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How to Help a Guy through a Breakup & Be the Good Friend He Needs

Watching anyone go through a breakup isn’t easy. As a friend, it can be hard to know how to help a guy through a breakup. But, there’s always a way.

How to Help a Guy through a Breakup

Whether it’s your brother, best guy friend, or neighbor—it’s not easy knowing what to do or how to help a guy through a breakup. Usually, men keep their emotions to themselves and you assume they’re fine. But no one is ever fine.

Going through a breakup isn’t an easy experience. And let’s face it, unless you really wanted to end things with this person—usually, you’re upset and hurt. Which makes complete sense. You’re grieving the loss of your partner. No, they didn’t die, but they’re gone from your life. So, you know exactly how it feels when a guy you know is going through a breakup.

How to help a guy through a breakup

When my brother went through a breakup, I didn’t know what to do. He wasn’t crying or posting sad songs on Facebook. He was basically acting the same, just slightly cranky. So what do you do? [Read: How to know the qualities of a good friend and what sets them apart from the rest]

Knowing how to support a man who’s going through a breakup isn’t easy. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You just need to know what to do, it’s as simple as that. So, if you know someone close to you who’s going through a breakup, it’s time you learn what’s the best way to give them the support they need.

Even though they may say they’re fine, deep down, everyone needs to have a support system around them. He’s going to need a helping hand, so I’m here to help you learn how to help a guy through a breakup.

#1 Give them some space. Some men won’t even tell you they’re going through a breakup until weeks later. Not because they don’t want to tell you, but they’re going through their own process.

Before bombarding them with new women and long nights out at the club, tell them you’re there for them and give them some space. No, don’t completely ignore them, but give them some space to breathe. [Read: 22 ways you can help your friend who is sad]

#2 Encourage them to talk. After giving them a little bit of space, encourage them to talk to you. But, only if they want to. Even though I know you want them to give you the juicy details, if they’re closed to the idea of opening up right now, then they’re not ready. And that’s perfectly okay. Respect this. They’ll come to you when they’re ready and if desired.

#3 Actively listen. If they decide to talk about it, this isn’t an opening to now tell them all of your problems. Save that conversation for another day. Now, it’s time for you to be a listener. Put your phone down, and actively listen to them talk. When you say something, be compassionate and empathetic. This isn’t the time for you to start judging them. [Read: How to be a better listener in your relationships]

#4 Be the voice of reason. When they talk, you’re going to see them go through many emotions. They’ll be sad, angry, bitter. It’s easy to let them trash talk about the relationship, but be the voice of reason. If they want to slash their ex’s tires, you cannot be the one to encourage bad behavior. You need to make sure they don’t do anything stupid.

#5 Remember, you’re not a therapist. When they’re telling you things, you’re going to be supportive. But remember you’re not a therapist. If they’ve started drinking or doing drugs, you need to point them to professional help. Sure, you can be supportive during this period of time, but if you want to know how to help a guy through a breakup but he’s not mentally doing well, he needs to see a doctor. 

#6 There are limits. During this time, he’s going to need a lot of support. But there should be boundaries. Hanging out with him is good, but if he’s waking you up in the middle of the night to grab some beers, you’re probably not going to be down for that. And that’s okay. You have limits and you’re not a bad friend for it. You’re human, not a machine. 

#7 Offer to go out. Many people revert when going through a breakup. They stay at home and grieve. Now, he needs this time too, but at some point, he’ll need to leave the house. Offer to go out hiking, dinner, to the movies, or a night out. You shouldn’t force them to go out, but keep offering. They’ll eventually say yes.

#8 If he asks for your opinion, tell him. At some point, he’s going to ask you for your opinion on the breakup. This is the moment where he wants to reflect. If he asks you what you think, then you should be honest with him. There’s never one side to a story. Now, you shouldn’t be rude and start telling him he’s messed up and ruined his life. But by telling him evident issues, he’ll process the breakup properly. [Read: Being brutally honest – 13 scenarios when it’s an obligation]

#9 Encourage self-care. Though everyone grieves differently, self-care is essential. They need to find their own path when it comes to handling the breakup. However they decided to carry through their self-care, you need to support and encourage it. Of course, if he’s drinking or drugs, that’s completely different.

#10 Healing takes time. He will most likely just want to move on and get over the breakup. But you need to tell him grieving takes time. This isn’t going to be better tomorrow or even a week from now. It’ll take time to process everything that happened. Healing isn’t going to happen as quickly as you want it to. He needs to know he can’t rush the process.

#11 Everyone grieves differently. When it comes to breakups, not everyone buys a bucket of ice cream and watches The Notebook. If you’ve experienced a breakup, you grieved in a certain way. But that way isn’t necessarily going to work for them. This isn’t the time for you to lecture them that they’re grieving in the wrong way. Let them do what feels right. [Read: How to make the world a better place by what you say]

#12 Be thoughtful. If you know where he works, drop by with lunch for him one day. Or if he comes over, cook him his favorite meal. It doesn’t have to be grandiose acts of kindness. You don’t need to put his name on a billboard. But the small acts let him know that he’s loved and supported through the bad times.

[Read: How to cheer someone up – 18 ways to help them feel awesome again]

Now that you know how to help a guy through a breakup, you’ll be able to provide the right type of support. And he’ll really appreciate it.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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