Ways Guys Suffer More After a Breakup — It’s Not Just Women Who Struggle

It’s a common misconception that guys don’t take breakups as hard as women. Yes, we deal with them in a different way and don’t always show our emotions outwardly, but I promise you that men struggle just as much as women when dealing with a broken heart, perhaps even more. Remember, just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Here are some ways guys struggle after a breakup.

  1. We lose our confidence. While it’s perfectly okay for women to make the first move, guys are more often the ones who chase in relationships these days. That means it feels good to get someone but feels just as bad to get dumped and lose that person. Breaking up with someone is a little like getting rejected by them. It tends to destroy our confidence, which is never a fun experience, especially if it takes a while to get it back.
  2. We don’t understand the loss. Let’s be honest, women tend to be a little more emotionally mature than men. It’s one of our great flaws. When a relationship ends, women tend to understand exactly what they’re losing, but this doesn’t come as naturally to us. The cliche of you don’t know what you got until it’s gone applies more so to men than women. We aren’t emotionally mature enough to know what we had until it’s gone. This is one of the biggest reasons guys struggle so much after a breakup.
  3. We don’t realize it’s over. Along those same lines, guys don’t often recognize the permanence of splitting up. When a relationship has problems, women are more likely to end it whereas men look for other ways to feel good. Therefore, we don’t always think that it’s over. We can be a little delusional about the chance of getting back together. Of course, we eventually realize that it’s over for good, but by then it hurts even more.
  4. We have a lack of social support. This is our own fault, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. After a breakup, women usually have friends to use as a shoulder to cry on, but we men don’t always have that. We don’t usually go that deep with our guy friends about our feelings. In a lot of cases, we’re most emotionally connected to the person who just broke up with us. Obviously, we can’t go to that person for emotional support, so there’s nobody there to listen. Instead, we end up bottling up everything we’re feeling, which is only going to do more damage in the long run.
  5. We move on too soon. A guy might start dating soon after a breakup, but that doesn’t mean he’s handling it well. Moving on from a relationship isn’t the same thing as getting over it and dealing with the breakup. Guys like to start dating again sooner rather than later as a way to feel good and replace what’s missing in our lives, but that’s mostly a short-term distraction. In the long run, starting to date again will usually come back to bite us because we haven’t had a chance to emotionally move on. It might not seem like guys are struggling with the breakup when we’re with someone else soon after, but trust me, we are.
  6. We engage in unhealthy behavior. When guys are hurting, we usually try to mask that pain any way we can. This can mean engaging with vices and other forms of unhealthy behavior. We might drink and party more or engage in other unhealthy habits. In some cases, it was our former partner that encouraged or inspired us to maintain a healthier lifestyle. When that’s not there, it’s easy for our vices to get out of control, which might look like fun but is actually a sign that he’s having a tough time.
  7. We feel like we wasted our time. After a breakup, men can’t help but feel like we wasted our time. A lot of men don’t like getting serious with someone unless they think it’s going to last. When it’s over, they feel like they’ve wasted months or years of their lives on a relationship that didn’t work. Needless to say, most men don’t smile because it happened; we just get upset because it’s over. Even if we don’t feel that way forever (which we don’t)s, it’s a tough feeling to shake.
  8. We don’t seek help. Research shows that women are more likely to seek professional treatment of some kind after a breakup. We all know that some breakups can be traumatic. Women who have a hard time might talk to a therapist but most men won’t consider such an option. As mentioned, we’re not that emotionally intelligent, so we won’t seek help, even if we need it. That makes it more difficult for men to cope with a breakup, allowing things to get worse before they get better.
Bryan Zarpentine graduated from Syracuse University and lives in upstate New York, where he writes largely about the world of sports. His work has appeared on Franchise Sports and WSN, among others. You can find him on Twitter @BZarp.