The Ex Factor: How Your Friends Help You Survive a Breakup

It's Saturday night. You're home, on your third glass of wine, staring hopelessly into a pint of cookie dough ice cream, wishing that something (anything!) would numb this post-breakup pain. Betcha feel like the saddest girl in the world, huh? But just think how much sadder things would be if you were back with your ex ‑- a guy who is so unworthy of your greatness. Says who, you ask? Says Greg Behrendt, coauthor of last year's hit He's Just Not That into You, and his wife, Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt. In their new book, It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: A Smart Girl's Breakup Buddy, they show you why you absolutely must put down that tub of Häagen-Dazs and pick up the phone. No, not to call him. To call your friends. Yes, these are the good people who are going to help you get over your heartache and get back in the game.


You may not have him, but you have something far more valuable right now ‑- your friends. "Great. And my health, right? Oh, I'm so lucky." We know it sounds corny, but having good friends to call on will get you through the heartbreak you're feeling more quickly than you thought. Their love and companionship can be a beacon during your darkest hours ‑- but believe us when we say that those beacons can go out. You want to take care of your friendships during this time, even as they are taking care of you. When you're on the other side, there's nothing worse than ending the relentless chatter of the breakup-obsessed friend who doesn't listen to your or take your advice. Here's the thing to remember about your friends: They want you to be happy. They want you to be a in a good, loving, and healthy relationship that inspires you to be the best you can be, not one that is difficult and painful. What's more, your friends can see your ex and your relationship for what it was ‑- warts and all ‑- and they probably aren't buying the rewritten version of the perfect love that you're pining over.

Six months from now, when you are in a completely different emotional space (if not already in a better relationship), you'll want to look back on this time and feel good about the way you behaved with the people around you. You won't want visions of Lily Taylor singing "Joe Lies" and bumming out everyone at the party while her friends exchange uncomfortable glances. (If you haven't seen Cameron Crowe's film Say Anything, run, don't walk, to the video store. But don't wait for your ex to show up on your lawn with a boom box ‑- it's just a movie.)

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