PALS Column – May

Dealing with friendship and relationship breakups can be some of the most difficult parts of the high school experience. According to psychologist Melanie Greenberg’s study on the neuroscience of friend and relationship breakups, “students report feeling significantly less distressed about the breakup after about 10 weeks.” Those 10 weeks can be challenging to get through, but students can distract themselves by getting involved in sports and clubs. In addition, expressing your feelings to others can help build better friendships and relationships. Students are  welcome to come to room 49 every 2-4-6 day during lunch to get peer support or just for a good time with PALs and other students, many of whom have endured similar breakup experiences.

A fellow PAL shares her breakup experience.

 “[My ex-boyfriend and I] dated for seven months during sophomore year and I devoted all my time to him. We always hung out and went on dates, and I was close with his parents, too. Then one day, my best friend told me that he was cheating on me. I confronted him,  but he denied it even though I knew that it was true, so I broke up with him. I was really depressed for a couple of weeks after, but I found happiness in writing poetry and coaching basketball.” 

Community service is another great distraction from the emotional pain experienced during the 10 weeks following a breakup.  Helping others and providing service to the  community can bring about self-confidence and self-respect. 
Ultimately, students need to remember not to force themselves to “just get over it” too quickly. Emotional pain after a breakup can take a while to subside but will always be alleviated with time. Self-care, getting involved in various activities and being of service to others are great ways to ease the difficult process of dealing with the pain of friendship and relationship breakups.