How to help your BFF through a breakup

Aug 21, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. ET

So your best friend just got the rug pulled out from under her and she’s a mess. Obviously you want to be there for her, but it’s tough to know where to start when someone is dealing with fresh heartache. If you want to help her, we can help you do it in just a few simple but effective steps.

Women consoling friend


While you might be tempted to immediately start telling her she’s better off without him, how you actually didn’t like him in the first place and you think she can do way better than him, the first step is to just listen. Listen to her endlessly talk about how she didn’t see it coming, how she thought he was the one and how she can’t believe this just happened.

She shouldn’t wallow for too long, but she needs to get all of this stuff off her chest and you can be her sounding board. Don’t let her get too carried away, but do spend time letting her vent and work through her feelings with you. Once she’s feeling less overwhelmed, then you can step in and start offering her constructive ideas for how to move forward.


Let’s face it -- she’s going to want to become a hermit and sit inside watching movies and obsessively stalk his Twitter feed and Facebook page. You can’t let this happen. Do your best to distract her with things she loves, even if it takes some serious cajoling. Book the two of you in for a day at the spa, plan a surprise weekend road trip (drag her into the car if you have to), take her out for dinner and do what you can to make sure she’s not alone on weekends or any “special” days like what would have been their anniversary.

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Once you’ve listened and distracted and she seems to be feeling less like hiding out at home, it’s time to start motivating her to move on. Be sensitive to her situation, but don’t let her get hung up on wishing her ex was still around or that things would be better if he suddenly came back into her life. Find out what she wants to do, see if she wants to sign up for a class the two of you can take together, or suggest now as a great time to tackle the big project she’s been talking about for years. The point is to help her see how much better she’ll feel once she turns a corner and starts her life fresh, in a new more exciting direction -- without her ex.

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