When you end a relationship with a guy, you’re absolutely miserable for what feels like months. You wonder if you’ll ever get over him and worry you’ll never love again. Meanwhile, he’s on Insta with his new girlfriend and posting Facebook pics of him out with his bros at the bar within a few days of your split. WTF is that all about? Why do guys move on so fast? And more importantly, how?
You’re not kidding yourself in thinking your ex is totally over the breakup way more quickly. Match’s Singles in America survey found it’s not just in our heads. Out of over 5,000 people surveyed, roughly half of men are over a breakup in only a month. In contrast, women take about four months to rebound.
Why do guys move on so fast?
- They’re not as in touch with their emotions. It seems like an outdated stereotype at this point — and it’s a shame that it’s not! Sadly, many men still aren’t emotionally intelligent enough to process their experiences, especially negative ones. Women are much more in tune with our feelings, meaning we truly do go through it when things like breakups happen.
- They’re in denial. It’s not always immediately obvious to them that they’ve lost something great. Guys move on so fast because the truth about what they had and squandered hasn’t hit them yet. They’re in denial about their sense of loss. They act like they don’t care because if they keep telling themselves that, they don’t have to deal with the truth: They’re really sad.
- They’ve been taught to compartmentalize. Taking time to self-reflect and process feelings isn’t really something men are taught. They should be, and things are changing for the better, but there’s a serious lack of this skill in many men. After breaking up, they lock that away in a container in their hearts and minds to be sealed and ignored. Of course, that doesn’t mean it won’t come back to haunt them later. However, it does explain why they seem so cool, calm, and collected.
- They’re covering up their pain with drinking and rebounds. While you’re at home eating Ben & Jerry’s and crying to Adele songs like a living cliche, your ex is out boozing and partying with the guys. What the hell? By going out and getting wasted and hooking up with other girls, men think they’re distracting themselves from their pain. In fact, they’re not — and they’re just causing more of it for you.
- The relationship was on its last legs for a while. If you only broke up after hanging onto a clearly toxic relationship for way too long, chances are your ex checked out ages ago. Guys sometimes appear to move on so fast because they actually did so long ago while you were still together. It’s not fair and it still sucks, but it does happen.
- They moved on before you even broke up. This isn’t just about checking out, it’s about actually getting with someone else. If your relationship ended because of infidelity, your ex may not have had much to move on from. He already has a new girlfriend because they started messing around while you were still together. What a jerk.
- They try to hide their true pain from their exes. Guys don’t like appearing weak. They like to appear strong and like they have it all together instead of admitting they’re human and sometimes they get hurt. So, it’s possible that your ex really is suffering, he just doesn’t want you to know it. He wants to appear aloof and above it all but inside, he’s dying. If only he was honest about it.
Why it’s so tough for women
- You feel alone in your heartbreak. When guys move on so fast after a breakup, it makes you feel even more isolated than normal. You already convince yourself that no one else knows what you’re going through even though that’s not the case. The one person who could possibly be in the same boat acting like he couldn’t care less cuts deep.
- You think the relationship meant nothing to them/was a lie. When guys move on too fast after a breakup, it creates the illusion that they didn’t give a damn about you. If they did, how could they be out there living it up while you’re heartbroken?
- It sucks to see your ex moving on and having fun when you feel stuck. This is somewhat petty because life isn’t a competition, but sometimes it feels like it is. You want to be the one who bounces back first. The one who goes out clubbing and drinking and having the time of your life while he’s depressed and worried he’ll be alone forever. It’s no fun realizing you’re on your own.
- You hate that he found someone else before you did. There’s no other way to put it. You want to be the one to find a new partner before your ex. It makes you feel more desirable and like you got one over on him. When it doesn’t happen like that, it blows.
Things to remember
- Healing isn’t a competition. At the end of the day, whether or not guys actually move on fast has nothing to do with you. There’s no right time frame in which you have to heal. It’s important that you let yourself grieve the end of the relationship, as well as process what you went through and the lessons it taught you. You’ll get there when you get there.
- Neither is moving on with someone new. As smug as you might feel by finding a new boyfriend before your ex starts dating again, it means nothing in the grand scheme of things. This isn’t high school and to turn this into a competition is immature and pointless. Love comes when it comes. Make sure you’re actually ready for it and not just accepting some terrible facsimile so you can get one up on your ex.
- You’ll never really know what’s going on in someone else’s heart and mind. At the end of the day, you can never know how your ex truly feels. He’ll likely never tell you if he’s struggling or feels awful since breaking up. All you can worry about is yourself, and that’s exactly what you should do.