Helping Someone Through A Breakup: Roommate Edition

By Bethany Fischer

Navigating the world of romance can be tricky. Breakups are hard, and helping someone through a breakup often means treading on thin ice. This is especially true if the person you are helping is someone close to you, like a roommate. Helping someone through a breakup can push the boundaries of your relationship, and it is important to approach the situation delicately. If this someone is your roommate, it is even more important to be prepared and proactive. Whether you are good friends with your roommate or merely acquaintances that live together, certain tips and tricks can make helping someone through a breakup, especially a roommate, a smooth process.

Roommates: Helping Someone Through A Breakup: Roommate Edition
Photo via Unsplash

Be A Good Listener

Going through a breakup is, as it sounds, heartbreaking. Your roommate will most likely be experiencing a lot of painful emotions that will be difficult for them to process on their own. Your roommate may need someone to listen to their struggles. If you are helping someone through a breakup, you can be the ear that listens.

It is important to remember that everyone processes their emotions differently. Helping someone through a breakup doesn’t always mean giving practical answers to their problems. Is your roommate actually asking you for advice? Or, are they looking for a safe space to express their feelings? If you are helping someone through a breakup, don’t try and solve their problems. Instead, listen intently and put yourself in your roommate’s shoes. When you avoid giving out unwanted advice, you also avoid damaging your relationship. Helping someone through a breakup means being an active and empathetic listener.

Lessen Their Workload

There are many generic ways you can go about helping someone through a breakup. However, as a roommate, you have the chance to provide a special kind of support that only roommates can give to each other. Helping someone through a breakup can mean giving emotional support, but it can also mean providing physical support where it is needed. As a roommate, you can be the perfect person to lend a helping hand.

Many people develop systems to avoid certain roommate problems, like uneven chore distribution. These are important expectations to uphold to ensure that everyone is living fairly and carrying their own weight. However, going through a breakup is just as physically exhausting as it is emotionally. You may notice that your roommate takes longer to complete their chores, or is less enthusiastic about participating in the household overall. Helping someone through a breakup can sometimes mean extending grace and being understanding. You can do this for your roommate by lightening the household workload for them while they a grieving. Consider offering to complete their least favorite chore for them, or doing the grocery run for the week. You don’t have to completely take over their tasks, but helping someone through a breakup by lifting some of their burdens can speed up the process and show your roommate that you care.

Set Healthy Boundaries

Breakups are always hard on those who have ended relationships, but they can also be difficult on their support system. This is because helping someone through a relationship often involves a lot of emotional support. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and it is very easy to over-extend yourself to those you care about, like your roommate. Finding a balance between being a good friend while also taking care of your own well-being may be the most important thing to consider while helping someone through a breakup.

All good relationships, whether they are romantic, professional, or platonic, thrive on maintaining healthy boundaries. This is especially true when it comes to your relationship with your roommate. You may feel obligated to ignore your own needs to help your roommate through this difficult time. Because you live together, it is very easy to cross important lines that you may not have tolerated before. You may give up your privacy to make your roommate feel like they can always come to you. Your roommate may be struggling with their sleep schedule and pull you into a routine that doesn’t work for you. Understand that it is within your right to say “no” to someone when you need to. Helping someone through a breakup doesn’t mean giving up your own mental and physical health to help them heal. You cannot be a good support system to someone if you are also struggling. The best way to get your roommate through their heartache is by first taking care of yourself.


Helping someone through a breakup is a complex situation. It can become more complex if that someone is your roommate. Because you live with this person, you will most likely see them at their lowest point. It is important to approach their heartbreak with as much empathy as possible. This can look like being a good listener and lessening their workload. It is also important to take care of yourself and establish boundaries to protect your relationship with your roommate while they are navigating an emotional point in their life. The relationship you have with your roommate is unlike any other relationship in your life. Helping them through a breakup will show them that you care about them and their emotional wellbeing.

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