This isn’t true for all men, but a large majority of them don’t feel like they’re allowed to pay their breakups the attention they deserve. Many men don’t think they should make a big deal about their breakups—or even mention them at all! I’ve had plenty of male friends who casually mentioned, two or three hours into dinner (and only because I asked how their relationship was going) that they’d broken up with their serious girlfriend. They treated the information like they were telling me the weather. Um…HELLO? How long were they going to sit on that piece of information? Talk about burying the lead! Since men typically don’t feel as comfortable talking about their relationships while they’re happening, they also don’t open up about them when they end. But we all know that suppressing feelings can result in odd behaviors. Here are the wrong ways men deal with breakups.
First, they act like it’s no big deal
The first thing men do when a relationship ends is deny, deny, deny. Even though just last month they were telling everyone they loved this woman, now they’re saying it was super casual—it was never serious. Really, it was more of a booty call situation stop asking about it gaaawwd can’t we all just have fun? They’ll make their friends out to be the dramatic ones by simply offering to lend an ear.
They get really, really drunk
Ah yes. Men love to get really drunk when they go through breakups. Don’t get me wrong: women enjoy a few post-breakup drinks, too. But men get the kind of drunk where they start fights at a bar over nothing, get kicked out of places, throw up in taxis and show up on their ex’s lawn yelling nonsense. Women get the kind of drunk where they watch a movie that makes them cry, and they call their mom.
They hit on their female friends
Why oh why do men think a breakup is a time to hit on their female friends? Maybe they find comfort in these women—these women have never hurt them the way the ex did. These women know them through and through. Maybe these female friends have been the answer all along! Ah. Loneliness and lots of alcohol can make men do stupid things. Like try to kiss their best female friend, who they really don’t like that way.
They have random sex
A man’s favorite way to “prove” this breakup is “seriously no big deal” is to have plenty of random sex right after it. He’ll swim in random sex (if he’s good at getting it, that is) and act like he has never been happier. Yup. This is the life for him. He just wants a new girl every night until the rest of his life and OH MY GOD HE MISSES HIS EX SO MUCH NOW HE IS CRYING DURING SEX WITH ONE OF THESE RANDOM WOMEN. Mmmhm. Denial bites you at random times.
They do something impulsive
It must have something to do with proving that they aren’t attached to anything, that they’re happy to make major changes at a moment’s notice and that nothing’s a big deal to them. Not losing $8,000 at gambling. Not a neck tattoo. Not quitting their job and flying to Spain with no plan. And certainly not a breakup. No, that’s child’s play to the man who now owes money to a bookie and has skin ink that will make getting most jobs very hard for him.
They send her pointless texts
Every woman who in the world has received the mysterious, pointless, “Hey” text from a guy after a breakup. “Hey?” Really? You just had a two-hour conversation where you hashed out all the reasons you’re wrong for each other, one of you stormed out, and now he’s texting “Hey?” What does he want? What could it mean? What’s his goal? He doesn’t even know himself.
Then they send her angry texts
Of course, once the woman naturally asks what the ex wants with this “Hey” text, the ex gets mad. The man turns on the woman. “I was just saying hi! Jesus! You’re so demanding! This is just how it was in our relationship! See. This is why it didn’t work out.”
Then they send her apologetic texts
Next, when the guy realizes he instigated this entire conversation and that his ex’s modest question of “What do you want?” was actually very reasonable, come the apology texts. These are the texts where the man re-lists all the reasons he’s a terrible boyfriend and apologizes for anything he ever did wrong. But you already went over this in the breakup conversation. Is this really necessary?
They think being successful will “show her”
Ah but of course: throw-himself-into-work guy. This guy wakes up with a head full of steam of ways he’s going to climb to the top of his industry. He’ll show the ex. Yeah. She’ll regret ever breaking up with him! But she doesn’t. No amount of money or success would make this man any better of a boyfriend.
They think dating someone really hot will “show her”
Then there is the man who dates a slew of women who spend three hours on their hair and makeup, probably had this nipped and that tucked, could have some silicone here and there and always dress like they’re going to the club even when they’re just going to the dentist. Somehow, this will show the ex. Show her what? I don’t know. He doesn’t know, either.
They ask to see the ex, with no plan
Once their plans to deny this breakup is affecting them start to fall through, they ask to see the ex. For coffee. For closure. To catch up. Who knows! They just message her at 8pm on a Thursday and ask if they can come over. The truth is, they miss her. But they don’t have any plans on changing the way they are, and they don’t have any ideas on how this relationship could suddenly miraculously work.
They pretend to want a friendship
They can be friends! Oh, sure! Sounds great! The ex is pleasantly surprised and impressed by this olive branch. But the olive branch turns into the guy getting too drunk and trying to kiss the ex. This friendship was all a ruse.
They try to scare off her new boos
A lot of men have the childish mentality of “If I can’t have her then nobody can.” So they may just find out who their ex is dating, and send him a few “friendly warning messages” as they put it. These are messages about how she can be really bitchy and selfish and crazy. Of course, these messages just make him look bitchy and selfish and crazy.
They ask for gifts back
Men can be possessive when it comes to how they spend their money. If they gave the ex gifts, they may ask for them back. Or they may ask at least for cash that equals the monetary value of those gifts. So petty.
They get petty with insults
Speaking of petty, some men can get pretty petty post-breakup with the insults. In an attempt to convince themselves they don’t miss the ex, men send the ex a list of all of her flaws—miniscule as they may be. This only leaves the ex thinking, “Okay. Great. Well…we broke up so…none of that is your problem anymore. Sorry—what’s the point of this conversation?”