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What Guys Do After a Breakup

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What do guys do after a breakup?How does it feel when a guy goes through separation?Why do men act the way they do after a split?

Guys deal with breakups differently from women, that’s for sure.But how much different is a breakup through a man’s lens? 

Guys are taught to be macho even in the face of trauma, especially emotional pain.They are told right from childhood that real men don’t cry.

Little wonder guys try to act strong when in actuality, he is falling apart.He will wear the “am good mask” only to breakdown and cry in the shower when no one is watching.

To fully understand how men feel and cope after a breakup, you must first comprehend male psychology after a breakup.

Male Psychology after a Breakup

‘Male psychology after a breakup’ is the mental characteristics or attitude of the human male identity and the issues men confront after a breakup. 

In a nutshell, it is the concept of masculinity and machismo after a breakup.What makes men do what they do?Why are they so prideful?

Why do men behave the way they do after a breakup?

Guys are taught earlier on in life to man-up.Hence, after a breakup, a man’s first instinct is to numb all the pain to avoid potential moments of ‘weakness’ because of the painful emotions after the separation. 

The aforementioned is the primary reason men usually engage in mood-altering behaviors as an escape to dull the split’s pain. 

The same reason why guys rebound with so many women is because the high from flirting and hooking up distracts them from the breakup’s hurt.

It’s absurd, but many men believe in the saying that “to get over it is to get under someone else.” In other words, rebound until it hurts no more.

Why are guys so prideful and egoistic after a breakup?

Naturally, men and their egos are inseparable.However, men seem to be holding on to their pride a little too tighter after a breakup. 

Men try to act unaffected by the breakup to feel superior by compensating for an inner shame and insufficiency for failing at the relationship that just ended.

Men see failure as a sign of weakness, and for someone raised to be anything but weak, guys tend to react with pride to soothe their bruised egos and appear in control. 

The bottom line is that pride is just a cover for the emptiness they feel within.

Stages of a breakup for guys when he was dumped

Grief is personal and different for everyone, but generally, some emotions and phases always accompany a breakup and any loss. 

1.Ego (he acts like it is her loss)

Men are naturally egoistic, but during the relationship, guys tend to suppress this part of themselves.

Men will often mask their pain with pride and act unaffected by the breakup.They are so good at this that anyone would be fooled by this façade. 

He is out with boys having fun at the bar or even in bed with the hot secretary he told his girlfriend not to worry about.

With all this going on for him, anyone could imagine that he has long moved on.But has he really? 

2.The man becomes a social butterfly

In this stage, the man is on a rampage.He has one night stands, partying like a problem, and generally back on the social scene.

Unlike women, men don’t internalize the trauma after a breakup there and then.He will feel the pain, yes, but he will shrug it off and try to go through life as if nothing happened. 

For this unrealistically speedy recovery from the breakup to be possible, he has to make up for the void.He was used to the constant texting during the relationship, calling, which he doesn’t have now. 

To compensate, he may distract from the pain by talking to other women through texts and phone calls.He even isn’t interested in them, but he has to do it to cope with the loss.

3.It finally dawns on the guy that he may have lost his ex, forever.

The man just realized the “am okay” mask, and that all the rebounds haven’t helped with the pain. 

It is at this stage that depression and sadness sets in.The guy is just beginning to feel the full magnitude of the breakup’s hurt at this stage.

4.Testing the waters

Men being king of distractions, the guy may try to soothe himself by further mingling; after all, there are plenty of fish in the sea. 

He is hoping to feel better because men typically deal with pain by shrugging it off.

Toward the end of this stage, he realizes that no amount of sex or high can numb this pain, so he becomes desperate.

5.Begging and anger

After failing to get the perfect antidote from all his escapades from the above stages, he decides that maybe his ex is all he ever needed.He then goes on to beg and bargain as if his life depends on it.

Sadly for him, generally by this time, his ex has almost even forgotten about him.This further aggravated his pain, and this makes him livid.

It is at this stage that most men say some of the most hateful things out of anger for instance; 

•    “I never loved you anyway?”

•    “Why on earth did I even date you?You are unlovable.”

•    Etc.

6.Initial acceptance

Having been through the emotional roller coaster, it hits him now that it is truly over.This is the most painful stage for guys. 

It is when he doesn’t shower or leave the house.The man probably lays on the couch with his ex’s picture on his chest, crying his heart.t

The only silver lining in this whole depression, and that is that this is also the stage when the man begins the healing process.It is the phase where he looks at the demons of his breakup in the face and fights them one by one. 

7.Moving on

Finally, he is ready; he has been tested and tried and has made it through.In reality, very few men reach here. 

There are so many guys moving around still haunted by the ghosts of their exes years later.

But if he has made this far, he can rest assured that he has paid the sacrifice and is now a free man.

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Stages of a breakup when the guy wanted the breakup


He’s over the moon that he is now a free man.He may even go-ahead to have an ‘am glad to be single again’ party with his friends.

Then he genuinely believes that he has made the right decision, and he couldn’t be happier.


Like all good things come to an end, the high he felt in the previous stage begins to wear off, and he begins to doubt whether he should have held on a little longer.

He may begin to panic at this stage.


This is the stage where one begins to regret and feel bad.It is too late to apologize and make up with the man’s ex, but he is paralyzed, so he can’t move on either.

He is stuck in the middle of a situation; he knows that he put himself in.

4.Sadness and depression.

Grief kicks in after realizing that he has just lost probably the best thing that happened to him.

This is the stage men cry in the shower and can’t seem to stop listening to Adele and Phil Collins. 


Acceptance and moving come only and only after grieving.At this stage, the man can accept the repercussions of his decision, pick up the broken pieces, and move on with his life.

How guys feel after they break up with their girlfriend

Different guys feel differently after a breakup depending on varied factors but, most importantly, the person and the relationship’s dynamic. 

The most common emotions that the majority of men feel are listed below.


When it is the man who has initiated, he feels relief.Like a burden has been lifted off his chest. 

Suppose you have ever wanted to end a relationship.In that case, you understand that the moment pre-breakup is tense because you didn’t want to hurt your partner.But once the relationship is dissolved, you feel lighter.

2.Artificial happiness and pretense that the man is okay

Men are prideful, especially after the breakup.They always have this constant need to put on the ‘am doing great’ mask. 

This obviously works against him, but a man and his pride are inseparable. 


Like all life-changing decisions, the man is bound to feel uncertain and guilty after the breakup.He is going to beat himself up for not trying hard enough.

Men do like and being in love; he had a good thing going, but rather than fight for it, he let slip right through his fingers.


Post-breakup men are no stranger to the outbursts of rage and fury.The guy is maybe angry with himself or his ex. 

Whoever the anger is directed to doesn’t really matter; you need to be aware that men tend to experience fits of rage after the breakup, so be ready.

How do guys deal with a breakup?

Have you ever wondered how a man deals with a breakup? 

Different men cope differently.The thing with grief is that it is personal, the experience varies depending on the individual. 

Some guys may go quiet; some may socialize more.There is no one size fits all accurate way that guys deal with a breakup.However, below is a list of the most behavioral patterns guys take to deal with the separation.

1.Distracting from and postponing the pain.

This is typical male behavior to the stressful and hurtful situation.Guys deflect and distract until it goes away somehow. 

For a while, this works for the majority of men.They just drink and fuck the pain away.But for how long can a man self-destruct before grief catches up with him? 

It is okay and even healthy sometimes to numb pain, but moderation is the key. 

2.Numerous one night stands

Some men go to sleep with uncountable women.They live by the motto, “Get over it by getting under someone.” Talk about sexual healing.

3.Drugs and alcoholism.

Some guys take to drug abuse and alcoholism.

You cannot deny how good the ecstasy from drugs and alcohol is.That stuff hits differently.

You can’t blame a guy for using to feel good about the breakup. 


Other guys may hit the gym, so they can sweat all the pain out.

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This is, of course, not for everyone.The world can only take a few hot men at a time.

5.Adopt a new hobby or revive an old one

Many guys often join a sport, learn to play an instrument, or rekindle his love for chess, basically any activity to distract.

In a nutshell, guys will deal with a breakup by doing something.They need to get busy.

Power of silence after break up

The silence after a breakup does you more good than you can imagine.It may be challenging to execute at first.Still, with determination and keeping the end in mind, anyone can succeed at keeping silent.

The good news is that silence after a breakup always works.It never fails.You can always rely on no contact to make your ex realize your value and even return to you.

Besides, doing no contact and radio silence allows rediscovering yourself.During your relationship, you picked up your partner’s quirks and became accustomed to them. 

Sadly it means that you could have also lost a sense of self trying to adapt to your ex.Silence gives you time to regain what the relationship took.

A relationship is basically an exchange of power affair; one partner always has more influence than the other.The silence after a breakup turns tables; it signs the power back to you. 

You move on faster, could get your ex back, regain your power in the relationship all from going silent.No wonder people say silence is golden!You have so much to gain and nothing to lose from doing no contact. 

Signs he is hurting after the breakup.

Men are perfect after hiding their genuine emotions.Even worse if it is negative ones like a breakup.

Here is a list of undeniable signs that he is hurting after a breakup even though he may mask it. 

1.Your ex is avoiding you

When your ex is dodging you, it is because he doesn’t like the pain of seeing you again.He has already been through a lot to get to the point where he is now.

Seeing you or hearing your voice will take him back to where he started.Regression hurts even more.

2.The guy blocked you on social media

He can’t stand to see how so much better you are doing without him.It makes him realize how terrible his life is without you.

He is also worried that he might see another man with you, which is a punch in the face for any man.

To save himself from all that, he would instead block you in advance, a better and more proactive approach.

3.Trash-talking you

When we are in pain, we tend to project your emotions on those around us.He doesn’t think that you’re trash.

Subconsciously he feels that if he can get others to despise you as your ex does, it might become real when everyone is against you, and he wouldn’t be the only trashy one.

Sadly for him, it never works.People can tell when someone is speaking from pain, and when they are being honest, nobody will buy that crap that he is saying.

But that he is trash talking you is a sure sign that he is hurting.


Feeling bad is a pain in itself.The mere fact that he is feeling remorseful is proof enough that he is hurt.

Men show regret and remorse in different ways.He may reach out with a gazillion apologies or post “am sorry” hints for you to find on his social media.

When the man is getting out of his way to show you how bad he feels for hurting you and the relationship, he is sorry, but he is also in pain.

5.You meet your ex, and the man looks like a shadow of himself

This may be the most satisfying thing on the planet.My high school boyfriend broke up with me for the captain of the swim team, Lambert.She wasn’t even all that pretty, but he did.

I remember being so heartbroken, I didn’t want to leave the house, but well, school is essential, and its’ not like heartbreak is reason enough to skip school.And I still think it should be, but that’s beside the point. 

I had to suck it up and wear the biggest smile my sleep-deprived face could afford and go to class. 

That weekend, one of the days I will never forget, the principal’s son asked me out.I don’t know about your school, but at mine, it was a huge deal.Arthur was and still is the hottest guy.

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Obviously, I said yes.

You should have seen Derricks face when he realized that while he got Lambert, I got Arthur.It was a win for me.Long story short, Derrick was so hurt it even showed in his face over the next couple of days.

There is no way all that misery and zombie face he wore isn’t proof of his pain.

Man vs.woman after break up

“Women break up harder, but men break longer.” Men are taught to handle and deal with their emotions differently and earlier in life. 

That is the main reason for the disparity in how men and women deal with a breakup.

My best friend’s boyfriend broke up with her in our first year of college.

Sheila was devastated.For months, even though she is a gorgeous girl with a gazillion prospective suitors, she refused to go out with any of them, claiming she wasn’t ready. 

Around the same time as Sheila’s breakup, one of my homeboys, Dave, broke up with his girlfriend Pam of two years to start dating a girl from the next flat a week later.Shocker!

Fast-forward 8 months, Sheila is dating a wonderful man.Meanwhile, Dave just realized he wants Pam back, and the breakup was all a mistake. 

This may not be every guy’s experience, but on the whole, a lot of guys go through something similar.

Men vs.Women after breakup examples

While it is true that men and women process breakups differently, they both go through the same grief and loss.

Below is a list of fundamental differences between men and women.

1.Women are less likely to desire their ex after a breakup.

“Why do women look hotter after you leave her?” “I swear all my exes have been pranking me.Why are they waiting for me for me to first breakup then they transform into goddesses?”

I can’t count how many times I have heard guys saying that or something similar.Meanwhile, after the girls have moved on, they want nothing to do with their ex. 

A crazy friend of mine once told me if there was a million-dollar prize to get back with her ex, she wouldn’t, but for a billion dollars, she would then dump his ass after she cashed.

2.Women feel.Men act, more accurately, men distract.

After a breakup, women mop around and cry their hearts out; simultaneously, the guy is out, drinking and fucking if he is not the gym.

Women are programmed to feel.They feel the hurt and emotions of the loss from the breakup, so they cry and get over it faster.Women find it hard to get physical shortly after the split.

Men are the opposite spectrum; they find it almost impossible to allow themselves to grieve but have no problem picking up that stranger girl for a one night stand.That is just the way it is.

Why do guys go cold after a breakup? 

Guys go cold after a breakup for many reasons.However, it is essential to realize that the reason a guy becomes distant doesn’t always have anything to do with you. 

Here is a list of the most common reasons guys go cold after a breakup.

1.The guy is trying to move on.

For some guys, the only way he can move on is if he puts distance between you and him.It is difficult to move on from somebody you see or talk to every day, if not impossible.

2.Naturally, the boy is mean.

Sometimes, he isn’t cold to you after a breakup; he has always been mean.When you are in love, you tend to overlook any imperfections in your partner.

Could it be that you missed all the cues during the relationship and are now seeing the cold side of him after removing the love lens?

3.The man is hurt.

You would imagine that when a man is hurt, he would just say so.Sadly, not all men do.In fact, the majority of guys will withdraw, shut you out and curl up in a ball after you hurt them.

He may be cold to you after a breakup because he is feeling hurt by your actions or the division itself.

4.Your behavior.

Maybe you’re thirsty and clingy after the breakup.Guys know that if he tolerates any advances from a girl he has no interest in pursuing, he will be entangled to prevent that.He goes cold as a defense mechanism.

Do guys think about their ex after a breakup?

Yes, men think about their exes after a breakup.Obviously, men being men will try to hide it.

Here is a list of scenarios in which a guy thinks about his ex after a breakup.

A list of 8 scenarios men think about their ex.

1.When a man sees a cute couple.

2.When he passes by your favorite diner.

3.When he smells your signature perfume.


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When he is in the shower.

5.When he hears your song.

6.When he sees the souvenirs, you forgot at his place.

7.When he has to cook for himself or clean up after himself.

8.When he is horny.

Why do breakups hit guys later?

After a break up a man has one of two options.

a.To wallow in sadness or,

b.To ignore the pain and move on to the finer things in life

Naturally, men are hard-wired to go with ‘b,’ which means that they don’t deal with emotions head-on like women do but rather men go through apathy.  

A guy will often distract from using mood-altering behaviors like alcoholism and rebounding.

With time pain resurfaces; you can’t distract forever.Sadly though, by this time, he has already moved on.It appears as though the breakup just hit him. 

In actuality, men and women go through the same grief and loss; the only difference is that guys first go through a distraction phase that girls don’t.

related:How to get your ex back

Songs to help a guy through a breakup

1. “Because I Had You” by Shawn Mendes.

2. “I hate u, I love u” gnash.

3. “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith.

4. “We Don’t Talk Anymore” by Charlie Puth.

5. “Breathe Easy” by Blue.

6. “Too Good At Goodbyes” by Sam Smith.

7. “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber.

8. “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye.

9. “When We Were Young” by Adele.

10. “You’re Gonna Be Okay” by Brian and Jenna.

Movies every guy must watch after a breakup

1. “Shawshank Redemption.” 

2. “Rudy.” 

3. “Superbad.” 

4. “Interstellar.”

5. “Good Will Hunting” 

6. “Fight Club” 20th Century Fox. …

7. “Miracle” Buena Vista Pictures.

8.Gilmore Girls


10.Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Guys after a breakup quotes.

1. “If someone you love hurts, you cry a river, build a bridge, and get over it.”

2. “Never be sad for what is over, just be glad that it was once yours.”

3. “If you can’t save the relationship, at least save your pride.”

4. “In a world where you can be anything… be yourself.”

5. “Life is about change, sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it’s beautiful, but most of the time it’s both.”

6. “Don’t be afraid of change; you may end up losing something good, but you will probably end up gaining something better.”

7. “At some point, you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart, but not in your life.”

8. “If You have brains in your head.You have feet in your shoes.You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” – Dr.Seuss

9. “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same.Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don William

10. “Maybe some people just aren’t meant to be in our lives forever.Maybe some people are just passing through. 

It’s like some people just come through our lives to bring us something: a gift, a blessing, a lesson we need to learn.And that’s why they’re here.You’ll have that gift forever.” – Danielle Steel

11. “The journey in between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place.” – Barbara De Angelis

12. “You have to take the good with the bad, smile with the sad.Love what you got, and remember what you had. 

Always forgive, but never forget, learn from your mistakes but never regret it.People change, things go wrong, but just remember life goes on.”

13. “It’s not about who you’ve been with, it’s about who you end up with.Sometimes, the heart doesn’t know what it wants until it finds what it wants.”

14. “We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere.” – Tim McGraw


Do guys hurt after a breakup?

Yes, it is normal for guys to hurt after a breakup.Guys go through a lot of pain after a breakup.

The only difference is the boys mask the pain so well it always looks as though they are unaffected by the breakup.

Don’t be fooled by the “I couldn’t care less” attitude; he is hurting.

How long do guys need to move on after a breakup?

Because guys act strong after a breakup, they tend to take a long time to move on after a breakup.

The typical guy takes anywhere from a week to 6 months to move on from a long term serious relationship.

This time is adjustable because we all grieve differently.The faster a man can go through the stages of a breakup, the quicker he will move on.

Do guys miss you after a breakup?

Yes, and very much so.If the guy didn’t, why would he come back because guess what, men always come back?It is usually too late when they do realize, but they do.

Final Thoughts

Guys, after a breakup, go through a rollercoaster of emotions.When a relationship has just ended as a guy, you may wonder where to even begin.Because contrary to popular belief, men care about love.

With patience, effort, and vulnerability, any man can make through the depressing time after a breakup.

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Author: Mama Nkima

Mama Nkima is a marriage counselor and relationship expert who has dedicated her life to helping couples build strong, healthy relationships.  She has academic degrees in Education and Psychology. She has over 40 years of experience helping couples and individuals work through their relationship issues. She draws on her own experiences as a spiritual guide but also from years of research to offer readers practical, actionable advice.

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