be_the_friend_who_shows_up_sex_and_the_city.jpgDo you have a friend who's recovering from a breakup? In a ChicagoTribune.com article called "Breaking up is hard to watch," author Heidi Stevens quotes Esquire writer-at-large Tom Chiarella, who says you can help mend a broken spirit by being "the person who shows up."

Chiarella himself went through a divorce, and he found himself getting jealous of his friend who would pass by his house while walking his dog every morning. After hearing about this, his friend offered to include him in their walks, and the daily ritual became a way for him to stabilize his feelings. "If marriage sometimes feels like a series of obligations, when it ends it can feel like freedom," he explains. "But it also feels like a whole lot of empty time. The main thing was having a ritual every morning."

Author Heidi Stevens also quotes biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, who says romantic love is an addiction. "When you are rejected in love, you don't stop loving the person; in fact, you can love them more. Any kind of barrier to getting something you want makes you want it even more."

"People assume we've got enough control of ourselves to snap out of it, but in an addiction you can't assume that any longer," she adds. "You've got someone who's deeply in love, deeply attached, experiencing intense craving and physical and emotional pain."

This means that your heartbroken friend might be undergoing withdrawal symptoms from the romantic love that has just been taken away (even if she's the one who decided to break up in the first place), and it's important for you to be around to get her through this period.

Sometimes, all she needs is to know that she's not alone, that it's all right for her to be sad and angry. At other times, she needs a person to play devil's advocate to help her cope with the things she wants to avoid. Or perhaps she just needs someone to drag her out of her house now and again. For you to accomplish all these, you must become a constant presence in her life. Once you've established a ritual, your friend will eventually feel more secure and open to discussing her feelings with you and begin her journey towards recovery.


[Click here to read the article on ChicagoTribune.com]



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(Screencap from Sex and the City courtesy of New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures)
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