Dear Miss A,
My best friend recently went through a terrible break up. Her boyfriend of two plus years cheated on her, and was dating around behind her back. She is going through a really tough time, and I am having a hard time being a good friend. I’ve invited her over to dinner, or out for drinks, or girls’ nights, but I don’t think it is helping. She is really depressed and down. Worse, she is feeling really isolated and I’m not sure I’m being a good enough friend to her because I do not know what she needs or wants and don’t want to be overbearing.
It is hard though, because I am in a very happy relationship and have a tight schedule with volunteering, work and social activities. I feel like if I mention my happy life, she becomes even more sad. How can I be a better friend to her and help my friend out of this situation? None of our friends ever cared for her ex-boyfriend and he never made an effort to get to know us and treated my friend horribly. The Ex was such a problem that some of our common friends stopped hanging out with her because of all the drama. What can I do to be a supportive friend?
Dear Miss Friendly,
Thank you for writing me with your question. I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s break up. You have been inviting your friend out — to dinner, for drinks and for girls night, but you may want to consider scheduling a time to go see her at her place where she may feel more comfortable. You all could go for a walk and talk, or order in and watch a movie together. It sounds like her break up got ugly and was very public with a lot of her social circle being involved. She may not feel comfortable going out and being around those people until she finds her inner strength and regains her confidence.
I don’t know the details of your friendship, but if your friendship was based on your both having boyfriends and doing things together as couples, or based on the fact that you both went out a lot, you may just be growing apart. They say that people come into your life for “a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” Not all friendships stand the test of time. On one end of the spectrum, you have people who make friends in high school or college, and stay close for a lifetime. On the other end of the spectrum, you have people who are constantly moving, evolving, and making new friends. And then there are those who fall somewhere in between. Changes in priorities and interests can lead to old friendships not working out, and can create great new friendships.
Try reaching out and setting up a time to go to her, and see if that works, and see if you enjoy being friends with her in that more one-on-one setting. I think it’s great that you’re trying to be supportive, and haven’t given up on her. She may come around once she gets over her break up, and the public humiliation she had to endure.
Let me know how it goes!
– Miss A