Why Do Guys Act Like They Don’t Care After A Breakup?

When you end a relationship, it can be devastating. That’s especially true if you were with the person long-term and thought you might even spend the rest of your lives together. That’s why it’s so hard to deal with the fact that guys often act like they don’t care after a breakup. You start to feel like they didn’t love you at all and that everything you shared was a lie. That’s not the case, I promise. Here’s what’s really going on.

Breakups suck for everyone.

It doesn’t matter how toxic the relationship is, how much you wanted it to be over, or how glad you are to finally be away from your ex. On some level, the breakup sucks. Whether you’re dealing with relationship PTSD or you’re simply mourning the loss of time, energy, and their presence in your life, it’s tough. Obviously, some breakups are easier to move on from than others. However, it’s pretty safe to say that they’re not great experiences across the board.

Of course, everyone handles breakups in different ways. Some people are quite open about how much they’re struggling after the split. They’ll cry to their friends, tell everyone who will listen how miserable they are, and basically act out their grief publicly. Other people keep their cards a bit closer to their chests and prefer to deal with the breakup privately. There’s no one right way to heal and ultimately move on. However, it is a bit upsetting and even annoying when your ex acts like they couldn’t care less that you’re no longer in their life.

Why do guys act like they don’t care after a breakup?

Obviously, it’s best to avoid generalizing, especially when it comes to the habits of a particular gender. Nevertheless, women who date men know all too well how often they act completely impervious to heartbreak and the added pain that causes us. So, why do men act like they don’t care after a breakup?

1. They’re not as in touch with their emotions.

Look, things are getting better. There’s a lot of work being done to draw attention to men’s mental health and to break down toxic masculinity and the behaviors it encourages. However, we still have a long way to go. In the meantime, a lot of guys still struggle to connect with and understand their own feelings. That means they often avoid them altogether and can appear heartless to other people. They’re not, of course, but it certainly seems like it sometimes.

2. They’re trying to save face.

They don’t want their friends to think they’re corny or soft, so they act like big hard men. That means they often act like they don’t care about your breakup. They definitely do, but they don’t want anyone else to know about it. It’s like they’re worried people will think less of them for having human emotions.

3. They don’t want you to have the satisfaction of seeing them upset.

If your relationship ended on a less than amicable note, this could be the case. Showing that they’re hurting or missing you would make you feel smug and self-satisfied, in their eyes. They don’t want that to happen. In fact, they want to stick it to you by acting like they’re totally over it. Ugh, it’s so frustrating.

4. They think it will help them get over you faster.

There’s this weird little cog in men’s brains that tells them that they can literally ignore their way out of any awkward/uncomfortable situation. By going about life as normal and pretending you were never together in the first place, they assume they’ll be just fine in no time. Of course, things rarely play out that way…

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6. They’re trying to move on with someone else.

Some dudes aren’t good guys, it has to be said. Some of them like to move on with someone new before the breakup even had time to settle. If that’s the case and there’s someone new on the scene, they have to act like they don’t care about your breakup. Otherwise, the new person wouldn’t want to be with them. Feel me?

7. They were over it before the breakup happened.

If the breakup was basically a technicality by the time it happened and your relationship was over way before you actually had the conversation, this is a possibility. They’re not acting like they don’t care, they really don’t. They did at one point, but they’ve already processed the experience and they’re truly over it. This definitely sucks if you’re not on the same page.

What’s really going on inside them?

How guys feel after ending a relationship will depend on what went down. If you betrayed them in some way, their emotions are likely going to be a bit more aggressive and angry. If they truly loved you and things didn’t work out, they’ll likely veer a bit more towards sadness. Here are some of the things they could be experiencing:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Loneliness
  • Relief
  • Regret
  • Nostalgia
  • Anxiety
  • Self-doubt
  • Hopelessness
  • Guilt
  • Rejection

In other words, a lot of the same things women experience after a breakup. These feelings aren’t unique to us even if we tend to be more open about admitting that we’re having them. Try to extend a bit of grace and empathy toward your ex. Don’t assume the worst of him. Chances are, he’s struggling just as much as you are. He just doesn’t have as many outlets to express it as you do.

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Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill