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girl helping friend getting over a break up
Relationships

How To Help A Friend Through A Breakup?


Breakups are hard to digest, but they are even more depressing when your friend goes through one. 

It feels disheartening to watch a friend cry— the situation is totally helpless, and all we want is to show them affection during their pain. 

girl helping a friend through a breakup

There’s a saying, “we repeat what we don’t repair.” I’m sure you don’t want your friend to choose sadness repeatedly over moving on, and that’s why you are here to know how to help them, right? 

When you don’t know whether to wipe their tears and make them full of smiles or let them cry and allow their sorrow to come out, these tips will help you help your friend. 

It’s essential to balance their emotions when they suffer a person’s loss. Breakups are not just an end of a relationship, 

  • they are the end of a social connection together, 
  • shared dreams together 
  • and all those good moments they shared once with their partner. 

It’s hard to see your friend grieving their lost love and going through a breakup. However, you need to understand that you cannot take their pain away.

Getting over their partner is something your friend needs to sort out on their own, but you can surely help a friend come out through a breakup. Maybe you cannot take that pain away; you can surely land them a shoulder to cry on! 

Take a look at how to unlock your words sensibly and comfort your friend after a breakup; 

To help a friend, you should first check yourself. 

  • Are you emotionally stable to help a friend through their traumas? 
  • Can you deal with their baggage without leaving them in the middle? 
  • Do you have the time to carry the extra emotional load on your mental health? 

There’s a long journey awaiting your friends after a breakup, and mending their emotions will demand your time. Firstly, make sure your lifestyle, sleeping schedule, and work routine give you enough space & time for them. 

It not only demands physical assistance and time but also your mental health. Only approach them if your mental health is stable and ready to accept your friend’s traumas. 

Helping out a friend demands your time and energy, so don’t forget to boost your optimism and physical health while offering a shoulder to your friend. 

The most important thing is to realize that you should be there for your friend through their hard times, but it’s not entirely your responsibility to fix it.

Before you start showering your friend with excessive suggestions, hear them out first. Look at the glimpse of pain in their eyes to understand the severity of their pain and the fact that it’s not easy to implement everything so quickly. 

So, take everything slow!

2. Advise them not to retain the same emotions.

If your friend breaks up with their partner, surely there must be a strong reason— maybe things didn’t work out well, or their spouse might have lost interest. It’s evident that the pain would be unbearable. However, reminiscing and romanticizing it will only add to their misery. 

guy helping a friend through a breakup, he's crying

If they prefer talking about their partner or their past together even after continuously going through the pain, ask them to stop. 

I know it will be difficult for them to let go of the memories altogether. However, they need to understand holding onto the past will only slow down their ‘moving on’ journey. 

Instead of listening to their past remembrances that may bring tears to your friend’s eye— 

  • Try to change the topic, 
  • Start talking about something thrilling 
  • Talk about their success,
  • Give them compliments, 
  • It’s better to advise them to block their ex completely than to stock them continuously. 
  • Or choose to be straightforward and advise them not to pen down the same conversations repeatedly.
  • Refuse to pick gossip about their past relationships. 

If you’re a good friend, tell them what’s good for them, even if it hurts them. Don’t fake your sympathy in fear of losing a friendship.

3. Help them to make a crystal choice.

Sometimes we keep on pushing our friends to move on, but before you begin— ask them if they are actually willing to move on? If they are yet not ready, give them space & the time to make a crystal choice. 

  • First, grieve with them. 
  • Don’t pressurize your friend into something they are not ready for.
  • Listen to their heart, and empathize with them. 
  • Make them believe that you understand. 
  • Understand that you cannot fight their battles. So, wait patiently until they are ready. 

Sometimes decisions taken in high temperaments will make us regret everything later. 

Try to make them understand their decisions clearly and slowly convince them to do things that are actually healthy for them. 

4. Allow them “ME TIME.”

When your friend asks for personal space, you should approve of their boundaries and respect their privacy. 

  • They might want to cry alone.
  • “Pain demands to be felt.” Don’t expect them to smile or stop crying instantly. They would want to feel that pain entirely for it to go completely! 
  • If they don’t want you to be around, leave! 
  • However, don’t take it personally. Ensure that you check up on them once every while. 

Advise them to prioritize their ‘ME-TIME’ with some positive self-talk, suggest self-help books, enlightening detachment articles, give them some DIY ideas to re-decorate their room for a change.

List out all the interesting activities to enjoy alone and make sure they are happy doing so.

Advise them to invest their time;

  • Listen to favorite songs
  • DIY (Do it yourself) things, like give your old clothes a new style.
  • Putting on mascara and red lipstick also works best to boost mood. 
  • Sketching while playing 90’s Playlist.
  • Learn new dance moves from their favorite influencer.

5. Drop pleasant texts to comfort a friend.

Being in a relationship makes a person habitual of expecting a text, especially morning and sweet-night messages. Don’t let your friends sleep in a bad mood; send them comforting texts to let them know that you are here for them.

Positive texts will empower their self-esteem and make them feel special. This extra ounce of care will gradually help them to fade those painful memories.

girl hugging friend

Here are some brief ideas of comforting texts you should send to your friend;

  • Nights are for getting drunk and going crazy. Babe, you better be ready to get drunk with me. 
  • Put your best dress on; we will hunch hot men/women today.
  • I can come over to sing you a lullaby, girl!
  • I’m here if you need anything.
  • Call me anytime you want.
  • Feel free to share anything, no judgments.
  • I’m sorry things didn’t work out, but tomorrow will be easier.
  • Hey, get well soon, real soon, buddy! It’s not a request; it’s an order.
  • You’ve got this; you can bounce stronger.

Sometimes, random tight hugs and a scream together at the terrace can work best in your friend’s favor.

6. Introduce them back to their badass personality

When your friend is dealing with a breakup, they may forget their individuality & personality. It’s indispensable to revive their lost charm and help them cherish it again! 

Sometimes, relationships tend to snatch away our true persona; we become one with our partner. Once they are gone, we are left to wonder— “who am I?” 

Introduce your friend back to their original self. Who were they before the relationship? How to do so? 

  • Planning reunion

Call your old friends and plan a party together to surprise your heartbroken friend. What can be more soothing than meeting up with old school/college friends with whom we used to live our best days? It’s always refreshing to relive old moments with old idiots.

  • Special trips

Traveling is a necessary part of everyone’s life. Take this tip as a sign to plan trips and steal your friend away on a healing journey. The place you choose must be healing and breath-taking enough to distract them. Instead of choosing a romantic destination, opt for nature. Nature heals! 

My best suggestion would be Himachal Pradesh or perhaps, Japan. New culture combined with strong nature always yields higher energy. Get lost in the city streets or the mountain’s wilderness. Your friend might find love again— we fall for foreigners faster than natives. I call it a fact!

  • Wild night outs
friends having a night out

I know nights planned for crying and venting are treasures. However, I want you to plan something wild! The truth is, your friend must be tired of crying, and they would want to escape. 

So, plan the perfect escape, introduce them to the most lively part of life. Let them know that it wasn’t their partner/relationship that was the best part of their existence; the best is yet to come! 

  1. Plan a night of unspeakable deeds, haha! 
  2. Drink like it’s the end of the world! 
  3. Dance away the night. I don’t simply mean slow grooving. No, opt for crazy dance— bounce, throw your hands in the air, be everywhere, roll, sway, swoop, and slip! 
  4. Don’t stop there; dance on the streets. Sing your heart out and let the night engulf your friend’s pain. 
  5. Choose the coolest rockstar concert to let out the energy if music is your thing. 
  6. Get cozy with strangers that you admire, take your chances. They may turn out to be amazing!
  7. Don’t go home and wander the moony night. Make sure you and your heartbroken friend choose a morning spot to enjoy the dawn before calling it a day! 
  • Introduce them to disco nights

Gift one sexy dress and party passes to your friend. Clubs are the best place to zone out, meet new people, and add joy to life. This will distract her and make her stop checking the glances of her past. 

7. Recommend them a therapist.

If your friend finds it difficult to open up to you, recommend them to a therapist or professional adviser. 

Getting over a breakup is uncertain; it can take months or even years to get over the pain. Encourage your friends to speak to professionals if it’s deeply impacting their life. 

Professionals can understand their sufferings well and help them mend their emotions. 

8. Build a cozy mental space for your friend

We might be willing to cross oceans for our friends, but they may not be comfortable enough to confide in us! Build a safe space that allows your friend to open up! 

They are mostly scared of judgment— let your friend know how proud you are of them and that you will never judge them. 

Always be available to hear out to your friend whenever they are willing to open up and undo their frustration. 

It’s not easy to speak our heart out entirely in front of someone; the fear of judgment stops us from sharing things that have been eating up inside. 

Helping a friend doesn’t always mean throwing suggestions at them. Sometimes, giving them a shoulder to cry on and ears to listen all night long is enough. Be that friend to them. 

  • Bring beers, 
  • Set a mood with fairy lights, 
  • And drink away the night with slow music, adding a background to your friend’s pain. 
  • Make it cinematic. Haha! 

9. Surprise them with pampering gifts.

With mental assistance, don’t stop yourself from buying materialistic gifts for your special friend. Use these thoughtful gifts to surprise your friend: 

girls working out together
  • Gift them a new look

Take your friend to a salon and give them coupons for exciting self-care sessions, like new hair color, body massage, manicure, and pedicure. 

  • Gift them dance classes 

If your friend is into dancing, then register them for dance classes. It will surely make them feel special. However, if you are broke and cannot afford dance class sessions— become a dance teacher and spend an hour dancing with your friend every day. They would be more comfortable dancing crazy with you!

  • Gift them a gym membership 

It is healthy to reinvent ourselves; this process becomes more exciting and thrilling after a breakup. Help your friend get back in shape and adopt a new fitness lifestyle by giving them a gym membership.

  • Gift them movies and snacks 

Select movies that will uplift their spirit. My favorite suggestion would be “Queen”— a Bollywood classic. She left for her honeymoon in Paris & Amsterdam alone after her partner refused the marriage. This journey unfolds her authentic personality, and she tastes the true essence of life. 

10. Sympathize them with a hope 

Breakups lead to self-doubt, low self-esteem, and insecurities. Remind your friend that they haven’t failed just because their relationship didn’t go well. 

Sympathize a friend with the hope that breakups are not an end to their lives, assure them your support. Be careful and avoid things that might hurt them unintentionally. 

  • Tell them there’s more to life than an unworthy relationship
  • You are yet to find the best partner in your life. 
  • Teach them how to maintain healthy boundaries with their ex
  • This breakup is the universe’s sign that something better is coming your way. 
  • You are more than enough. 
  • I always say, choose a partner who respects and worships you. Don’t settle down for anything else. Navigate & help your partner while choosing the right partner and the right relationship again in the future.

11. Suggest them not to pick someone out of their boredom 

Breakups are strenuous; they require a lot of effort to get back on track after being hurt. Sometimes mental breakdowns make people weak, and they lose control over their emotional intelligence.

They start looking for temporary fixes to escape the suffering. Your friend might start looking for a tinder date or reach out to people on social media. 

Dating right after a breakup is not healthy for you and your new partner. Before you start dating other people, it’s essential to move on and ultimately heal from your past relationships & traumas.

Suggest your friend choose someone out of their interest & not as an escape option. 

6 Things You Should Avoid While helping Friends Through A Breakup

1. Don’t crisscross your suggestions. 

Everyone goes through a breakup once in a while, and we all have different ways of moving on. Don’t force your suggestions onto your friend; allow them to choose their own healing path. 

Avoid discussing and comparing your healing journey and moves with that of your friend’s. This act of contrast might bring contradictions in conversations between the two of you. 

2. Don’t gossip about their Ex.

Constantly degrading your friend’s ex every time they feel down will not help them feel better.

I know it’s confusing what words & methods to choose while helping your friend when they are mourning. However, gossiping about their ex’s flaws is not good when they are already hurt by that very person.

Criticisms and negative talks (about their ex or anything in general) will create a pessimistic space for your friend. It’s best to yield and manifest positivity. While helping your friend, focus on the optimistic viewpoint of life. 

Try not to bash her ex negatively even though things ended on bad terms— avoid being a gossipmonger.

3. Avoid figuring it out on your own; ask them.

Sometimes we think we know exactly what our friend needs, but maybe we are wrong. Ask them about what they want, don’t just assume and act on never— it can irritate your friend.

Allow your friend to make the decisions of their healing season; you can reassure your support by asking them questions like;

  • Do you want me to take you out?
  • Are you okay doing this all by yourself?
  • Do you want me to stay with you?
  • Do you want me to vibe you up?

Ask them before figuring it out on your own, you may think you know your friend better, but you might be mistaken.

4. Don’t advise them to jump into shortcuts. 

Sometimes pain feels so heavy that we start looking for shortcuts to heal ourselves. Your friend dealing with emotional damage may search for a shortcut to escape the pain, don’t let them do so.

  • Don’t advise intoxication as a means of escape. 
  • Don’t ask them to date someone new just to move on.

What looks convenient for a short time will hang heavily on your heart, so refrain from yourself and your friend. Avoiding pain will not help them overcome it. They will need to accept the pain to move on! 

5. Don’t be a pleaser. 

Tell them what they need to hear instead of speaking what they want to hear. Pleasing them with temporary comfort is wrong; giving the green light to everything they say will never resolve their problems.

Suggesting a personal perspective of what is precisely right for them according to the situation (even if it hurts them a bit) is what a best friend should do. A true friend must make them meet up with uncomfortable truths.

6. Avoid thrash statements about their past relationships.

Don’t pass thrash comments on your friend’s past relationships. Their love didn’t work out well, but it might hurt them if you negatively speak about their past bond. 

If you didn’t witness their whole journey, it’s wrong to pass comments; this can hurt your friend’s sentiments and might give them regrets. They want other regrets in their already mourning hearts. 

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by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.


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