How to Help Your Friend Move on From that Ex
By Zoe Verelli
We would all love the ability to snap our fingers and instantly fix whatever it is our friends are dealing with. Unfortunately, coping with the pain of a break up and attempting to move on is not that easy. It takes time and patience. The most important thing is that you’re there whenever your friend needs you. Even if they don’t ask, make the effort to show that you’ll be there throughout anything.
The thing is, it isn’t easy to lend a shoulder and say the right thing. Your friend is hurting and one of the best ways to be a good friend to him or her is to try to follow these 5 steps.
1. Actively listen
During this time, your friend will want to talk about it. Let yourself actively listen, be a shoulder for them to lean on and cry on. They’re looking for support and they want to know that you’ll be there to listen even if your friend appears to be repeating and discussing the same issues over again. They are taking their first steps in the process of grieving and moving on.
2. Be empathetic
Put your feelings aside. Right now, what’s important is that your friend doesn’t feel judged. They want to know that their feelings and concerns are validated. Try to understand why a process like this is so difficult for anyone to go through. Instead of saying, “your ex was not good for you, you need to move on,” try saying, “I know how much this hurts and I’ll be here for you every step of the way.” Allow them grieve.
3. Be patient
This sort of thing doesn’t fix itself overnight. For some, this may take very long, while for others, it may be a shorter process. Either way, it’s important that you remain patient and allow them to take as much time as they need to move on.
4. Plan fun activities
It can be difficult figuring out what steps to take next but one of the most helpful things a friend can do is plan fun activities. Remind them of all the fun and good that awaits them. Not only will this help them realize that this isn’t the end of their world, but that they can still grieve and attempt to move on by having fun.
5. Seek outside help
Now, this step is a cautionary one. If you begin to see that your friend isn’t dealing with his or her emotions in a positive and healthy way, then it is time to consult a professional. Sometimes, there really isn’t much we can do; we don’t have the expertise. Everyone is different and that means we each have our own way of coping with pain. Your friend might need a little more help and that is nothing to be ashamed of. Make sure you show your support and be as good a friend as you can be.