Signs of a Broken Heart

Breakups are difficult, and sometimes we bottle up our emotions. We don't want to show our sadness to co-workers, family or even friends. However, if a friend has just been dumped and seems to be doing well on the outside, here are a few ways to tell if your friend is suffering from a broken heart.

Sudden Weight Change

Chocolate Bars

If a female friend's been dumped, but insists that she's better off without "that jerk," check for signs of weight change. A broken heart affects people differently, so the change may be in either direction: loss or gain. If you've noticed more candy wrappers in her car than usual and her pants look a little tighter, that could be a sign of a broken heart. She's probably eating chocolates to dull away the pain. After all, chocolates are a girl's best friend.

If, however, you've noticed her picking at her salads when you go out and her face seems thinner than usual, that could also be a sign of the dreaded broken heart. Usually, this means she is too depressed to eat.

Sappy-Movie Overload

Your friend has been staying in on weekends the last couple of weeks (since her boyfriend broke up with her). You come over unannounced, but she seems to be doing fine. In this case, check the DVD player or DVR. If "Sleepless in Seattle" or another sappy romance movie is in the DVD player, that could be a sign of a broken heart. Sometimes, a broken heart needs to feel connected to a character in a movie, like one in a romantic comedy or romance film.

New Clothes, New Shoes

New shoes help with self confidence

Your friend's been looking extra stylish since Bobby said he wanted to date other people last month. This could be a sign of a broken heart. Buying clothes is a lot like eating chocolate, only not fattening. Being dumped hurts self-confidence sometimes, and your friend might need to buy new clothes, look the mirror and know she looks hot enough for any man.

New Haircolor or Piercing

Sometimes, the way a girl will express a broken heart while saying, "I'm really OK with this" is to show the ex what he's missing. If your brunette friend's boyfriend broke up with her and is now dating a blonde bombshell, your friend may decide she needs a new look: blonde hair. The thought process here is "He likes blondes? I'll show him how hot a blonde can actually be." This same attitude works with tattoos, piercings and many other physical attributes.

Men Get Dumped, Too

Men have heart break, too

Men can have broken hearts, too. Usually, though, they're better at hiding it. There is also a social stigma attached to men, making it harder for them to show emotions. However, the above rules do apply for some men, so keep watch on your recent male-friend dumpees for those sappy movies, chocolates and new clothes. Men also may change their appearances to match the new man their ex is dating.

Some men, however, show a broken heart with a drastic difference: wildness. To prove a man is good enough for any girl, he may simply go out and find...any girl. If your guy friend is usually a bookworm and now has started going to clubs cruising for chicks, you may have a broken heart on your hands.

Managing a Friend's Broken Heart

The signs are there, so now you feel the need to help. The cliche is true, in this case: the quickest way to heal a broken heart is with time. Keep an eye on your friend and let him or her know you're a shoulder to cry on. Things should be fine eventually, as long as the weight gain or weight loss doesn't get too drastic, your friend ditches the sappy movies to go out with friends eventually, the new clothes aren't running your friend into major debt problems, and your friend doesn't tattoo his or her whole back and legs to prove the ex's new love is only second best.

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About the Author

Laila Alvarez has been writing professionally since 2002. She has written for Houston Community Newspapers and "L.A. Zoo View," "North O.C. Magazine," "Perpetual Phlegm" and other magazines, newspapers and websites. Alvarez has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from California State University-Fullerton.

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