Almost Bride Sandy explains the difficult dynamics: Personally, I think it's really hard to stay friends with friends of your ex, unless you're staying friends with your ex.After my breakup, I cut all contact with my ex and therefore had to cut contact with all of his friends. His friends would e-mail me and I'd have to say, "I'm sorry, but I don't really think we can be friends, because of 'ex.'" One of my closest friends chose to remain friends with my ex, and because of his violence and so on, I had to cut her out of my life. It was a horrible experience and I felt completely let down and lonely through that. We've since become friends again, but I'll never completely trust her as I used to. It's very sad and hard for us both. We've discussed it and she now realizes how hard it was on me, but the damage has been done, unfortunately. A few months after the breakup, I was working at an exhibition when I saw one of my ex's closest friends. He came straight over to me and started chatting. Although I had moved on with my life, it was very hard for me to not wonder what my ex was up to-and that is damaging behavior, in my opinion. I told him very little about my life, we exchanged pleasantries, and that was about it. My friends have run into my ex in the city. They've smiled at him; he nods to them and walks off. I think he's trying to behave around them and not ask questions about me. Other Almost Brides agreed that it is hard to run into their ex's friends and be reminded of their ex. If your ex has really solid friends and you'd sincerely like them to be your friends also (no poaching!) and you don't have ulterior motives (no hanging out with them so word will get back to him about how great you are doing — this isn't seventh grade), give it some serious time. Drop them an e-mail six months from now and hope for the best. And realize that you run the risk of hearing how great he's doing then.
The above is excerpted from There Goes the Bride: Making Up Your Mind, Calling it Off and Moving On, by Rachel Safier and Wendy Roberts. Published by Wiley & Sons 2002.