Breakups are never pleasant. The anguish, pain, tears, sleepless nights, moments of binge eating and drinking are all indicative that your heart is in a state of torment. However, if you put the reactions of man vs woman after a breakup under the scanner, you’d see some marked differences in the way both genders react to heartbreak.
It’s not that one feels the emotional pain more than the other. There is, after all, no way to quantify the extent of pain a person experiences on having their heart crushed. The difference between man and woman after a breakup lies in the way this pain manifests.
Have you ever tried decoding female behavior after a breakup and wondered why is she seems to have become so detached so soon? Or lost your peace of mind over why he is being so distant? We’re here with the answers.
Man Vs Woman After Breakup – 8 Vital Differences
Breakups always leave some degree of devastation in their wake. That’s primarily because no one gets into a relationship expecting it to end someday. More often than not, the hope is that you will find your happily-ever-after with your partner.
So, you go on to invest a great deal of your time, efforts and emotions in nurturing your bond with your partner. Then, it all gets taken away in a snap, leaving you with a gaping hole in your heart and life. Of course, that’s bound to sting A LOT.
While the pain may be universal, there remain some marked differences between man vs woman after a breakup. For instance, just look at which gender is more likely to break up. Research shows that women are twice more likely to end a bad or unfulfilling relationship.
This difference in outlook carries well into the post-breakup phase, affecting the pain, healing and moving on process.
Let’s take a closer look at 8 vital men vs women after breakup differences to understand:
1. Pain quotient after a breakup
Research carried out by University College London and Binghamton University in New York indicates that women experience the pain of a breakup more acutely than men. In fact, the pain is not just emotional but may also manifest physically.
So when a woman says that she is experiencing heartache from a breakup, she may actually be feeling physical discomfort in the region.
The female psychology after a breakup can be so distraught because women tend to invest more in a relationship than their male counterparts. The lead author of the research links this tendency to evolution.
Back in the day, a brief romantic encounter could mean nine months of pregnancy and a lifetime of parenting responsibility for a woman. However, the same rules didn’t apply to a man. Since any potential relationship can have a serious bearing on our future, women become more attached and invested in a relationship.
For men, on the other hand, the immediate pain of a breakup is relatively low. The male psychology after a breakup can be that of withdrawing from the situation to avoid the pain. That’s where the notion that breakups hit guys later stems from.
Related Reading: The importance of burning bridges after a breakup
2. Seeking support from loved ones
Another key man vs woman after breakup difference is their willingness to be open about it and share their vulnerabilities with even people in their innermost circle. Tracy and Jonathan were in a relationship for 6 years, of which they had been living together for 4. However, things started to go downhill and Tracy decided to pull the plug after trying to make it work for a couple of years.
“Two months after the breakup, I got a call from Jonathan’s mother enquiring where he was. She was worried as she hadn’t heard from him in over a fortnight. Curiously, she had no idea that we had broken up and I had moved out. I had to be one to break the news to her and it came as a shock to her,” Tracy says.
It can seem surprising that Jonathan hadn’t confided in his family and friends about the breakup, especially considering how hard it can be to break up with someone you live with.
Tracy, on the other hand, had reached out to everyone close to her after the breakup. Not only did she share the news with them but also leaned on them for emotional support to get through this difficult time.
3. Different stages of a breakup
Men: push away feelings
Women: embrace feelings
The difference between man and woman after a breakup also shines through in the stages they go through when trying to come to terms with it.
Stages of a breakup for guys, for instance, are going on an ego trip, becoming overly socially active, opening up to the realization that the relationship is over, anger and sadness, acceptance, regaining hope of finding love again, getting back on the dating scene.
On the other hand, stages of a breakup for girls are grief, denial, self-doubt, anger, longing, realization, and moving on.
As you can see female psychology after a breakup is more in tune with the reality of the loss than male psychology after a breakup. Women begin to process the breakup soon after by grieving whereas men try to push away or bottle up those feelings until it becomes too hard to contain them.
4. Shattered self-esteem after a breakup
The difference between a man vs woman after a breakup is also directly linked to what phase of a romantic partnership do they derive the most pleasure from. For men, the biggest high comes from being coveted by their partner. Whereas, women draw their satisfaction from the connection they share with their SO.
When the relationship ends, men tend to view it as an indication of not being desirable any longer. That’s why their self-esteem takes a severe beating, especially if it’s their partner who called off the relationship.
In the case of women, the sense of loss is more centered on having to let go of a deep, meaningful connection they were so invested in. For this reason, breakups don’t typically affect a woman’s self-esteem much.
5. The stress of a breakup
Some post-breakup stress is inevitable, irrespective of whether you are a man or a woman, the dumper or dumpee. However, the sense of stress is more heightened in men than it is in women.
Russel, for instance, felt extremely lost after his long-term relationship fell through. He didn’t know how to deal with the vacuum created in his life without any forewarning, and resorted to drinking heavily night after night.
He’d, then, wake up hungover, often with a splitting headache. On several days, he’d end up oversleeping and would show up late at work. The stress of his personal life and his poor handling of it started impacting his professional life.
From getting an earful from his boss to a memo warning him and being passed over for a promotion that was decidedly his, things began to spiral out of control quickly. All of this stress led to a panic attack so severe that he landed up in the hospital.
While all of this was going down in his life, his ex had moved on and was actively dating again after the breakup. She too had struggled with stress and blues for a couple of months after the breakup but was quicker to gather herself and get on with life.
6. Feelings of anger
Senior consultant psychologist Dr Prashant Bhimani says, “One of the marked man vs woman after breakup differences is the extent of anger each feels. Men are more prone to feeling angry than women when they’re nursing a heartbreak. This anger is sometimes channelized as the desire to exact revenge on their former partners.”
“Revenge porn, stalking, sharing personal photos or text conversation on social media platforms, acid attacks are all outcomes of men with psychopathological tendencies being unable to control or process their anger the right way,” he adds.
Women are far less likely to resort to such vengeful acts after a breakup. At the most, you can expect her to post a nasty message on his social media or badmouth her ex in front of friends.
Incidents where women actually cause physical or mental harm to their exes are few and far between.
7. Wanting to get back together
Yet another crucial difference between man and woman after a breakup is the desire to get back together. The male psychology after a breakup is often dominated by a sense of relief. They feel that they’ve once again found their freedom and there are no restraints of a relationship holding them back anymore.
This is what triggers a zest for socializing and partying immediately after a breakup. But the high of newfound freedom wears off quickly. That is when they begin to feel the void in their life and start missing their exes. At this stage, most men try to get back together with their ex at least once.
Women too grapple with feelings of loneliness and longing after losing a relationship. These are moments when they want nothing more than to pick up the phone and reach out to their ex. There may even be some instances of drunk texting and dialing. By and large, they manage to not lose sight of the fact that there was a reason why it didn’t work out the first time around and getting back together won’t change that. This understanding allows them to move on.
Related Reading: The Right Way To Use Power Of Silence After A Breakup
8. The healing process and moving on
The Binghamton University-University College research also established that while breakups hit women harder at first, men take much longer to heal and move on. The study also suggests that a lot of men never fully recover from heartbreak. They simply learn to live with and get on with life.
This is a standout difference between man vs woman after break up. When the realization of the loss finally hits home, men feel it deeply and for a long time. At this stage, they may either struggle with coming to terms with putting themselves on the dating scene again and start competing for the attention of potential over interest or may simply feel that the loss is irreplaceable.
The differences in man vs woman after a breakup are rooted in the way men and women are wired. The ability – or lack thereof – to be in touch with one’s emotions and channel feelings of angst and pain is what governs these often divergent reactions to the same event.
Man Vs Woman Post Breakup Reactions Summed Up In An Interesting Infographic
Men and women both struggle with post-breakup feelings and moving on from their past. However, the triggers and the way they perceive and process the pain can be markedly different. Here are all the ways man vs woman after breakup reactions vary summed up in an infographic: