It’s no secret that men and women experience breakups differently.
While women feel the pain immediately after the breakup and slowly get better, men seem to do it the other way around, feeling almost nothing after the break up only to break down several weeks later (specifically, eight weeks later).
So why exactly does it take guys 8 weeks to miss you after they break up?
Here are 11 reasons why men and women react so differently after a breakup, and what goes on in those 8 weeks:
1) There is a Ton of Ego Involved in a Break-Up
Without ego, there’d be no drama.
Everything would be straightforward and simple: people would say what they feel, do what they want to do, and not play any unnecessary games.
But ego exists in all of us, and when men go through a breakup, their ego and their pride are more important to them than ever.
Because when they lose their partner, their pride is the only thing they can keep hold of, so the last thing they want to do is lose it.
When avoiding heartache, pride is the most natural coping mechanism that comes to men, almost as if they’re naturally hardwired to delay the inevitable sadness of losing their partner.
Instead of “feeling” their emotions, they begin by distracting themselves with their pride.
2) Men Aren’t As In Touch With Their Feelings
Another reason why men don’t start grieving over the end of a relationship immediately the way women do is that they need more time to process their feelings.
Unlike women, men simply don’t understand themselves so much.
It’s not part of the male culture to think about your emotions and try to understand what they really mean; stuff like this is thought of as a waste of time.
This leaves men somewhat emotionally stunted compared to women, without the same capabilities to truly understand what they’re going through.
They believe they have to be masculine and tough, which doesn’t involve acknowledging their own feelings.
So while they still may be feeling the pain of the breakup, it takes a while before they admit it to themselves.
3) Men Are Encouraged To Move On
With an inherent lack of emotional self-awareness, men fail to understand their pain right after a breakup, but they also fail to understand their level of affection during the relationship.
This is where the phrase, “You don’t know what you had until it’s gone” comes from — men don’t realize how much they really love a person until they have to confront the pain of losing that love.
This leads to men believing that they can easily replace a relationship because they don’t realize how much love was actually involved.
They think they can simply go out into the dating scene and find a new partner immediately, with the same level of happiness and affection in the relationship.
It’s not until they’ve gone through the dating scene to realize that their previous relationship had much more value than they acknowledged.
4) He Begins By Trying To Protect Himself
As we said earlier, pride is the most important thing to a man after a breakup.
It’s the only thing he has, so he does everything he can to protect it and nurture it.
So if he doesn’t miss you yet, don’t worry.
Immediately after a breakup, he won’t spend his nights crying and depressed over losing the love of his life.
Instead, his mind will think of all the upsides to being single again.
He’ll tell himself whatever he has to hear to keep his peace of mind.
He doesn’t have to think about shared commitments anymore, he’s free to date and sleep with whoever he wants, and he isn’t “held back” by the relationship anymore.
5) He Thinks His First Positive Emotions Are His Permanent Emotions
As the man continues to convince himself that losing the relationship was actually a good thing, he’ll start to think that this wave of positivity is now his permanent state of mind.
This should last anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks, which is long enough to start feeling like your actual reality.
The negativity that he was feeling prior to the breakup will be associated entirely with the relationship, which will only add to his beliefs that the relationship was bad for him, and being single is good.
6) The Positivity Wear Off, and He Starts Feeling Confused
Around the fifth week after a breakup, the rush of positivity starts to wear off.
The man settles into the rhythm and routine of being single again, and realizes it’s not as great as he thought it would be.
This is the point where he begins dipping into those old memories with his ex.
He’ll remember the happy times — your inside jokes, the places you used to go, your old favorite restaurants.
And the negativity felt at the tail-end of the relationship is now almost totally forgotten, and there will be points where he even wonders why you broke up at all.
This leads to confusion, which can then spiral into frustration and aggravation.
7) He’ll Try To Convince Himself It’s Just Part of the Relationship
Here the man then settles into the stage of denial.
After going through all his old memories of the relationship, he’ll slowly fall in love again; the confusion over why the relationship ended will take over, and he’ll forget all the old problems that he may have had with his partner.
Eventually, he’ll find that instead of thinking of the relationship as “over”, it’s much easier to believe that it’s just on a kind of extended pause.
He’ll think, “This is just another break, she’ll come to her senses eventually”.
And when she never “comes to her senses”, he’ll end up doing it for her.
This is when he starts to reach out, acting like everything is normal or that you can just move on together and continue the relationship again.
8) The Reality Begins To Set In, and He Starts To Feel Desperation
He finally starts to realize: it’s actually over.
He’s confronted his feelings head-on, and he may have even attempted to talk with his ex and smooth everything over.
But his feelings have finally caught up to his present moment, and he now has to acknowledge the reality that this isn’t something he can fix; it’s something no one can fix.
It’s over, finally, whether he likes it or not, and there’s nothing he can do about it.
The only thing he can feel at this time is desperation.
He will become desperate to turn back the clock and stop the last series of events that led to the breakup.
Even though there were a dozen deep-rooted issues in the relationship, he will hyperfocus on those most immediate events, because his mind can’t accept that the relationship was broken in several ways; instead, it’s easier to believe it was just some strange accident that led to the breakup.
9) His Desperation Turns Into Anger, Frustration
The stage after desperation? Anger, frustration.
He’ll lash out at everything — his ex, himself, his inner circle, and the rest of the world.
Depending on his general temperament, this stage will either lead to self-destructive tendencies (drinking all night, quitting his job, giving up on his responsibilities) or self-imposed isolation (cutting himself off from his friends and family, never answering his messages, moving to a new place).
In a small way, a part of him will be hoping that his downward spiral will trigger the caring side of his ex, forcing her to return to him.
This is his final attempt at manipulating her into coming back to him, without actually telling her how he really feels.
10) He Needs Time To Try the Dating Pool and Realize It’s You He Wants
At some point during these eight weeks, the man will tell himself that he needs to move on, thinking of that famous line, “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else”.
So he’ll go on a few dates and maybe even sleep with one or two women while trying to get over his ex.
The problem? This is when he realizes that there was so much more to his old relationship than just the companionship of a woman.
Only by dating other women does he realize all the great qualities of his ex and the previous relationship that he took for granted; things that had become so part of his life that he didn’t even see them anymore.
11) He Makes His Final Decision After 8 Weeks: One Last Try Before Moving On Forever
At around eight weeks, the man will finally stop running from his feelings.
The games finally end, the desperation and frustration and downward spiral finally come to a stop.
Enough time has passed that even the most emotionally stunted man will now realize: it’s now or never.
At this point, he’ll be real with his ex. He’ll express his feelings, as clearly and concisely as he can, and hope for the best.
This is the hardest part of the break up for him because it’s he “do or die”; the final last breath of the relationship.
If she doesn’t take him back now, then he knows in his heart that she’ll never take him back again, and he’ll have to move on for good.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
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