Breaking up is no joke. Authors of a study on the impact of breakups on mental health and life satisfaction for 18 to 35-year old’s found that “the dissolution of an unmarried relationship was related to an increase in psychological distress and a decline in life satisfaction.”
When we picture a heartbroken girl, we likely picture a woman bundled up in pajamas on the couch with a tub of chocolate ice cream, watching sad romantic movies.
But, what do men do?
Whether you’re male or female, dealing with the betrayal of a breakup and the distress that follows is hard. We are looking at 7 insights into how a man handles a breakup.
1. The hibernation period
Men experience a host of break up emotions. Anger, confusion, betrayal, numbness, loss, and sadness.
But unlike women, who want to tell all of her girlfriends, parents, and the barista at the coffee bar about her breakup, men are more likely to shield their feelings from friends and family.
Because of this desire to hibernate from the world, a man may deal with his breakup by spending most nights in and blowing off any opportunity to socialize with the outside world.
This hibernation period is essential for getting over the depression and low self-esteem that is so common following a breakup.
2. Many, many one night stands
There is comfort in the knowledge that, while in a romantic relationship, you are able to share physical intimacy any time you want with someone you really care about. The oxytocin released during physical intimacy has been proven to give a boost of happiness and lowered stress.
Even something as simple and sweet as holding hands with someone can lower your blood pressure and heart rate.
This temporary boost of pleasure, happiness, and emotional connectivity can be intoxicating for someone who just had their constant source of affection and stability ripped away from them. So, it’s no surprise that one way that men handle a breakup is by sleeping around as if the world were ending.
3. They go on rebound
While most women need some time to emotionally recover after a breakup, men often take the opposite route. They download dating apps or get out there in the real world and find themselves a rebound ASAP.
A rebound relationship is one where someone jumps into a serious relationship quickly following a breakup, without having the proper time to get over their last relationship.
These are often a bad idea since the freshly dumped participant hasn’t given themselves a chance to recover from their past hurt and insecurity. This can bring tension and distrust into a new relationship.
4. How a man handles a breakup – Turning on the ex
One of the most common coping mechanisms for heartbroken men is to turn on the ex.
While this may sound like a ridiculously immature way to handle yourself after a breakup, it is also completely understandable. He’s heartbroken and his self-esteem has just taken a huge hit. The last person he wants to be nice to is the person who just shattered his heart into a million pieces.
- Removing the ex/Blocking them across social media
- Ignoring phone calls/texts
- Gossiping, lying or talking about the ex to others
- Being blatantly cruel to the ex when in public together
- Purposely saying things to hurt the ex
It’s never okay for a guy to be cruel to someone else after a breakup, but know that this nasty behavior comes from a place of deep pain.
5. Drinking in excess
Partying post-breakup is a way for a man to distract himself after his relationship has ended. There are girls at parties, friends, and plenty of distractions. Not to mention an endless supply of drinks. After all, you can’t feel pain if you can’t feel anything, right?
Drinking and indulging in other potentially dangerous substances is a man’s way of trying to cope with the aftermath of their breakup.
Believe it or not, partying is also a way that men reconnect with their friends and gather up a support system during their troubled time.
This is important for him since studies show that friend and family support can lower psychological distress after a big change in their life (such as a breakup or death of a close friend).
6. He wallows
How a man handles a breakup is, believe it or not, very similar to how women do.
The snacks may switch from ice cream to chips or chicken wings and the movie may be an action thriller and not a rom-com, but the action is the same. Wallowing.
That’s right, women do not have a monopoly on wallowing after a breakup!
Men are not always the best at expressing their emotions, so instead, they will curl up into a blanket and binge Netflix shows, ignoring their phones and wallowing in their own unhappiness.
7. Keeping busy
Opposite of hibernating, some men choose to keep busy in order to get over their broken hearts.
He may take up a new hobby or find a renewed passion for an old one. He may begin to travel or become of those “Say yes to every opportunity!” guys. This is, of course, all in an attempt to remember who he was before he was in a romantic relationship and distract himself from the pain of his breakup.
While anyone going through a breakup is highly recommended to confront and deal with their negative emotions about their past relationship, keeping busy during heartbreak can actually be a very healing experience.
Whether you’re the dumper and the dumpee, breakups are hard. They take a toll on your emotions and cause you to act in ways you normally wouldn’t. In the end, how a man handles a breakup is not that much different than how a woman does. Wallowing, drinking too much, and distracting themselves with other love interests are all common ways that a man handles a breakup.