Going through a breakup sucks. Is there any silver linings? Not really. But your girlfriends being there for you throughout it is really the only thing that makes it bearable. The times in your life which are the suckiest prove who cares about you the most, and who you can depend on.
The first few years of University see many, many breakups. From the long term relationships, to the intense whirlwind relationships, the one thing which is worthwhile, is the bonding you get with your girlfriends. From pints of ice cream and sad movies, to the things you absolutely shouldn’t do or say, here’s a list of all the best ways to help a friend through a breakup.
Be there for them
Breakups are a major adjustment period, they’re a shock to the system and often are a period of major uncertainty in your life, as you try to reconcile these changes. Throughout this, the best thing your friends can do, is just be there. Be present, be understanding and be there to listen.
Don’t push them to talk if they aren’t ready. Be there to laugh, to distract, and to have fun and just be a friend. Being there for someone doesn’t mean that you have to be a twenty-four seven guidance counsellor, it just means that you have to be present. It’s also important not to try and spare someone’s feelings too much. Obviously, don’t go on and on about how happy you are in your relationship to someone who’s just gone through a breakup, but at the same time, don’t pretend that your life doesn’t exist for the benefit of someone else. It’s patronising and dishonest.
No matter what, the most important thing is to remember your friend’s feelings over your own. Be there on the end of the phone, be there to listen, and know when to show them that they are a priority in your life, because when someone is at their lowest, it doesn’t hurt to remind them how loved they are.
Don’t pass judgement
Look, sometimes you’re not going to agree with what your friends are doing, or how they’re handling things, but when they’re sad or vulnerable, just isn’t the time to provide judgement on that. Sure, this might change when you have genuine concern for someone, but the root of a good friendship is listening and understanding without judgement.
Support in a friendship is a necessity. Straight out of a relationship, your friend might want to ho, ho, ho, but they also might want to stay in bed with a sad movie and cry. Both of these are fine. They aren’t a mess for doing the former, or boring for being the latter. It can be difficult not to impart your post break up wisdom, but don’t make someone else’s sadness about you. Every break up is different and while we can all learn from each other’s experiences, sometimes it’s better to listen before you.
Make genuine plans
Go to that part of your city that you’ve always talked about visiting. Go to art galleries, museums. Suggest doing things that don’t involve alcohol, that can take you out of your mind, even if it is just for a while. While there is no limit to the value of a night in with your girlfriends, crying, eating and watching movies, sometimes making proper plans shows that you’re able to make time for someone. Breakups can make you feel undervalued and unstable, so having someone there to dedicate time to you and make you feel considered, can really make all the difference.
Breakups suck, but girlfriends are forever.
So there you have it, some golden rules to live by when you need a little reassurance of how to be the best friend to your friend going through a breakup that you can be.