went into Vulture Mode. They’d try to initiate sex even when it was clear I wasn’t over my ex. Without fail, they’d all get angry, offended, or even completely withdraw friendship once I rejected them. The majority of them would later come around to apologize, but by that time, the damage was done and the friendship was over. How can you trust someone who does that to you? The answer is, you can’t and you shouldn’t let them near you.
  11. If a friend tries to warn you about a boyfriend, listen to them. I once made the terrible mistake of accusing a good friend of lying to me about my boyfriend cheating on me. After I had found proof myself, I realized I owed my friend an apology.
  12. You should forget your friends when you get into a new relationship. I used to be one of those people who would drop friends really quickly when I’d find my next True Love (TM). Soon, they stopped calling me because I was never available. When breakups happened, they eventually stopped being there for me. After all, why would they bother with someone who’d just vanish as soon as another potential spouse came along? I lost a lot of friends that way and that hurt.
  13. Lastly, I learned that friendship circles change during a breakup. Some people I really expected to be there for me weren’t during my last breakup. Others just stepped up to the plate as if it’s nothing out of the ordinary. You can never tell how a breakup will impact your friendship circle unless you go through one, and that’s the truth.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.