Breakups can be rough, and it can be even harder to help a friend going through one. What do you say? What advice do you give? Is there anything you can say that will actually help them, or are you just saying what's expected of a friend?
I know what's worked for me, and what has worked for some of my friends, so here are 10 pieces of advice that may also help you and your friends:
1. Be honest and admit your feelings.
I'll be the first to admit, we're not always honest about our true feelings or struggles when it comes to the hurt and pain we experience during a breakup. Everyone doesn't need to know everything or see you cry, but it's important to feel what you feel, deal with the heartache and take the time you need to heal.
Does that mean you need to wallow in your sorrow forever and a day? Absolutely not. It takes time for the heart to heal, but when you're honest with yourself, that's when you can really start the healing process.
2. Don't mask your sorrows with temporary vices.
If you're going through a difficult situation that is affecting you mentally, adding the physical component can cause even more damage or potentially make it harder to resolve the issue. The mere fact that there was physical intimacy throughout the relationship is often what makes it so hard to deal with breakups, not to mention you will likely have to start all over again with someone new.
It can be a cover-up for what's really going on deep down inside, and the same is true with the excessive use of any vice (smoking, drinking, etc.). Don't expect temporary cures to repair and heal permanent damage.
3. Don't sulk in your loneliness.
Put on your best outfit, present your best, flawless face and hair, snap a cute picture and head out to the latest and hottest spot in town. Try to choose a place where you won't run into your ex, but if you just so happen to run into them, then do your best to avoid them and have as much fun as you can. There's nothing like a great time with your friends to help take your mind off of a breakup, even if it's only for a few hours.
You owe it to yourself to go out and enjoy some fun. Just because you're sad doesn't mean you have to force yourself into isolation as some form of punishment. The relationship failed, but you are not a failure. Celebrate your life.
4. Use the delete and block features on your phone.
If you don't trust yourself enough to avoid their phone calls or ignore their text messages, then make it so you don't have to rely on your own strength (or lack thereof). Breakups can make you vulnerable, easy to manipulate or create a sense of false hope. Sometimes, the best thing to do is block or delete your exes from all social activity, as well as their contact numbers. Ghost them. They're not a part of your life anymore, so there's no point in waiting around to see if they come back.
5. Avoid romance entertainment for a while.
When you're in love, movies like "The Notebook," songs like Beyonce's Love On Top are perfect, but when you're going through a breakup, you might need to listen to Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Getting Back Together" or Beyonce's Lemonade album to help get you through a tough breakup. It's better to avoid romance altogether at this point in time. Let yourself be a little angry. It'll help.
6. Redirect the negative energy and turn it into something positive.
In other words, instead of being single and stagnant, make yourself a priority. Turn the heartache into hustle, the sadness into success, the frustration into fun and the pain into purpose. Try something new and fun, or something that will help improve yourself. Take up a new class, new hobby or start a new fitness regimen. Set a goal(s) and a deadline, and take the necessary steps to make it happen.
Moreover, you can even use this time to truly learn how to be single and satisfied. Despite one's hesitation with spending another minute alone, it's often during those moments of solitude when we're able to learn the most about ourselves. It's a tough lesson because the isolation requires great strength, but the opportunity to learn from our past “relation-slips” and past mistakes, as well as the mistakes of others, can help prepare us for future relationships.
7. Don't your anger and frustration out on the next person.
They say, “Closed hands don't get fed,” and a similar principle can be applied to love, “Hardened hearts don't get loved.” Usually, a surefire sign of someone who is emotionally unavailable is evident in how they treat their present relationships. Often, they will blame their current partner for the mistakes of their exes, but how can one provide the love you desire if you're not open to receive it?
The same applies to friendships. Your friends are trying to help you heal, and while you may think you're the one in the most pain in this situation, being cruel in the face of their kindness is only hurting them. Your pain doesn't justify inflicting it upon others.
8. Give yourself the closure you never got.
“I just need closure.” When my past relationships would end, I would often say this to validate my reasoning for staying around longer than I should have, or to make excuses as to why I refused to move on completely. So often, we look for some type of closure whether through an apology, a phone call or a text message, but it doesn't always come when or how we want it, if at all.
If a person wants to be with you, guess what? They'll be with you. You won't have to beg or force them. Hence, if the signs are clear and it's obvious the relationship is over, then accept those things as closure and find the strength to move on. Close your mind off to the possibility of the relationship coming back to you. And if it does, ask yourself, "Do I really want this?" If there's any doubt in your mind, then give them the closure they never gave you and make it clear you're not getting back together.
No matter what and despite how hard it may be right now, you can still find the good in goodbye. Sometimes the thing you're holding onto is the very thing that's holding you back. So, don't be afraid to let go, move on and start a new chapter in your life.