No matter how many breakups someone might have in their life, it never gets easier. Similar to personally going through a breakup, it also never gets easier watching a friend go through such a tragic time. It raises the question of what are the best
things to text a friend during a breakup, as well as the best things to say, the best things to do, and exactly how much is too much from your end. Nothing about breakups is easy for anyone who's either directly or indirectly involved.
Relationships are soothing, while breakups are just the opposite," Julie Melillo, life and dating coach, tells Bustle. "Your attachment system forms a bond when you fall in love. This person literally becomes a part of you, because this attachment system exists in the brain. To your brain, a relationship feels like someone feeding you delicious chocolate throughout the the day. But during a breakup, the attachment system in your brain is ripped apart and basically goes haywire."
With this in mind, it's important to tread carefully when
reaching out to a friend via text or some other mode of technology. But as long as you can remember that this isn't about you and focus on what your friend needs to hear — or rather, read — you're headed in a good direction.
Here are nine things to text a friend who's having a hard time getting over a breakup.
You might as well just get straight to the point and let your friend know that they are truly loved.
"It’s easy to feel unloved when you’re going through a breakup,"
Claudia Cox, founder of Text Weapon, a program that coaches people through texting, tells Bustle. "Text your friend 'I love you' at a random time during the day. It’s a simple yet powerful way to let [them] know that you care and that [they're] not alone."
Even if neither you or your friend are the type of people who tell each other you love each other, as some friends just don't, this is your chance to get in the habit of telling them. You don't want to look back, later in life, and realize you didn't tell the people you loved that you loved them.
“Pack Your Gym Bag. I’ve Got A Surprise For You After Work”
Although your friend might not want to drag themselves off the couch to even pack a gym bag, let alone go to the gym,
physical activity is great for a broken heart.
"Having too much time to mull over every gory detail of a breakup can make even the sanest woman nuts," Cox says. "Save your friend from herself by inviting her to a spin class, a barre class, or an urban training session."
As Cox points out, sweating, being surrounded by people, and keeping your friend's mind occupied is going to be a huge help.
"Let's Try To Stay Off Social Media, OK?"
In some ways, social media is great. But in other ways, especially after a breakup, social media can be the devil. It's just too damn easy to
stalk an ex on social media and, as a friend, it's your job to make that very clear to your friend going through the breakup.
"If someone is
struggling through a breakup and fixated on their ex, staying actively engaged in the relationship through social media will make it harder to move forward and the recovery will take longer," Dr. Cortney Warren, clinical psychologist and contributing EXpert for EXaholics.com, tells Bustle.
If you have to, tell your friend you'll get off social media too. Honestly, it's not like you will be missing too much and we can all use a break from it from time to time.
“Just Wanted You To Know That I’m Thinking About You"
During a break up, it's so
easy to feel lonely. Even though you know you have friends out there, when you're consumed with sadness, it's hard to see clearly.
Because of this, Cox suggests letting your friend know that they're on your mind. When you do this you let them know that they're not alone. You're also giving them the go ahead to reach out to you any day, at any time.
"Things Might Suck Right Now, But Everything Is Going To Be OK"
Since the situation literally sucks and there really is no other word for it, then just say it. But also follow up with positive reassurance and the fact that things are really going to be OK eventually.
"Depending on the length and depth of a relationship, a breakup can feel like the end of the world," Cox says. "Reassure your friend that [they] are wonderful and that things will get better."
It may not seem like that in the moment to your friend and maybe they won't be able to agree, but at least putting that into words that they can read will provide some solace.
"Anything You Want To Do, Let's Do It"
Although you know
after a breakup, it's helpful for your friend to get out of bed, out of the house, and back into life again, someone's ability to do just that varies. Your friend may not have it in them to even pull themselves off the couch, let alone shower, dress, and go out. With this in mind, let them decide.
follow your friend’s lead," relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein, LCSW, tells Bustle. "[Do they] want to go out and party and talk to new [people]? Or [do they] want to burrow under the covers and watch Netflix? Whichever it is, let [them] call the shots."
You're not the one suffering the loss, so you don't get to decide what's going to make your friend feel better.
"Sending this text to a friend who has a hard time opening up is a great way to validate [their] feelings as in, 'yes it is OK to feel miserable'," Cox says.
Sadness comes with every form of loss, and loss needs to be grieved.
Grieve the loss, cry, and get angry," psychotherapist Barbara Neitlich, LCSW, tells Bustle. "Yell and stomp around, eat too much ice cream... Be in the moment and feel the pain."
If this is what it takes, offer to go over to your friend's place, and yell and stomp around with them.
"I’m Always Here For You To Listen Or Help However I Can”
While you friend knows deep down you're there for them, saying it, over and over again, will help. No matter how long it might take for your friend to be able to talk about their breakup and what happened, they need to know you're there.
"It lets [them] know that [they] have someone to talk to whenever they feel ready," Cox.
Like the ability to get out of bed and the amount of
time it takes to grieve, being in the right frame of mind to talk about the breakup could take awhile. Don't rush your friend; just make sure they know you're there.
“Stay Strong. You Won’t Always Feel This Way. Better Times Are Ahead”
As the saying goes, "this, too, shall pass," but anyone who's been in the throes of breakup can attest to the fact that it absolutely, positively doesn't feel this way. So, it's your job to share this fact (and yes, it's a fact), with your friend as much as possible. Even if you know they realize it in their heart of hearts, it's hard for them to dig deep and harness that reality during a breakup.
"Remind your friend that heartache doesn’t last forever, and [they]
will feel better at some point," Cox says. "Sending [them] a text like this helps [them] put the breakup into perspective."
Perspective is a necessary component in the healing process.
Ultimately, it's just about being there for your friend and knowing what to say. You won't always be perfect in choosing the right words, because no one is, but making an effort and letting them know they're loved and appreciated is a great start.