Why Guys Give The Silent Treatment After A Breakup And How To Deal

We all handle breakups in our own ways, and you’ve probably noticed that some guys tend to give you the silent treatment in the aftermath of your relationship even if you want to remain in touch and things ended on good terms. Surely, that can be frustrating for you ladies, especially since this behavior seems confusing and hard to understand. Here’s why some guys give the silent treatment after you’re over and what you can do about it.

  1. They’re not thinking about the breakup. Not to sound too harsh, but some guys are able to move past breakups without thinking about them too much. It’s not what you would expect, but it happens. Following a breakup, you’ll be out of sight and perhaps out of mind as well. He won’t be thinking about you, so he doesn’t even realize that he’s giving you the silent treatment because he’s ready to move on.
  2. They’re not interested in being friends. You can’t always get a guy to be your best pal following a breakup. I know, it’s nice when you can at least remain cordial with your ex, but if he doesn’t want to be your friend, he’s not going to talk to you. From his perspective, you’re not together anymore and you’re not one of his bros, so why would he keep up communication? Needless to say, that translates to him giving you the silent treatment.
  3. Talking to you feels like torture. On the other end of the spectrum, some guys are so hurt after a breakup that they can’t stand talking to you. There might be lingering feelings and regret, which makes talking to you difficult. If his feelings are hurt, the act of talking to you will be unpleasant for him. He may not even know what to say right after a breakup, which means he’ll do his best to avoid you altogether.
  4. They don’t want to give you what you want. Admittedly, this isn’t the most mature response to a breakup, but some guys are known to be bitter and vindictive after they’ve been dumped. If he knows that you want to talk to him, he may give you the silent treatment out of spite. If you let him know that you’d like to talk, then not talking to you is the only way to hurt you, which is exactly what he wants if he’s still hurting.
  5. They want a clean break. For some guys, a clean break after dumping someone or getting dumped is the only way to go. He may not know how to move on but he knows he wants to. He doesn’t want to keep talking to you because it’s not going to go anywhere. It’s just going to prolong things and make it more difficult to move on, which is why he resorts to the silent treatment as a way to get a clean break.
  6. They want to hide the pain. I know that some guys can be callous after a breakup, but I promise that most of us are hurting as much as you. The thing is we don’t want to show anyone that pain. If your ex talks to you post-breakup, he may not be able to hide how hurt he is. Talking to you will make him upset and emotional, and giving you the silent treatment helps him avoid that.
  7. They fear a backslide. I think we’ve all been in a situation where we backslide with an ex. It always starts with “just wanting to talk,” right? If he thinks that he can’t control himself around you, he might just give you the silent treatment. It’s not worth the risk if he’s afraid of hooking up with you and ending up back in a relationship. That fear could make the silent treatment his only option.
  8. They’re playing head games. Of course, there are plenty of guys out there who love playing head games. To your ex, the silent treatment is just another way to play games with you even after a breakup. If it matters, it’s not right that guys do that, but it happens.

So how do you cope when a guy you were once inseparable from suddenly wants nothing to do with you? Here are a few tips.

  1. Vent to your friends. The best thing you can do is let him. If he’s playing games with you, don’t give him the satisfaction of knowing that it bothers you. If he genuinely doesn’t want to talk to you, you just have to respect that. Instead, find some friends or even a stranger and use them to vent your feelings. Most of the time, you just want your feelings heard and acknowledged after a breakup. If your ex won’t do it, find someone who will.
  2. Stay away from his social media. If a guy refuses to talk to you, don’t expect his social media profile to talk to you either. Odds are, stalking his socials will just make you more upset that he’s giving you the silent treatment. He might be hard to resist, but there’s a good chance it won’t lead anywhere good.
  3. Start to move on. If there’s a guy who refuses to talk to you, the best thing you can do is start to move on from him. That doesn’t mean you need to find someone new or have a random hookup, but it does mean to get out into the world and do something to get your find off your breakup. That’s the best way to start moving on with your life and move past your relationship with a guy who’s giving you the silent treatment.
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.