Helping a Friend… Through A Breakup


Arguably, the worst time to go through a breakup is at uni, whilst living away from home and being only semi-independent. You expect this ‘Bridget Jones’-style journey of self-discovery and gorgeous men called Daniel Cleaver or Mark Darcy waiting for you in the rain. But really what you get is a lot of moping around your room, crying, feeling lonely and eating cold beans out of the tin. 

If you have a friend going through this, I’m going to try and give you the basic run down of the best ways to help your pal through this, because it really isn’t easy. If you are going through this first hand, firstly, I am so sorry, and secondly, I promise it gets better. I hope reading this helps you to process what has happened and find ways to better care for yourself.

No One Will Ever Understand the Power of Going for a Coffee and a Chat

It doesn’t need to be coffee – it can be any beverage or food of your choosing – but leaving the house with the purpose of meeting someone to participate in a food- or hot-beverage-related activity gives a sense of purpose and complete normality, while also giving that person the chance to open up to the friend they are meeting. Remind your friend that they can talk about whatever they want (there may be tears, bring tissues), or if talking is not working for them, ask them about the good parts of their life and tell them about what you have going on (although maybe avoid talking about your dating life for now).

Cant See Them? Send a Text

It is so easy when you split up with someone who was very significant in your life romantically to completely isolate yourself, and to convince yourself you are alone. A friend reaching out regularly, even just a little, reminds you that there are people there for you who care about you and will hear what is going on in your head.

Fresh Heart, New Hobbies

I cannot stress to you enough the power of doing things completely separate from a partner, or even from the things they would normally do, for fixing a broken heart, or even just a slightly worn out one. Trying new things, even if you think you will never go again, like pottery painting, a new gym class, hillwalking, or even ballroom dancing, could form a new hobby, or just give you all a laugh that day. It’s about little victories that will lead to you coming out of the other side of a break up as unscathed as possible. Physical activities are often the most relaxing and exciting if you are really feeling blue, so maybe give something active a go.

Hope To Understand

Please try not to tell them, “Yeah mate, I really know exactly what you’re going through, when me and…”, because this can make them feel as though what they’re going through is insignificant, and that everyone goes through it, so they shouldn’t be so sad. Hope to understand what they are feeling, but know that everyone, and every relationship, is so different that you will never fully get it, and that is okay, you can still be there for them without completely getting it.

So, if you’re struggling through losing someone who meant a lot to you, or if one of your mates is, there is no right or wrong way to handle the situation, but hopefully this guide will help you to handle it as best as one can.





More articles in Helping a Friend
  1. Helping a Friend… With Chronic Pain
  2. Helping a Friend… Who’s Feeling Homesick
  3. Helping a Friend…. Who is Chronically Ill
  4. Helping a Friend… With Mental Illness
  5. Helping a Friend… Through A Breakup
  6. Helping A Friend… With Mental Illness
  7. Helping a Friend… Who’s Stressed about Deadlines

I'm a Philosophy and Politics student. I write for The Edge and my own blog where I talk about music, film and theatre. News and Investigations Editor for Wessex Scene. Founder of The Hysteria Collective. An amateur performer and wine enthusiast.

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