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I fear I can't continue to hang out with my friend group without seeing my ex who makes me feel nauseous whenever I see her. What should I do?

Community Member
My closest friend/now ex-girlfriend and I broke up a few months ago. We had a bad breakup where she suddenly blocked all communication with me which had hurt me terribly. In response, after an apology from me (I realized I had been too pushy) and a few hurtful remarks from her, I tried to do all I could to avoid seeing her. This went rather successfully as I managed to spend 2 months with minimal contact and was finally starting to get over the breakup. During this period I was heavily aided by some of our mutual friends who helped us both get through the event. This all leads to yesterday where my friend group invited me to join them for a Christmas get-together. While I knew my ex was also going to be present, I felt that enough time had passed that I wouldn't be too hurt seeing her, however, during the whole event, I felt terribly nauseous whenever she was around me and eventually vomited when I made it back home. I'd rather not leave my friend group as they have continued to help me through this and I believe they are true friends. However, although I like to think I no longer hold any animosity to my ex, I fear it will be hard to continue staying with the group as long as seeing her continues to make me physically ill. What should I do?

Further context:

To answer some possible questions. It should first be said that I am in no way asking my friend group to pick a side, nor have they chosen to specifically side with either of us. What I am asking is if I should separate from my good friends due to my ex making me feel sick, or if I should continue to stay in the group. Furthermore, the reason this question is so black and white between 2 choices is that for the following year, seeing the friend group will be unavoidable as some of us share classes and we all hang out together during breaks. I know I cannot stay with them without inevitably seeing my ex and feeling sick again as a result. (I'm aware changing my school is an option, hence why I'm asking if I should leave the group or not.) Finally, I am aware of my own fault in this whole situation, I was trying to push her into a more serious and romantic relationship, while she wanted to keep the relationship more casual. As previously noted, I later apologized for it, hoping that we could forget each other's past mistakes and stay friends, which was met with a negative response, leading me to separate myself from her for the following 2 months.
3 Replies 3

On The Road
Community Member

Hey, Guest_6063

just happened to see your post, I'm sorry for what happened to you and this must be very hard for you.

I read your post and i can see the complexity and your struggle. I also had negative physical reactions (nervous and anxious) just because of someone's presence. But it faded away because I successfully distracted myself and somehow naturally moved on (?)

It is hard and it takes time and cost your energy. and it seems to be necessary to keep some distance from your friend group at the moment. you need some time for yourself. Have you distracted yourself by doing something or hanging out with someone else?

For your health, I strongly recommend that you consult a doctor and a counsellor. Sorry I'm not an expert. Take care and have a peaceful holiday

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Guest_6063, thanks for posting your comment because I'm sure this happens with other people.

You have made friends with a group of people and that's terrific, but have someone who makes you feel uneasy, I'm sorry about this, but with a group of people the chances of not liking one particular person because of their views or how they handle themselves in the group is highly possible because we can't physically treat them all the same, there has to be our favourite person down to the one we least want to interact with, that's nature and bound to happen.

So if for some reason we have to split up, we make sure we aren't involved with the person we don't like or the group makes sure this doesn't happen.

The question you need to answer is, are you going to let one person destroy your relationship with all the other people because in the future more can be gained by staying with them, and may be there is the chance they will begin to like you again and I've seen this happen before.

You are yourself and many people will be disappointed if you decide to leave, let your friendship grow and if you want to ignore this person, then so be it.

Best wishes.


Community Member

Hi Guest_6063,

I'm sorry to hear this has happened to you and it is making you feel this way. You owned your behaviour and apologised. That takes a lot of strength, courage and character.

My suggestion for the short term would be to organise smaller activities with one or two different friends in the group that don't include your ex. Not to try to exclude her from the group or anything but so that you can maintain your relationships within the group until you start feeling more comfortable about being around her in a whole group situation in the longer term.

Having that physical reaction is hard to deal with and some coping strategies that you can use in the moment would help. I'm not an expert and I'm sure others might have more to offer on this but I find positive self-talk, a quick breathing exercise or even counting help me when I feel this way in a situation where I am feeling uncomfortable or distressed.

I hope it all works out for you and you can continue to enjoy your friends and friendship group again.