I know a lot of women that are of the school of thought that men don’t take it as hard when there’s been a break up, which harks back to the notion that women are far more emotional than men. Now in general we can assume this, but it has come to my attention that guys don’t cope that well with break ups; they just hide things better and don’t try to starve themselves or bloat up on Ben & Jerry’s.
I asked several guys how long it had taken them to get over their most recent significant break up, and with the exception of one of the guys, the rest claimed that it took significant periods of time, with two of them claiming that they still were trying to get over them after more than a year had passed.
Now my thinking is that break ups should generally be proportionate to the length of the relationship, give or take a month or week here and there.
So based on this rule, it should go something like this:
Length of Relationship Max Healing Time (italics) Surveyed Guys Healing Time (bold)
One Month…One week…One month
Three Months…One Month…Three months
Six Months…Two Months…Five Months
One Year…Three-Six Months…One-Two years!
Now I appreciate that people heal at different paces, but there is something seriously wrong here. I thought that it was just these guys, but when I questioned further and surfed around blogs it seems that this does actually correlate. One of the key factors with these guys was that with the bulk of them, they were not the ones to finish the relationship. Had they been the one to finish things, I wonder how long they would have brooded over the relationship?
What do guys do when they break up?
Some do cry but it’s generally by themselves or with a female friend or relative that they really trust. I do know a number of guys that have good emotional friendships with their male friends which means that when the chips are down, they can pour out their heart without fear of being looked down on. A lot of guys pretend that it’s not hurting them as much and attempt to rise above it because big boys don’t cry. Some of the guys said that they found it difficult to express how they feel because they don’t come from environments where they can speak freely.
“It’s no wonder it took me so long to get over her; I couldn’t bloody talk about it to anyone really so I guess it just dragged out. I think I built her up more in my mind the longer it took me to get over her.”
I do actually believe that not talking about it and having the opportunity to wallow on your own for as long as you like is not going to enable someone to get over a break up. It’s impossible to resolve the feelings because you’re in a vicious circle with yourself and no-one is easing you through the hurt. It was very clear that the view of these women in a situation like this became really disproportionate and with one of the guys, he was damn well near obsessing over her.
Most of them tried to shag their way out of hurt. “I slept with a lot of women in that year after the break up. I think I thought that it would block it out. I’d wake up the following morning and look at her and think that she’s not [the ex girlfriend]”
“Sleeping with a few women was what helped me get over things. It’s what we do!”
And some break up like women – That’s the crying, moping, hiding away from the world, ranting, self-blaming, going back to try and make it work, pleading, and replaying the relationship over and over again in their minds as they cling to hope.
“I really do think that we’re meant to be together. Even now after a year…..but she doesn’t want it. I don’t think that I will ever be able to love another person like this again”
I think that the key thing to remember here is that when a guy does care about someone, he hurts just as much as a woman would in the same situation, he may just express it in a different way. He still has to be a ‘man’ and be one of the lads, and unfortunately other guys don’t come racing around with tea and sympathy. They demand that you turn up for the footie or drag your arse out for beers and stop the whining. These guys generally won’t be keen to listen to their male friend bemoan his break up and will often recommend that he get more drunk or just get laid. Often the ex girlfriend will talk to her ex and he will act as if everything’s hunky dory, which suffice to say, pisses her off no end as it appears he doesn’t give a monkey’s. He very often does, he just doesn’t know how to say it or is afraid of how he may look or how she may react to it.
The great thing about being a woman is that there is generally a few female friends that you can turn to during a break up that will listen to you say the same stuff over and over again and still be there when you’re ranting, raving, and they won’t pass any judgement when you express how you feel as there is an air of empathy and sympathy.
Recommendations for guys going through a break up
– Talk to a good female friend or relative
– If you have a male friend who has gone through this, go out for a beer on a Sunday or something and have a chat. You’d be surprised – he probably won’t mind talking about it!
– Don’t keep it to yourself.
– Don’t allow a dented ego to hold you in heartbreak for a disproportionate period of time.
– Don’t obsess as this is very unhealthy and ultimately doesn’t change a damn thing anyway. The woman on the receiving end of it may feel like she’s being emotionally blackmailed.
Are you a guy that has struggled to cope with the demise of a relationship? Or are you a woman that has an ex that you just can’t shake because he’s unable to let go?