Watching your best friend go through a break up can be even more heart-wrenching than it happening to you. I don’t mean a casual break up with that guy she’d seen for a few weeks, or an amicable parting from her hookup buddy—I mean the gut-wrenching, heartbreaking split from the boy she’d thought was the one. Whether you knew all along that this guy was bad for her, or you were convinced they really would be together for the long haul, holding your BFF while she cries can tear at your own heart, too.
It’s not always easy to be there for someone after a break up of this intensity. Sometimes all she’ll want to do will be watch movies with you in silence, or to be alone for three days straight while she puts herself back together. During that time, it’s important to be there for her in the best way that you can. But when she’ll really need you is when she’s feeling ready to get back out there. This is when she’s emerged from her room/bed, is wearing normal clothes again, and she can go without crying every two hours. This is when you’ll need to step in.
There will come a time after the breakup, when the tears have dried and you actually see your best friend start to look happy again, when she says she wants to go out. It might be the first time she’s said that since she had her heart broken, or it might just be the first time since the breakup that she’s seemed actually excited about going out with all of her friends. Either way, this is the time when she’ll really need you most. I’m not saying she needs you to be her permanent support system or that she is incapable of handling things independently. It’s just a different kind of pain when you go out and experience being newly single in the real world for the first time, and it can be harder than the crying-in-your-bedroom stage. When the pain is fresh and she comes home sobbing, everyone is there to give her a hug and tell her it will all work out. That’s important, but that’s just the first stage of grief. The next part, the part where she’ll actually be trying to get back on her feet, is even more significant. She’s trying to rebuild herself; she’s trying to be happy again. And that is when you really, really need to be there.
Don’t just agree to go for an hour or two and bail on your best friend in her time of need. I don’t care if you have a test the next morning or your boyfriend is bugging you to come home. When your best friend needs you because she’s sad, you’re there, and the same should go when she’s trying to be happy again. This is when she’ll need your fun and wild side, the side that will stay out with her, and pull her onto the dance floor, and make her laugh. It’s not easy getting back out into the real world after a terrible breakup, and even if she says it’s fine that you need to call it a night early, she’s disappointed. More than that, she’s still incredibly vulnerable. She’s trying to be herself again, and she’s still in the process of shaking off her heartbreak. There is no better time to be a friend and go the extra mile to make sure she has a good time out and about again. So, get out there, pour some shots, and stay until the bouncers kick you out. I promise you, your best friend will thank you for it forever..