Whether he's your best friend or a potential boyfriend, helping the guy you care about overcome his feelings for his ex will help him move forward in life. The goal might be a frustrating one for your friend to strive for, and it won't be reached overnight. After all, the person your friend is stuck on once played a big role in his life. Adopt several strategies that can help your friend break his stubborn connection with the past.
Minimize Their Time Together
Help your friend minimize the time he spends around his ex-girlfriend. Whenever he is tempted to call or text her, make your disapproval clear. Tell him he is only feeding the addiction. Also help him steer clear of locations that his ex-girlfriend usually visits. For example, if he usually runs into her at the gym, help him find a new place to get his workout in or set new times for exercising.
Help your friend find a goal that will keep his mind off his ex-girlfriend, suggests health psychologist Kelly McGonigal in the "Psychology Today" article "Science-Based Strategies for Getting Over Your Ex." For example, buy a new two-player video game that the two of you can either compete in or cooperate in to complete. The more addicting the game, the better. You could also sign the two of you up for a new sport or school club.
Focus on Others
You don't necessarily need to drag your friend back into the dating world, but remind him that he has supportive friends and family, suggests dating coach Lori Pinkerton in the "Your Tango" article "Stuck on Your Ex? Reasons and Hints to Help You Move On." If he seems stressed out, treat him to a movie with a group of friends. If he appears lonely, invite him over for dinner with your family. If he can't rely on a supportive social network, he might feel tempted to contact his ex.
Help Him Find Acceptance
Lack of closure, guilt, regret and longing are several reasons people hold onto the past, Pinkerton writes. Talk to your friend about the relationship and look for the source of his continued connection. You probably won't be able to help him solve past problems, but you can help him move toward acceptance. For example, if he brings up regrets about the relationship, such as saying he regrets not buying her flowers on Valentine's Day, remind him that the past is the past, and he can only use past mistakes to make for a better future.
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