Every breakup is different, there’s the amicable split, the one with an ugly ending, and of course, the one-sided breakup. If you have a friend who’s going through the last one, it’s essential to stay real and truthful yet gentle and compassionate all at the same time. Here’s how you can support your best friend who’s trying to move on from an almost boyfriend:
Know your limits.
Stop adding fuel to the fire by addressing the obvious. Your friend is already hurt by the fact that she has to move on from someone who never liked her (or made it seem like there was something going on), so before you knock some sense into her, let her grieve over the heartbreak. Although you should also be aware on when to tell her ‘enough is enough’ – save the tough love for later on.
Let her go through her own learning process.
As painful as it sounds, there are some lessons that are learned the hard way – and this is one of them. Sure, you want to prevent your bestie from getting hurt, but if you impose too much, it might backfire on you.
“Since you can predict with a fair amount of certainty just how badly this scenario will unfold, it’s tempting to offer advice. But offering advice in this situation does two things: First, it puts you in a position of having an investment in the outcome—you have dispensed valuable advice and when it’s not followed or painfully botched, it likely only serves to heighten your frustration,” says Suzanne Lachmann, Psy.D., a New York State licensed clinical psychologist.
“Second, you may (without realizing it) compel your friend to do the opposite of what you prescribed. Why? Because they were looking for any reason to go rogue anyway, and you just made it easier somehow (nobody said this was rational),” she added.
Constantly check how she’s doing.
You don’t have to necessarily bring up the issue, but you can certainly try to cheer her up! Sometimes, all a person needs is a friend whom they could talk to without the fear of being judged. You can also keep her mind away from nega thoughts by inviting her to join fun activities, like trekking, painting, or foreign language classes. This will remind her that a breakup (one sided or not) is not the end of the world, but can actually be a door to better opportunities in life.
Remind her of how amazing she is.
Moving on from a one-sided love affair can be devastating and it can somehow dampen your friend’s self-esteem; she’ll probably feel worthless and ask questions on why the guy she likes doesn’t want her back.
The best way to pull her up from that slump is by reassuring her that unreciprocated love isn’t something to wallow about but is rather a reminder that someone out there is meant for her, and that the best is yet to come.
Lastly, with your love, patience, and support, your friend will heal and move forward from the hurtful past.