Heartbroken women all over the world are faced with quite the task this Valentine’s Day. Their challenge, whether they choose to admit it or not, may simply be to get through February 14th. Many of us who have been in those shoes before know that they will survive, but not all heartbroken women are so confident. A heartbroken woman may not know how much she will cry or when she will cry, if her ex will reach out to her, or if she should reach out to her ex. It may seem like a good idea to hang out with your friend for Valentine’s Day, but she may only have energy for watching Netflix on the couch.
You see, Valentine’s Day isn’t just a reminder about the change in her relationship status, but also the multiple other losses she’s adjusting to — the partner she’s missing, the future she thought they might share, the little ways her routine has been affected. These things are hard to deal with on a regular day, and on Valentine’s Day, it can feel nearly impossible.
If your friend has recently gone through a breakup, please know that there are things you can do to help. You may not know the exact words to say, but that’s okay. Here are five things to keep in mind when you're being a great friend to her this Valentine's Day.
Don’t Try To Fix It
Because you can’t. Besides, it’s not only normal for her to experience pain right now — it’s crucial to her healing process.
Instead, focus on helping her cope with the pain. Encourage her to find healthy ways of comforting herself. Patiently listen to her vent. And remind her that she’s not weird for feeling the way she does. It’s much easier to be a good and authentic friend when you don’t pressure yourself to meet impossible expectations. Respect her journey by letting her experience her grief.
Ask Her What She Needs
If you have absolutely no idea how you can help her feel better, you need to ask. No one expects you to be a mind reader.
You can say something like this: “I really love you and want to help you get through this weekend like a champ. What can I do to make that happen? Is there anything you need from me?”
If she doesn’t know the answer to those questions, that’s okay. She may find it hard to express her needs if she’s feeling overwhelmed by various emotions. In that case, make it clear that you want to be there for her — and that asking for support from you won’t make her a pest.
Make Yourself Available
Loneliness wreaks havoc on days like Valentine’s Day, so after asking your friend what she needs, try to be extra available to her. Offer to spend the night with her, whether she wants to stay in or not. Text her throughout the day or give her a call. If you have a hot date on the 14th, deliver brunch to your friend on the 15th.
Let her know that she matters and you haven't forgotten about her. And don’t always put it on her to reach out. A little thoughtfulness can go a long way.
Give Her A Care Package
While you might not want to have flowers sent to her office (she might think they’re from her ex), you can’t go wrong with a nice package filled with some of her favorite things. Not sure what to include? I love Simple Sugars, these bracelets, mediation CDs, chocolate, and soothing candles. If she’s a reader, get her one of these books too (though I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest my own book on love and healing).
Include a written list of everything you love about her (or something else equally creative) and you’re golden. She’ll be smiling in no time.
Don't Rub Your Relationship In Her Face
Hopefully this goes without saying, but I feel it’s important to note: Many heartbroken women struggle to keep their jealousy in check, so do your friend a favor by being extra understanding of this. You don’t have to hide your happy love life with her forever, but Valentine's Day weekend probably shouldn’t be about you.
If you must gush, reach out to your other friends. And consider not sharing pics of your flowers on Facebook. Yes, if she’s jealous of you, it’ll be on her to work through that. But you also don’t have to fan the flame.
This may not be the luckiest period of your friend’s life, but she is super lucky to have you. And with you on her team, Valentine’s Day won’t know what hit it this year. So don’t underestimate how great of a friend you already are. The fact that you’re even reading this definitely proves it.
Image: ABC; giphy