Last week, I wrote about the insights that a grief educator, Val Walker, had into the process of helping a friend through a breakup. Today, I'll give you Val's specific examples of what to say and what not to say.
Instead Of: "You'll be just fine — there are more fish in the sea."
Try: "It sounds like you will really miss him."
Instead Of: "It could be worse — at least he didn't dump you the way Bob did to me."
Try: "I am so sorry this happened."
Instead Of: "Be positive — you have a bright future ahead of you."
Try: "It's amazing to see you smile today after all this."
Instead Of: "It's time to get over it."
Try: "This might take time."
Instead Of: "Be strong — God doesn't give you more than you can handle."
Try: "I believe in you."
Instead Of: "You should be getting out more."
Try: "What helps you feel better these days?"
Instead Of: "You shouldn't be so angry — so negative."
Try: "It's just not fair. You had enough on your plate before all this."
Instead Of: "Shit happens. That's just the way life is."
Try: "This really, really sucks, and I'm sorry."
Instead Of: "I understand exactly what you are going through."
Try: "I can only imagine what you are going through."
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Pamela Anderson’s Makeup-Free Streak Continues, From Paris to London
Anderson ditched a glam squad for the 2023 Fashion Awards last night.
By Rachel Burchfield
Amal Clooney Goes Two-for-Two This Week, This Time in Glitterball Gold and Bronze
In black the night prior, Clooney shone—literally—in Atelier Versace.
By Rachel Burchfield
Richa Moorjani Is 'Fargo' Season 5’s Moral Center—But She Almost Didn’t Let It Happen
The actress opens up about how imposter syndrome made her believe that she didn’t belong in the ‘Fargo’ universe.
By Quinci LeGardye
30 Female-Friendly Porn Websites for Any Mood
All the best websites, right this way.
By Kayleigh Roberts
The 82 Best Cheap Date Ideas for Couples on a Budget
"Love don't cost a thing." —J.Lo
By The Editors
Diary of a Non-Monogamist
Rachel Krantz, author of the new book 'Open,' shares the ups and downs of her journey into the world of open relationships.
By Abigail Pesta
COVID Forced My Polyamorous Marriage to Become Monogamous
For Melanie LaForce, pandemic-induced social distancing guidelines meant she could no longer see men outside of her marriage. But monogamy didn't just change her relationship with her husband—it changed her relationship with herself.
By Melanie LaForce
How the pandemic has mutated our most personal disunions.
By Gretchen Voss
16 At-Home Date Ideas When You're Stuck Indoors
Staying in doesn't have to be boring.
By Katherine J. Igoe
Long Distance Relationship Gift Ideas for Couples Who've Made It This Far
Alexa, play "A Thousand Miles."
By Jaimie Potters
15 Couples on How 2020 Rocked Their Relationship
Couples confessed to Marie Claire how this year's many multi-stressors tested the limits of their love.
By Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW