One of my favorite BW fans (okay, you're all my favorites) went through a rough breakup back in May. With a summer of healing under her dandy butch belt, she's emerged with some sage advice to share. You can check out more of her writing at shpants.wordpress.com.
eL! (photo by Tiffany Rodgers)
Hello, readers of Butch Wonders! I like you already. My name is eL, I'm in my early 30s, and I am a single butch. I blog here and tweet here. I identify as butch, queer (and faaabulous), and a bit of a fancy pants dandy. Nice to meet you!
A couple months ago, I went through a pretty awful break-up. (Who goes through a smooth, easy break-up?) I was in a relationship that I felt pretty good/solid about, and it ended abruptly due to some personal issues (not my own). During the post-break-up convalescing, I was treated to some well-intentioned but not-so-helpful comments from friends and family. See below.
What NOT To Say to Someone Going Through A Break-Up:
My point is that there's nothing good that you can say to someone who is going through a break-up. That's the sad truth. The best thing that you can do is listen. Let them cry, let them talk, let them rant--just listen to them. Also, spend time with them. That helped me most in getting over my recent heartbreak--doing things with friends/family and getting out of the house.
I think the worst part, for me, was that we had made plans for future events, things had been scheduled, tickets had been purchased. All major events have since passed, I went to them with friends and family, and I am fine. The dates themselves were harsh reminders at the time but I am so happy that they are over and I am past it.
If you have a friend who is going through a break-up, give them your time, attention, and patience. Take your friend out to do something active and fun. Think of something unique or unusual--something with no connection to their ex. The more active, the better--get their mind off of the stress and sadness. Respect them if they say they don't want to talk about it, but try your best not to tiptoe around them. There's a fine line between showing love and making someone feel pitied. You don't want them to feel looked down upon. Try your best to be supportive, but not overbearing.
Personally, I try to err on the side of direct, rather than blunt, as best I can. I will always ask questions and do a check-in. A simple, "Are you okay?" "How are you doing?" or "Is there anything I can do to help?" can make all the difference in the world. So does the phrase "love you." I love my friends so much and only want the best for them: to be happy, healthy and whole.
Take care of your hearts, BW readers. And if you need a kind ear the next time you're going through a tough time, I'll gladly listen.