A Guide to Cheering Up Your Newly-Single Friend

A Guide to Cheering Up Your Newly-Single Friend

Guest Post By Christine H.

It can be tough when your best friend gets into a serious relationship. Suddenly, they’re not available for games, for going out on Friday, for seeing that movie that you’ve both been looking forward to… because all of their time is eaten up by their significant other. It’s okay to admit that there’s a part of you that’s glad when you hear that the relationship didn’t work out, and your friend is single again.

But things have probably changed. Breakups take a toll, and your friend is morose, depressed, and possibly still hung up on their ex. Sometimes, you’re even working on nursing them through a divorce, which can be amazingly stressful. And as much as you love your friend, there are some days when you’re ready for them to get over it already.

Well, the time has come for you to really show your true colors as a best friend. Rise to the occasion and help them get past this life hurdle with some of these great tips:

First… Just Listen

You’re excited to have your friend back, but they probably need to grieve for a little while first, depending on the nature of the relationship. If it was a serious, long-term commitment, it’s going to be a tough time. Adjusting your expectations and habits is hard no matter what. And however smooth and amicable the relationship was, even if your friend is the dumpee rather than the dumped… there are some questions that hound us after each failed relationship: What did I do wrong? Why didn’t I see it coming? What’s wrong with me?

Be ready to listen to the whole story, and stand by their side as they work on tying up the loose ends. Clearing out the ex’s stuff, moving, and of course, if there’s legal or financial stuff to do (in the case of a divorce) it will all be terribly difficult. Support systems are necessary during any difficult life transition, and you can be the staunch supporter helping your friend make these steps. If they know they can turn to you for comfort and support, they’re less likely to make unhealthy coping mistakes like substance abuse, wallowing in bed, and drunk dialing the ex yet again.

Build Them Up

It’s time for your friend to remember that they’re a worthwhile human being who can stand on their own two feet. It’s easy to feel wrong-footed when you’ve been used to being part of a couple for so long. You often feel like not enough, or like there’s something missing. A couple of weeks of feeling depressed is normal, but if the depression extends past that, it might be important for you to watch for signs that things are getting worse. So, remind them of this: there was a time before this relationship when they were alone… and happy! Remind them of all the wonderful things they have to offer the world, and reconnect them with the things that used to make them happy. Creative expression, physical activity, and venturing into the outdoors can all help an individual rediscover an interest in life.

Consider a Care Package

Okay then… all this is great if you live right next door. But what if you’re far away when your friend is going through this tough time? Well, have you considered a care package? It might sound silly, but it can really be fun! Here’s what one of my friends sent me after a particularly devastating breakup:

  • A pinata filled with chocolate (just a small one… I gathered some other friends to help me bash it in the park.)
  • Fire engine red lipstick, so I could feel sexy again.
  • He’s Just Not thThatnto You – Wise advice we could all be reminded of.
  • An Adele cd (not even kidding) for when I just needed to wallow.
  • A stack of affirmation Post It notes for me to stick all over… on my mirror, my fridge, my alarm clock… messages that reminded me that I was strong, beautiful, and loved.

Open Up New Things

Ready for the fun part? It might take a little arm-twisting, but soon it’ll be time to get out there again. Remind your friend how many exciting people, activities, places, and things to do there are. Throw a party! Go out dancing together. Introduce your friend to new people and play wingman when it’s time to meet a new special someone.

 

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