Ok, one of the things that isn’t just in the world is that guys going through a break up often have NO idea what to do to get through it and out the other side intact.
I remember my daughter, when she was 16, telling me about her friend who had her heart broken. I asked her what she told her friend to do. My daughter said “Go eat ice cream.” This from my daughter who had never had a broken heart herself.
The same thing happened with my son. When I asked what he said, I got a shrug. That’s it.
Women, by nature, are emotional and tend to process break ups in a way where they can get past them and move on. Men, unfortunately, don’t always naturally possess the skills, nor have they been taught how, to process their emotions. As a result, they can get stalled out and stay damaged after a relationship ends.
Fortunately, there are things that guys going through a break up can do now to get through this pain and get on with their lives.
#1 – Feel the pain.
I can’t tell you how many songs I have heard over the years about men who are going through a break up and how they do so with whiskey and women, the ultimate self-medication tools.
“The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else” is the prevailing wisdom I hear from many of my male friends.
Let me tell you that, while getting under someone else will make you feel better in the moment, really, it’s just a short term fix. Women and whisky will definitely make you feel awesome in the short term but the morning after will be harsh. Not only will you not feel better about your place in the world, you will most likely feel worse!
It is important that, if you are going through a break up and really struggling, you let yourself feel the pain. Yes, pain is uncomfortable, and even scary, but it is important that you let it in, feel it and let it go. If you stuff it down it will just get stuck in your body and you will spend the rest of your life drinking whiskey and chasing women who aren’t good for you, always angry at the one who let you go.
I know that the prospect seems scary but, truly, feeling the pain of a broken heart, while it feels horrible, is no worse than the pain of a damaged limb and, with treatment, you will get past it. How many times have you hurt your body over the years? Do you still have pain? I am guessing not.
So, for guys going through a break up, know that the pain might be uncomfortable but know that, if you feel it instead of bury it, it will pass.
#2 – Be decisive.
So, you have just broken up with your person or they have broken up with you. How are you feeling? Alone? Scared for the future? Bored? Horny?
If you are feeling any of those things, do not reach out to your ex. Period.
What often happens after a break up is that one or both of the partners start to feel lonely. They have been in a relationship and enjoyed having someone to play with and the break up creates a void in which you are alone. What also happens is that we are left with more time on our hands and we get bored. Or, if we go long enough without, we might get horny and seek out a willing, and vetted, partner.
And, when you follow your instinct on any of those things and reach out to your ex, unless you TRULY want to reunite with them, you will just create more of a mess than already exists. Instead of the clean break that you had, you will get on this cycle of more talks and recriminations and pain.
So, if you are tempted to reach out to your person for any reason other than a true reconciliation, don’t. It will only bring up all the pain again and prevent you from moving on.
#3 – Take responsibility.
What many of us do when we are in pain is we look to blame someone else. Especially if we know we are wrong, human beings have a hard time taking a good hard look at themselves and truly accept responsibility for the break down of the relationship.
Now I am not saying that you need to take all of the responsibility for the break down of the relationship but I would encourage you to take stock and see where you might have contributed to what happened.
Did you perhaps put her second some of the time? Were you short tempered with her when she interrupted a game? Did you consistently ignore what she asked you to do? What were you not so good at that might have led to the end of it all?
It is important to take stock of your role in a break up so that you can learn from it and not do it again. Instead of bringing unhealthy behaviors into a new relationship, make an effort to identify yours and set out to bring about change.
If you don’t, you will be destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over and ultimately end up alone and unhappy.
#4 – Open up.
This might be the hardest thing for guys going through a break up to do. What I am going to ask you to do next is find someone to talk to and be open and honest with them.
Men have, through the ages, have been taught to keep their feelings inside, that sharing their emotions might make them seem weak. As a result, men have a tendency to keep bottled up, where they never sees the light of day and where they can tend to fester and rot.
When we are struggling with breakups, it’s important that we find one person we can process what we are going through, one person who can listen to us and share perspectives and help us see what went wrong and what you can do differently going forward.
If you have a friend who can play that role, use him or her. If not, find a life coach (like me!) who can help you process what you are feeling and move on!
#5 – Take your time.
As I stated above, jumping from one relationship to another is a recipe for disaster. And, if you start to have sex with random women it could get even worse.
If you hop into another relationship without processing and getting over your past relationship you will simply bring all of your issues with you into your new one, dooming it for failure. Not only will you cause more pain for yourself but you will also cause pain to another person, perhaps pain like you are feeing right now.
If you decide to hop into bed with lots of random people you will only be using those women as a Band-aid for your broken heart. In reality, you will emerge from those trysts feeling empty and worse about yourself. And, once again, you will be causing other people pain.
As much as the instinct is there to either sleep with someone or get into another relationship, I would encourage you to pause and do some of the things listed above. I know you are feeling sad and lonely and eager to pair up again but know that, if you do it too quickly, you will be doomed to repeat the same mistakes and to ultimately be left alone.
Guys going through a break up sometimes resemble a deer in the headlights – knowing that they are in danger but having no idea how to get through it.
I believe that men have it in them to get through a broken heart and thrive after but that many of them struggle with how to get actually do it. If you are a guy, reading this article right now, good for you for looking for guidance in how to heal and move on from your break up.
I would encourage you not push past the pain but to feel it, to decide to stay or go and don’t waver, to take responsibility, to find someone to talk to and to not get into a rebound relationship.
I know that you feel really horrible right now but know that, with some patience and a little bit of work, not only will the pain go away but you will be in the right place to move forward and find the happiness that you have always longed for!
You can do it!
If you have made this far you must really be wanting to get past your broken heart.
Let me help you, NOW, before it gets worse!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here, and let’s get started.
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.