Breakups suck. Most of us have experienced it one time or another first hand, which makes us even more sympathetic when it happens to a friend. It doesn’t matter who leaves who or why, she will need you to help her through it. So go on, hit the liquor store and grab her beverage of choice and favorite takeout to drop off. Here’s how you can help.
1) Always, ALWAYS take her side. Even when she’s being irrational and crying about how much she hates him for seemingly innocent gestures like offering to make her pancakes. Its not really about the pancakes.
2) Answer all her texts. Even the 27th one about how her life is over and she’s never going to find anyone. Nobody actually knows what to say after 3 or 4 times of “Yes of course you will you’re a great person!” so just tell her she’s pretty and funny and someone will love her. It’s not actually about finding someone its about how she’s scared of being alone.
3) If she decides to stay, keep your snotty comments to yourself. My friend T knew for years she wasn’t happy and it was obvious something monumental was missing from her relationship. It takes a lot of strength to leave a relationship where nobody is to blame and sometimes a lot of time to get up the courage to do so.
4) Do not let her pull a Britney. Yeah, we all want a fresh start when a breakup happens but if she talks about chopping all her hair off, getting a tattoo, or how cool she’d look with an eyebrow piercing its time to tell her “A drunken night out at the all male strip club lasts till morning but body ink is forever.”
5) Don’t over sell the single life to make getting back in the dating game seem more appealing. Just today I got a call from T. It’s her daughters weekend with her ex and she said “I thought I was going to to be having sex this weekend but instead I’m alone and on my period.” It’s OK honey, you date your couch and Jane Austen movies on Netflix as long as you need to. Mr Darcy will never let you down.
6) When she starts dating remind her that different relationships serve different purposes. Suuuurrreee the guy at the corner store that speaks no English and is 10 years younger than you that you have nothing in common with looks REALLY good when you drop in after girls night out. (Ok , wine night in is more accurate) Should you go on a date with him? Sure! Do you have to figure out how to speak Portuguese ASAP for family dinner at his Mom’s next Christmas? No.
7) Be down for bashing the ex over the stupidest things imaginable. “Oh my God I can’t believe he hated when you wore unmatched socks! No I don’t think it’s an overreaction at ALL that you threw out one half of every pair you owned the day you moved out!”
8) Be up for listening to her lament over all the things her ex was actually good at. Sympathize that she’ll now have to do all the household chores herself but just remind her that she no longer has to throw him a damn parade every time he takes the garbage out.
9) Let her be selfish. Sometimes the conversation is going to be all about her. You might get annoyed. You MIGHT want to talk about something other than how hard it is being alone or how many times she drunk dialed her ex or what color panties goes well with her bedspread for when she starts dating. It’s only for a while. Time does heal. Break ups are bigger than telling her about the latest work drama or how Aunt Sally pissed off the entire family again.
10) Know when to burn her self help books. There comes a time when they’re not so much “Helpful” as “Satan’s Handbook To Never Dating Again”. If she has a quote from He’s Just Not That Into You for every possible dating prospect and scenario then break out the matches.