Men After A Breakup- 11 Things You Didn’t Know

Break up And Loss | | , Writer
Updated On: February 20, 2024
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We have all heard the stereotypes about men after a breakup, such as, “He is probably out drinking with his friends right now”, “There is no pain a pint of beer can’t cure”, or “He’ll just get with someone new and move on”. While some of these statements may sometimes appear to be true, the fact is that breakups hit guys later and that’s why they seem nonchalant or unfazed immediately after a breakup.

In reality, guys go through a lot after a breakup, most of which is not addressed or acknowledged by a majority of people. An interesting study points out that men view their ex-partners more favorably than women. This may have raised a host of questions in your mind. How do they act after a breakup? When do guys start to miss you after a breakup? Do men really not badmouth their exes? We’re here to help you find the answers and understand the behavior of men after a breakup.

What A Guy Goes Through After A Breakup?

Before we talk about how men respond to the end of a relationship, it is important to understand male psychology after a breakup. Contrary to popular belief, the first few stages of grief after the breakup are when guys are at their most vulnerable. It is at that point that they question their worth as a person and try to cope with their feelings of abandonment and resentment.

What A Guy Goes Through After A Breakup
feelings of abandonment

How guys behave after a breakup also depends on the seriousness of the relationship that they were in. They look to their friends whom they still trust, to help them get through the first few days. After a breakup, guys seek more social activity which serves to distract them from the breakup and help them navigate their new reality. Bearing in mind the fact that this is an emotionally vulnerable time for guys, let’s try to understand how they respond to a breakup.

Male Psychology After A Breakup

The common perception is that breakups don’t affect men as deeply as they do women. Often, this perception stems from the fact that men are used to putting up a tough exterior. In line with the widely propagated, “men don’t cry” stereotype. However, this perception could be further from the truth.

Psychologist Dr. Prashant Birmani says, “Breakups affect men or boys on various levels and in varying degrees. If a man was too emotionally invested in the relationship or too attached/dependent on the partner, he may even become depressed after a breakup.” Let’s look at other coping mechanisms that men tend to find comfort in after a breakup:

1. Men suppress their pain after breakup

Relationship expert Ridhi Golechha says, “Whether it’s men or women after a breakup, both experience pain acutely. There is no way of saying that one gender experiences more pain than the other. But the only difference in men’s behavior after a breakup is their tendency to hide their feelings because of the culture of toxic masculinity. Women talk about their pain/cry it out but men think vulnerability is a weakness.

“Guys after a breakup end up suppressing their emotional pain, which makes it more intense. They put on a fake mask of courage and are not able to receive the empathy that somebody who shows vulnerability is able to receive. Also, guys after a breakup use other channels to direct their pain (like anger, revenge, aggression, or physical abuse).”

2. Rebound relationships

How do guys act after a breakup? Dr. Birmani says one common tendency is to get caught in a string of rebound relationships. This can be seen as a way to assuage guys’ pride after a breakup, especially in cases when they have been dumped. Even studies indicate that men were more likely to enter rebound relationships in the aftermath of a relational termination based on lower levels of social support, more emotional attachment to an ex-partner, and displaying the Ludus (or game-playing) love style.

They tend to move on from one casual fling to the other. Even if these relationships are fleeting and hollow, they perfectly fit in with the male psychology after a breakup that seeks validation of sorts. “I’m good enough.” “I can still land as many girls as I like.” “It was her, not me.”

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3. Self-destructive behaviors

Dr. Birmani also points out that it is not uncommon for self-destructive tendencies to emerge in boys after a breakup. “This most commonly manifests in the form of addictions. If the man already has certain addictive habits such as drinking or smoking, these can augment manifold. In case, he has quit that habit on the insistence of his now ex-partner, the chances of a relapse are much higher. Then, they take to it with a vengeance.”

Ridhi also points out, “Men after breakup show signs of self-aggression i.e. being unkind to oneself with self-sabotaging behaviors like binge drinking, binge smoking or drug addiction. They drown themselves in addictions because they don’t know how to feel the pain or what to do with it. They’ve never been taught how to. These self-destructive behaviors delay their healing process.”

4. Revenge

When the guys’ pride after a breakup is hurt, revenge becomes a common theme. “They feel that their ex has broken their heart and destroyed their life, so it’s only fair that they’re made to pay for the damage. In such cases, leaking personal chats, images, and videos online or even trying to physically harm the ex-partner are common,” says Dr. Birmani. Revenge porn, acid attacks, and stalking are all outcomes of this aspect of male psychology after a breakup.

5. Low self-esteem

Ridhi points out, “Men’s behavior after a breakup differs, depending on who initiated the breakup. If they’re at the receiving end, then it becomes a low self-esteem/self-blame issue for them (instead of introspecting about what went wrong in the relationship) “Was I not good enough?” or “Did she deserve better than me?” are some common thoughts guys may obsess over in the wake of a breakup.”

6. Inability to perform sexually

Dr. Birmani says an inability to perform sexually can be linked to hung-up-in-the-past male psychology after a breakup. “I recently had a patient who had been in a committed relationship with a girl. However, things didn’t work out between them. After the breakup, his parents got him married to another girl.

“It had been two years since the wedding and he still hadn’t consummated his relationship with his wife. As a result, the wife left home. After a few sessions with him, I was unable to uncover this underlying issue. Now, I’m counseling them as a couple, and they’re already on the path to progress.”

Related Reading: 11 Things That Make A Man Come Back After A Breakup

Men After A Breakup – 11 Things You Didn’t Know

There are some clichéd ideas of the things a guy does after a breakup, the things we just talked about now. But what we are coming to are the things that a guy usually does after a breakup but we are not aware of. We tell you the 11 things a guy does after a breakup.

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1. Spend some time alone

This is the most common change in a guy’s behavior after a breakup. The need to be alone is so strong that it has caused people to ask the question, do guys hurt after a breakup? Yes, guys do hurt after a breakup. That is precisely why so many guys want to be alone immediately after a breakup. It gives them time to process what has just happened.

After a breakup, a guy often wants to be left alone. This is also the time guys use for introspection. They wonder how they could not have foreseen a breakup coming or if there was something that they could have done to prevent or fix it. This is also the time guys look back on the relationship and wonder if they have been taken for granted. They think of all the reasons their partner gave them for breaking up and try to assess how valid they are.

2. After a breakup, men seek out their friends

This is another visible change in a guy’s behavior after a breakup. After spending some time alone, men will seek out their friends. This happens for two reasons. The first is that during the course of the relationship, they’d have had to cut back on the time they spent with their friends. So after a breakup, guys try to reconnect with their close friends.

The second reason is that during this emotionally fragile time, they need to spend time with people they still trust. Being with people they care about and who care about them offers a sense of security that can be essential for a guy who may feel lost and untethered in the wake of a breakup.

On breakups and more

3. Pick a new hobby

This is a change that is often overlooked in a guy’s behavior after a breakup. A lot of guys choose to pick up a new hobby to constructively spend all the free time they have on hand once they’re no longer in a relationship rather than wallowing.

The most common ones are learning to play an instrument, cooking, or picking up a new sport. Picking a new hobby is an effective way for a guy to heal after a breakup. Learning a new skill allows guys to improve themselves and it is a fun way to pass the time. It also shows guys that they do not need to be in a relationship to have a good time or feel fulfilled in life.

4. Seek new relationships

After a breakup, guys tend to seek as many short-term romantic interactions as they can. Getting into rebound relationships is their way of coping with the loss. Many people would say that this is due to guys’ pride after a breakup. It is a common belief that guys seek such casual relationships because they want to prove that they can have sex anytime they want and that it is their partner’s loss for breaking up with them. This is far from the truth, however.

When a guy’s partner leaves him, he interprets it as being told, “You just aren’t good enough for me.” This can be immensely hurtful. Rebound relationships can be their way of dealing with the hurt, pain, and damaged pride after being dumped.

5. Try to get back together

As a guy approaches the bargaining stage of grief after a breakup, he experiences a strong urge to get back together with his ex. If you’ve ever broken up with a guy, you’ve likely experienced this. Out of the blue, his name flashes up on your phone, you pick up and he says he wants to give the relationship another chance. It has been a while since you two broke up. You’re probably over him already. And you cannot fathom why he would call you now.

You have probably asked yourself, why do breakups hit guys later? Allow me to answer that question. That’s not really the case. Guys feel the pain and hurt just as much, even though they don’t wallow in self-pity. While being single has its perks and is fun, guys still crave intimacy. They miss holding your hand when you go for a walk and the way you raise your voice when you are excited about something. Here is a fact most people do not consider. Guys like being in relationships. And that’s why they try to get back together with their exes.

Related Reading: 5 Things Women Do That Confuse Men!

6. Do nothing

It’s a strange aspect of male psychology after a breakup. A guy’s behavior after a breakup can be strange, but this one is the strangest element of it. Sometimes, guys do nothing. They just go about their day passively reacting to what goes on around them. They may still keep up with their daily responsibilities but nothing beyond that. They may not socialize or indulge in their hobbies, this is especially true in the immediate aftermath of a breakup. In fact, a breakup can even affect their work life during this time.

This behavior can be quite alarming as it may be indicative of depression after a breakup. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, guys recede into a shell for a few days or weeks after the breakup because they are sad and cannot function. They just need some time to unwind and figure out who they are.

7. Dedicate more time to their responsibilities

This is a coping mechanism that guys employ to prevent themselves from going down the black hole of self-pity after a breakup. Men after breakup exhibit a tectonic shift in personalities. They become more responsible and less goofy. They seem more proactive and waste less time. Throwing themselves into work or devoting time to social causes or taking care of their loved ones becomes a welcome distraction from that gnawing pain inside. While effective and useful in short phases, this isn’t the healthiest long-term strategy to adopt after a breakup.

Breakup Counseling for Her

8. Seek new experiences

A little while after a breakup, guys feel bored out of their minds. At this point, they feel restless and itching to try something new just to remind themselves that there is an entire world out there that doesn’t involve their ex. During this time, guys will try to go on a trip or make a change in their routine.

This is when they try to broaden their horizons by meeting new people, volunteering for events, or signing up for a new course. The experiences they seek help them reconnect with the rest of the world, as after a breakup guys can feel quite lost.

9. Question their place in the world

After a breakup, guys go through a period of introspection and they aren’t always kind to themselves. They think about all their flaws and question if they truly deserve everything that they have. They question their flaws and virtues. Guys discover a lot about themselves during these moments. These existential questions are a rite of passage for men after a breakup and most come out the other side more in tune with who they are.

how do guys act after a breakup
Guys discover a lot about themselves during moments of existential crisis

These moments force guys to take a look at their life and the choices they have made that got them here. This also allows them to think about what they truly want in a relationship and they keep that in mind when starting a new relationship.

10. Re-evaluate the relationships they have

This is often an unnoticed change in men after a breakup. Guys pay attention to their relationships with friends and family and re-evaluate these bonds based on who’s got their back during this tough time. They may cut out people who they feel don’t have their best interest at heart and may focus on strengthening their bond with the people who actually matter.

Related Reading: Is It Okay For Men To Cry?

11. Improve themselves

Going through a breakup can be quite devastating for anyone, and men are no exception. Rejection in love can leave them questioning their self-worth. If the breakup was messy, it can leave them feeling crushed. After pitying themselves for a while, guys decide that wallowing and self-deprecation won’t get them anywhere. That’s when they try to work on their flaws and work toward becoming a better version of themselves.

Key Pointers

  • Men and women handle breakups differently; unlike women (who cry it out), most men put on a fake mask of courage and rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with the pain
  • After a breakup, a guy may turn to alcohol or one-night stands to numb the pain instead of talking about his feelings
  • However, not every guy has an unhealthy coping mechanism; some men pick up new hobbies and dedicate more time to responsibilities
  • Some men after breakup work on fixing their flaws/shortcomings and improving themselves

Breakups are hard on both partners. If you’re grieving a breakup right now, here’s a piece of advice for you. When you fall in love with someone, you start believing that you will feel this way forever. Similarly, when you break up with someone, it makes you feel like your grief will last forever. But, as the Buddhist saying goes, “Everything is impermanent”. So, hang in there, this too shall pass…


1. Why do guys jump into a relationship after a breakup?

Men may jump into a relationship soon after a breakup in order to avoid grieving their pain. They don’t want to go through the emotional pain of their healing process and hence they look for distractions.

2. How do you know a man is hurt after a breakup?

You know a man is hurt after a breakup when he engages in self-sabotaging behaviors like binge drinking, smoking, or one-night stands.

 3. Does a man suffer after a break up?

Yes, he suffers but often puts on a fake mask of courage (unlike women who choose to be vulnerable). A breakup might even take a heavy toll on the self-esteem of a man. He ends up questioning why he wasn’t good enough.

4. Do guys change their mind after a breakup

Sometimes. When a guy breaks up with you, he ends up taking you for granted. But your absence makes him realize that grass is not always greener on the other side and single life is not that fun after all.

What Not To Do After A Breakup: Worst Things That You Do To Deal With A Break Up

Relationship Issues: How to Woo an Ex-girlfriend Back After a Breakup

Making Peace With Your Past – 13 Wise Tips

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