Helping a friend after her first-ever breakup
June 25, 2009 7:30 AM Subscribe
How can I help a friend through her first-ever breakup?
posted by Jacen Solo to human relations (28 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A friend of mine is going through a breakup with her boyfriend of about two years, who is also her first boyfriend. She's broken up with him before... for 4 days. And she is very emotionally attached to him (she hasn't used the word "love," but I'd call it that). This time there's an ultimatum coming down from the boyfriend and from her parents, so it's (hopefully) final; but she's having a really hard time with it. He's been a huge part of her life for these two years; best friend by far, most of her social life, and a big part of how she defines herself.
Complicating the situation is that they aren't "officially" broken up yet---even though apparently he's said that it must happen soon. So they're e.g. still sleeping together, going out on dates, etc. Unhealthy, obviously, but she is happy to gather up any tidbits of affection he throws her way.
He has a bunch of complaints about her behavior, mostly having to do with being flirty toward other men, and apparently likes lecturing her on them repeatedly (perhaps a kinder way of putting it would be "explaining why they need to break up"). This is devastating to her self-esteem, but she's so attached that her only response is "yeah, I fucked up, now give me another chance."
So I'd like to help her as much as I can, and am looking for advice from you guys on how to do so. I think the first-boyfriend/first-breakup paradigm is the most salient detail, perhaps along with the dragged-out breakup and how he's such a big part of her life. Also note that I'm male, so any suggestions of the "girls night out" type don't exactly work.
Obviously I'm not expecting a miracle cure for the breakup blues from AskMeFi, but it seemed like a good use of this week's question to help a friend out. I couldn't find anything too helpful on AskMeFi previously, but if you can, or even some particularly nice Google results (I do prefer "real people's" advice though via AskMeFi), that'd be cool too.