Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, or so they say. When it comes to handling a breakup, men seem to do it very differently. By understanding how men deal with breakups, you are empowering yourself with the knowledge you need to better understand what went wrong and how to handle yourself better next time around.
Psychology Today experts report men quite often feel shocked by a broken relationship and get hit hard with an overload of emotions the first few weeks after the split.
How Men Deal with Breakups
In an attempt to deal with a broken heart, men will nest. He’s going to go out and stock up on canned fruit and veggies and other supplies for the fridge and cupboards.
Putting some art on the walls and maybe buying some plants might also happen. These are all the things he’s probably put off for years just because he didn’t want to do it for lots of different reasons.
This helps them feel better emotionally because they are doing something new to make them feel useful and to make their home cozier and more inviting.
Often, after a breakup, he will set out to drown his sorrows by drinking it up with the boys. Don’t forget alcohol is a depressant and although getting drunk might get you to bed a little earlier, it’s not going to help rouse from your crash the next day.
Having a hangover will put him in a bad mood emotionally, and he will be less likely to do the things he needs to in order to get healthier.
#3: Cuts off Contact
If he happens to cut off all contact, it means he isn’t ready to deal with all the negative emotion surrounding the breakup. Chances are he knows if he talks to you, he is only going to feel worse, so he flips to the default of total avoidance.
In most cases, this move isn’t done from spite. He just knows his sadness will deepen if he talks to you shortly after the split.
Many women make the mistake of thinking he didn’t care about them just because they don’t want to converse. That’s not true at all. He just wants to lessen the pain. He understands he needs space if he’s going to heal.
#4: Acting Like a Macho Jerk
If your man is acting like a primo jerk after the breakup, that’s likely because you threw him under the bus and ran over him a few times. If there’s any positive here for you, the more he’s acting like a jerk, the more he probably felt for you.
Most men lash out to deal with all the mixed up emotions inside. He’s trying to cope with the unknown.
This doesn’t mean you should accept his crappy jerkiness, but it does explain why he’s acting out.
Try looking at it from his perspective. How many times have you had a perfect stranger flip out on you for no reason at all? Every single time that happens, you know it’s got nothing to do with you. The same goes for this scenario. The issues are his and you are now a stranger to him, so let him flip out.
We often hurt the ones we love or loved the most.
When you understand and can empathize, you will release most of your anger with your compassion. Let him deal with his hurt and don’t play into it.
#5: The One-Night Stand Card
Men do this to try and get over a girl and prove they are moving on. This move couldn’t be further from the truth!
Most men who do this need external validation because they don’t like failing, and they definitely don’t like being hurt or feeling like they are in the wrong. Men get their self-esteem and validation from women, and sex is an attempt to make him feel better about himself.
After a breakup, men are in an uncomfortable zone and they panic. They don’t like that so they seek to find validation by sleeping with loads of women. It won’t take long for him to realize these one-night sleepovers aren’t enough, and he’s going to soon get tired of them.
Newsflash: You shouldn’t care anyway.
#6: Pounced on a New Relationship
He’s either going to dump you and get into a new relationship, or you dumped him and he’s going to get into a new relationship pronto.
If you were the one who got dumped, he likely did that because he met someone he has the hots for. That’s lame if you ask me.
However, if you were the one who broke his heart, he’s hooking up because he wants to fill the void you left. Perhaps he validates himself if he’s in a relationship. Think of it as a security blanket, if you will.
If you dumped him, his goal might be to find another catch ASAP. Think of this as a coping mechanism, because that’s exactly what it is and nothing more.
There are two sides to every story, and of course, it takes two to tango. He’s got the right to deal this breakup however he chooses. Remember that.
When a man decides he’s ready to break up, one of the most common methods is to make himself scarce or unavailable. Perhaps he called you daily when you first got together and even popped in to see you at work.
Suddenly, you feel distant from him and wonder why he hasn’t called you or seen you in a few days. Studies show most men prefer this tactic when breaking up.
Guys like to use this strategy particularly when the sex drive is low and there is very little chance of still having a friendship.
#7: Stretching the Truth
Research shows some men decide to use various forms of truth distortion just before a breakup. For instance, they might tell their buddies they never really liked her or that everything is just fine, never getting into the details of it all.
What he’s trying to do is get his brain to believe he really doesn’t care. You could say this is a little bit of a conditioning warmup.
#8: Intermittent Slow Support Removal
This can be done suddenly but more than likely, he’s going to slowly cut off any emotional support. When you need a shoulder to cry on, he’s going to be conveniently busy. Talking about your day just doesn’t happen because he’s always got something else to get done.
This is how men tell women they really don’t value them. Consciously, he’s protecting himself emotionally.
#9: Forever Timeout
Some guys prefer to opt for a permanent timeout by telling you something like, “I think we need to take a break from each other.”
Most of the time, this is a man’s way of telling you it’s off for good without completely sucker-punching you by leaving a smidgeon of hope on the table. It’s rather cruel if you ask me!
#10: In Your Face Dump
This one is pretty clear cut: He puts a permanent end to the relationship on the spot. This tactic can come via text, email, telephone or face to face. In many cases, the woman isn’t given a chance to sway the decision. He might just say, “We’re over.”
Mainly, alpha males with Type A personalities use this approach. The positive here is there is no miscommunication; the union is no more.
#11: Total Jerk
Here’s another totally nasty and classless way to force a breakup. When a man decides to suddenly and on purpose act like a big baby by arguing and being arrogant, rude and stand-off-ish.
His message is designed to let you know you’ve hurt him and he’s going to return the favor.
Remember, the meaner he is, the more he is emotionally hurt. That might not make sense and more often than not, this tactic makes him feel worse because his guilt intensifies.
#12: Dating Other Girls
One surefire way to initiate a breakup is to have a guy suggest you both date other people. He’s basically telling you in your face that he’s happy to share you because you really don’t mean that much to him. This approach suggests loud and clear that you aren’t with the right guy.
A guy using this strategy is poking you to break up by giving you a reason to feel like you have very little worth. It’s a little cowardly if you ask me.
#13: Playing the Justification Card
In a dating relationship where a man clearly needs lots of autonomy, this strategy is often used. He might tell you that you’re depending on each other too much, and that’s not a good thing.
Men also use this tactic when they are feeling pressure to settle down and don’t want to yet. Corner a cat and watch out.
#14: Negative Blame
If you start to see repeated bouts of negativity, a guy might start blaming to get the breakup ball rolling. According to the experts, this approach is all too common.
This is where the guy blames everything on the girl and doesn’t have the ability to take responsibility for his own actions. Ultimately, he wants to force the relationship to end.
#15: Negotiation Farewell
This final strategy for breaking up involves negotiation. The plus with this tactic is both of you get the chance to talk about things before making any final decisions.
Studies show this is the least preferred method used by a man to break up simply because it means he’s going to have to throw his emotions on the table, and we all know men don’t like to do that.
On the rare occasion, this strategy is used, it’s because the relationship has been going on for a long time. Another time this is used is when neither party wants to admit the fire is burnt out.
#16: Movie Marathon Lockdown
Just like women, men often choose to hibernate after a breakup. This is where they might curl up on the couch and have a marathon movie weekend. Depression and low energy is often a factor, and all he’s trying to do is get his mind off the hurt.
Guys like to sleep a lot and maybe even have a good cry, in privacy of course.
#17: Drinking Alone
Many men choose to drink in privacy to try and get over a girl. Often, they get carried away and may even call you with their sloppy drunk talk. This liquid courage might give him the door to actually call a guy friend to come over and talk about it.
#18: Jetting off into the Sunset
If his wallet and work allows, he might hop on a plane after a breakup to find some peace in the sun. Guys who do this are physically trying to distance themselves from their ex-partner in hopes it will ease the pain. It might be better for the brain, but it’s not going to take the emotion out of the equation.
This strategy, however, is a good way for him to clear his head and perhaps refocus in a positive light.
#19: Party Animal
This one isn’t as destructive as it might first appear. After a breakup, guys often decide to get social and use the breakup as an excuse to get crazy. Even just temporarily numbing the pain for a while isn’t such a bad option.
Another plus for this approach is more bonding time with the guys, and that’s exactly what he needs right now. He needs some good friends who will help distract him from the emotional turmoil he’s going through.
#20: Shut-Down Mode
We all know men aren’t normally very good at expressing emotions. It’s got something to do with that manly testosterone provider thing!
Society expects men to be strong and to not cry, and that makes it difficult for them to know how to deal with these raw emotions.
Ultimately, this forces him to shut down emotionally for a while until he is ready to face what he is truly feeling.
#21: Crazy Busy
When a guy is worried or bothered by something, he will often just throw himself into something physical. Perhaps he will lock himself in the garage and work on his truck for hours. Men know how to find their energy when they are forcing their adrenaline to get pumping.
This is actually a healthy route to dealing with heartache because it exercises the body and clears the head.
#22: Social Media Stalking
Guys and gals are guilting of turning to social media after a breakup. He needs to know what his ex is up to, and stalking social media is the perfect option.
Newsflash: This is not a good way to get over a girl. It actually prolongs the process of getting your emotions and thoughts back on track. It’s just going to make him sad because someone once special is no longer in his life.
#23: Dating App, Here He Comes
It’s just too easy to meet women these days. Online dating is hot in the spotlight, and with a few taps, he can be up and running, looking for the next girl.
This move helps with his ego when he actually starts conversing with other girls. It also takes the natural pressure off him to go out and meet women. Friends have a way of doing this prematurely.
More likely than not, particularly if this is fast after a breakup, he’s just trying to keep himself busy so he’s not consciously thinking about his ex.
Breaking up is tougher on men than it is on women, and that explains why men have a harder time coping with a breakup.
Let’s dig a little deeper!
In real life, according to the experts, men aren’t as quick to get through a breakup as women are. Studies show this is because of the neurochemical vasopressin. This chemical makes men less likely to see other men as approachable when emotions are running high.
This chemical makes women more drawn to other women. In other words, they are more open to talking and dealing with their overloaded emotions.
Another reason men have a tougher time dealing with breakups is because the brain tells them their lover is their “home.” He didn’t only lose the girl he loved, but now he’s also emotionally homeless.
How Should a Man Deal with a Breakup?
Step One: Start a “She-Tox”
This refers to the no-contact rule. Immediately, he should start erasing all memories of his ex. This includes removing cell phone numbers and emails and blocking her on social media to start.
He should also try to focus on the negatives of the relationship because that will help him absorb this emotional blast.
To help soothe the breakup blues, a guy should also stay far away from any places he used to go with his ex. This includes coffee shops, clubs, restaurants and any other place he might run into her.
Step Two: Gather It Up and Burn It
He should take action to remove all pictures of his ex that are physical and the pics on his devices. This is a smart mental move that is going to speed up the healing process simply because he’s not constantly being visually reminded of what has been lost.
Step Three: Finish the Friendship
A guy should never try and be “just friends” with his ex. Anytime a man has become romantically involved with a woman, it should be understood the door to being friends has been shut and locked up tight.
Step Four: Drown Your Sorrows, Then Stop
It’s okay and even therapeutic for a guy to get drunk right after a breakup. However, this shouldn’t be an everyday thing. That’s just pathetic, and it is only going to get him into loads of trouble.
Step Five: Bring on the Women
This isn’t what you think. A man with a broken heart shouldn’t think of himself as being alone. And this doesn’t mean he should jump back into a relationship because that’s a rotten can of worms. A smooth move is for a man to surround himself with women friends, the ones you don’t sleep with.
Girls are great listeners and interested in hearing what a hurting man has to say. Need I say more?
Step Six: Keep on Moving!
Yes, it hurts, but a guy who has been hurt recently needs to make sure, no matter what, he keeps one foot in front of the other and keeps on going. He should get his butt to the gym to shoot hoops with friends and make plans to go to the movies or go out for a bite to eat with the boys.
A healthy route to getting over a girl is to make a date to get out of the house at least 3 times a week.
Step Seven: Hop Back on the Horse
Eventually, it’s good for a man to get back on the horse. Hooking up with someone for sex is a good way to pump up his ego a bit. It gives him a ray of hope that the pain will stop and he will move on to find love again.
Men and women are programmed very differently. Studies show women are the emotional ones who want to talk about their feelings and vulnerabilities, whereas men are the rocks and providers who are expected to bottle up their emotions and deal with things by staying strong.
So, it makes perfect sense that men deal with heartache differently than women do.
There is no right way for a guy to deal with a breakup. It’s a learning process, and the more you understand it, the better you’ll be able to deal with all the emotion. Empathy goes a long way, and when you can speed up the healing process and put yourself in his shoes because you understand how he’s programmed, you’re also going to recover faster too.
Everybody deserves to be happy. Sure, your relationship might be over, but taking the time to try and understand the big picture better is only going to help you discover your perfect catch so you can nail them hook, line and sinker.