What NOT To Say To Your Friend When They’re Going Through A Breakup

Breakups are never easy – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out! There’s a whole lot of emotions flying around the place and no one really knows what to say or do in these types of situations. I mean, when it’s you going through the breakup, you kind of know what works for you. For example, you might have a few days wallowing in self-pity on the sofa eating nothing but ice cream and/or boxes of Black Magic that were leftover from Christmas. But hey, that’s just me.

The main thing is I (sort of) know how to deal with my feelings. But when it comes to someone else’s, we humans are an absolute pain in the arse. As much as we try to help our friends or offer some friendly, caring advice, we always seem to mess it up and create a socially awkward situation at a difficult time.

So, if you’ve got a friend that’s going through a breakup, maybe consider NOT saying any of these 16 things to her (or him) at any point. Like, ever.

“Has he called?”

Of course he hasn’t called. And on the off chance that he has, it wasn’t the kind of phone call you’re excited to get. Avoid any chat about whether or not they’ve communicated – it’ll only tug at the heartstrings. Talk about the weather or that latest series you’ve been watching on Netflix or something. Anything other than ‘He who shall not be named’.

“You’re prettier than that new girl.”

Erm, are you kidding me!? Whether you’ve seen her ex has a new girl on Insta or not, it doesn’t give you the right to breathe a word about this new woman to your pal. She wants to know nothing about this girl, even if your friend is a natural 8 and her ex’s new squeeze is a strong 5 with a good filter.

“Do you think you’ll stay friends?”

C’mon! They’ve just broken up and everything is floating around in relationship purgatory. The last thing she’s wanting to consider right now is whether or not she wants to stay friends with a man she used to hold dear to her heart (and naked body for that matter). Leave the friend zone chat for a good couple of months at least.

“But I thought you guys were gonna get married.”

Let’s face it – your friend probably thought that too. But things change, people change, and rather than saying something stupid and potentially hurtful, maybe think about saying something like “Hey, your eyebrows are lookin’ good today”. Trust me, she’ll thank you for it later.

“You’re better off without him.”

I mean, 1) why not just state the obvious and 2) she’s going to have to be. If she wants to talk about how she’s now a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man then yes, indulge her. But if she doesn’t – don’t take the reins! Just keep topping up her glass with the good stuff and get some Blair and Serena on the go.

“There are plenty more fish in the sea.”

This may be true, but it’s such a cliche. And one that your friend most definitely isn’t interested in hearing right now. After all, doesn’t want a new fish – she wants the one she’s loved and cared for over the last few years. My advice? If you can’t think of anything else to say to her other than this, then it’s probably better just to say nothing at all.

“Have you deleted him off Facebook yet?”

I imagine that with having her heart broken and her relationship status changing, Facebook hasn’t exactly been at the top of her list of priorities recently. Sure, we’re all social media-obsessed these days (you can’t deny it) but deleting someone from your friend list is a real closure milestone, so she’ll do it when she’s good and ready. Leave her to it.

“Single life is better anyway.”

Oh c’mon, the grass is always greener? Really? Why not cut your friend a little slack? They’re newly single and need time to adjust to what we’ll call a ‘lifestyle change’. They’ll soon find out that spending more time on themselves – instead of on a relationship that’s not working – will make them happier anyway.

“I know what you’re going through.”

No matter whether you’ve experienced  a million breakups, or near to that, every single situation is completely unique to the two people involved. I hate to tell you this but as much as you think you might know EXACTLY what your friend is going through, you don’t. And chances are you never will. So instead of trying to understand, just listen to what she’s got to say, nod along and maybe open up some Pringles to share.

“Have you got rid of all his stuff yet?”

Both you and your friend know damn well that she’s still got drawers and wardrobes full of reminders of their relationship in her house. And if the breakup is still fresh she certainly doesn’t need you bringing it to her attention. Why not just offer a generic “If you need a hand with anything, just say,” which could mean you’d be more than happy to help her take all his crap back to his place or, alternatively, chuck it on a bonfire. The option’s there I suppose.

“OMG, do you think there’s someone else!?”

Don’t even go there. Absolutely no good could ever come of you daring to ask this particular question!

“I never liked him anyway.”

As much as you may think this will make her feel better, do you really want her thinking that you’ve been lying to her throughout their entire relationship by pretending to like him? No, of course not. When you’re friends, you’re happy when they’re happy. And when they’re sad, then you are too. She’ll know that, so there’s no need to hatch a plan to end this man.

“Just get yourself on Tinder, hen.”

I don’t think I need to explain to you just how crappy this idea is. And if I do – then shame on you.

“He’ll come crawling back, you watch.”

The last thing she needs right now is you giving her false hope that her ex is going to make a guest appearance at her front door at some point in the near future. So even if you think he’ll try and worm his way back into her life, give her some other things to think about. Like all the amazing nights out you’ve got to look forward to. Shopping, spending money, drinking, dancing, laughing and the likes.

“You were SO out of his league.”

Let’s not state the obvious or try and find the silver lining in this black cloud, hey? Instead of offering up a back-handed compliment which basically means “You’re a stunner but your ex was a dog,” just get dressed up and go out for food and cocktails because, well, food and cocktails. Need I say more?

“You deserve better.”

They don’t deserve better. They deserve the best. Enough said.

What NOT To Say To Your Friend When They're Going Through A Breakup

Have any of your friends gone through a breakup recently?
If so, let me know whether or not you put your foot in it by using any of these phrases!

Louise x

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  1. Tammy
    June 18, 2020 / 10:25 pm

    I’ve only had a couple of friends go through a break up BUT they were wanting the breakup. So we kind of celebrated a bit afterward. It would be hard to console when it’s a bad break up

  2. June 19, 2020 / 8:45 am

    Breakup is not easy but time heals and it is part of the experience one has to go through I guess. Else, life won’t be complete.

  3. Kristine Nicole Alessandra
    June 19, 2020 / 11:16 am

    I had a workmate before whose husband called it quits through a text message. That was extremely rude of him but we did not dare say anything to our friend. We just let her cry her heart out, listened to her, and allowed her to say whatever she wanted to say (even if she was close to screaming). I think it is best to just let your friend know that you are willing to lend an ear and a shoulder for her to cry on.

  4. Monidipa
    June 19, 2020 / 3:39 pm

    Unfortunately all friends say these… But from personal experience I’ll tell you these words hurt.

  5. June 19, 2020 / 6:08 pm

    I completely agree with you!!! What the friend needs during a breakup is support and comfort, not gossip.

  6. June 20, 2020 / 2:46 am

    These are great advice. I am sure this will be very helpful.

  7. June 20, 2020 / 5:54 am

    These are definitely some great things NOT to say. It can be a tough spot to be in to try to be supportive of your friend without saying the wrong thing.

  8. Jay Aguirre
    June 20, 2020 / 7:06 am

    Helping a friend through a breakup can be really tough. Thanks for these tips! A lot of it is simply about support and being there to listen.

  9. June 21, 2020 / 5:09 am

    yup! fully agree with these – these are not what anyone would like to hear when they are feeling low

  10. June 21, 2020 / 12:49 pm

    These are such great tips and totally agree with you! I have seen my friends saying all these lines to friends who were going through breakups 😑

  11. June 21, 2020 / 3:26 pm

    Sometimes, all you really need to do is listen. That’s all.

  12. Marta
    June 23, 2020 / 8:45 am

    I know this is supposed to be serious topic, but I laughed so hard on some of those. You have a way of writing that is too good.

  13. June 24, 2020 / 9:59 pm

    Great list! I’m a break-up coach and these are classic DO-NOT’S – both for how the person who is coming out of the relationship should think and how a friend should help I’m sharing!

  14. September 27, 2020 / 8:40 pm

    OMG I have had a few of these said to me when I broke up with my ex, the ‘i didn’t even like him anyway’ did hurt me.

  15. September 27, 2020 / 9:11 pm

    Yes yes yes! I have heard many of these before when going through a breakup and it is just not something that needs to be said!

    September 28, 2020 / 10:17 am

    Sometimes people need to think before they speak. Unfortunately, not everyone has this ability. It’s sometimes about listening and allowing people to talk about how they feel and work through it than giving tons of advice.

  17. September 28, 2020 / 1:49 pm

    Breakups can be hard and it’s always helpful to have a good friend by your side especially one who follows this great list. Hate the saying plenty more fish in the sea.

  18. September 28, 2020 / 2:10 pm

    It’s so tricky when someone is going through a break-up, I think the trick is to just be supportive without passing too much comment. Mich x

  19. September 28, 2020 / 4:15 pm

    Such a tricky time. We’ve all been through it so it’s important to remember to be supportive, and not judgemental.

  20. Melanie williams
    September 29, 2020 / 11:26 am

    Some really good advice here for sure, as it can be a hard time so what is said especially by a friend can really count xx

  21. September 29, 2020 / 3:15 pm

    You’re right with these. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone saying any of them to me after a break-up. Tricky time for all involved though.

  22. September 30, 2020 / 1:00 pm

    It is so hard knowing what to say. I just tend to listen and let them make up their own minds……nothing worse than giving an opinion and then they are back together the week after LOL

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