Why do guys act like they don’t care after a break-up? Because they either care too much and don’t want to show it, or they don’t care. The second answer is probably not what you want to hear, but unfortunately, that’s the reality of the situation.
The first answer is a bit more complex, and we’ll get into that shortly. But one of the most hurtful things for a woman is to see her ex-partner move on so quickly after the relationship ends.
He wasn’t sure about anything when he was with you, he got uncomfortable when you spoke about marriage, he wasn’t interested in children, and he never brought you home to meet his mother even though you’ve been together for a year.
But now he’s playing happy families with pretty Patti, and they’re plastering their newfound love all over social media. What’s up with that? Let’s talk about it.
Do They Really Don’t Care?
If your ex-boyfriend acts like he doesn’t care, is that how he truly feels?
So, you’ve heard through the grapevine that your ex-boyfriend of two years is living his best life after breaking up with you. He’s started that business he always talked about and moved in with his new girlfriend…what!
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. He just doesn’t care. Now, before you start having a crying fit, let me explain.
Most men don’t get into relationships to hurt their partner. In many cases, he was very physically attracted to you; the chemistry was there, but once he got to know you, he realized that you weren’t what he wanted after all.
Now, that’s not because there’s something wrong with you. Maybe he didn’t think you had enough in common to move forward, maybe your goals were different, or your perspectives on relationships were at odds. Either way, you just weren’t a good match.
You’re probably thinking, “Well, why didn’t he just tell me that from the beginning?” The answer is that he didn’t know, he was too consumed with his physical attraction towards you to think about anything else.
As soon as that died down a bit, his mind was clear to think about other aspects of the relationship.
Sometimes, the guy messes up because he realized you were not the one quite early on, but he stayed for convenience’s sake. Maybe the sex was good, and he was biding his time until someone else came along. As soon as they did, he jumped ship.
Now he’s in this new relationship. He has literally forgotten about you because all his attention is focused on his new girlfriend. She is everything he has dreamt about and more, so now, she’s his priority.
Do Guys Care After a Breakup?
Some men know they messed up and lost a good woman, but they don’t know how to make things right, so they move on. There are several reasons for this:
Young boys are socialized through education and society that certain aspects of their personality are unacceptable. They are taught not to express how they feel or to cry. They are indirectly told that being emotional makes them less masculine.
These unrealistic perceptions of masculinity can lead to men feeling a deep sense of shame about their feelings. Consequently, they express themselves through displays of bravado, which is what you see when you think he’s ‘moved on.’ He will go out drinking with his friends or go on a wild vacation and sleep around as a form of escapism from his feelings.
So, unless your partner was raised in an environment where he was taught that it was okay to talk about his feelings, it will appear that he doesn’t care about the breakup.
He’s Afraid of Rejection
According to psychotherapist Jamie Gleicher, historically, men have been taught to protect their masculinity, and so they feel it’s being threatened when they’re rejected. When it comes to relationships, if they mess up and know they’ve messed up, a man is less likely to come and apologize to you because he’s afraid of rejection.
Instead, he’ll go where he knows he’ll be accepted, and typically, that’s straight into the arms of another woman.
A study conducted by the University of Birmingham found that men and women respond to emotional pain differently. Men try and replace what they’ve lost by competing in the dating game again. Since casual relationships and hook-ups trigger the release of feel-good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, it gives them the emotional illusion of numbing the pain of heartache.
As mentioned, men can’t express their emotions in the same way as a woman. In most cases, he won’t have the same support networks as you, where it’s safe to watch movies and cry into a tub of ice cream with his homeboys.
He can’t run into his mother’s arms for comfort because she probably encouraged him to suppress his emotions growing up. So he soldiers on in line with the silent rules in the masculinity handbook, fearing being ridiculed as ‘soft’ by his male counterparts.
He might wallow and grieve privately about the breakup, which will only lead to him drowning his sorrows in some Jack Daniels. But ultimately, the best way to dull his emotional pain is to find another woman to fix him.
And he needs to do this very quickly before his feelings get the better of him. His new girlfriend will allow him to transition back into the acceptable, comfortable space of being the strong, braggadocios man he’s supposed to be.
She helps him return to his masculinity, where he controls his emotions and life. Order has been restored, and he can get back to normality.
Women on the other hand deal with their feelings by talking about them, which is why you keep trying to call him 50 times a day. The reason why he’s not answering the phone isn’t that he’s avoiding you, he’s avoiding confronting his emotions.
If you hear that your ex has moved in with Sally a few days after you broke up, it’s not because he doesn’t care, it’s because he was so deeply wounded he had to move on quickly to avoid a total breakdown.
That’s What’s Expected
It may very well be that your ex-man knows how to manage his emotions because he was raised in a household where emotional expression from men was validated. The problem is, he’s torn between what he knows to be true and the dominant beliefs in society that men should be out there sleeping with as many women as they can.
He wouldn’t mind being celibate for a while to process everything that’s happened before he moves on. However, he makes the mistake of seeking comfort by hitting the town with his friends. They meet a group of girls, one of them is really into your ex-partner, but she’s not even his type.
His friends are cheering him and encouraging him to go for it. He’s probably had a bit too much to drink so his mental faculties are not in place.
She invites him back to his, and he reluctantly agrees while his friends slap him on the back and cheer him on as he makes his way out of the club. The problem is that your best friend is there, she snaps a picture of them sucking each other’s faces off and sends it to you!
The next morning, not only does he feel like crap because he’s got a ridiculous hangover, he rolls over, looks at the woman he’s sleeping next to, and thinks, “How on earth did I end up here.” Like a stealth assassin, he crawls out of the bed so that he doesn’t wake her up and finds his way back home. But that wasn’t his intention, and now he knows he’s messed up.
How Do You Avoid Getting Hurt After a Breakup?
If you’re tired of dating guys and never making it past first base, here are some tips to avoid getting hurt:
1. No Sex
I understand we all have our needs, but one of the most stupid things you can do is sleep with a guy before establishing a relationship. Here’s why. According to neuropsychologist Dr. Daniel Amen, when two people have sex, the bonding hormone oxytocin is released in the brain.
Oxytocin creates limbic emotional bonding, and the woman often forms a deeper emotional attachment than the man because she has a larger limbic system (the part of the brain where our emotions are formed).
Men on the other hand, find it easier to detach after sex because sex is a legitimate physical need for them. Just as your body communicates with you when you’re tired, thirsty, or hungry, so does a man’s body tell him when he needs sex.
As soon as he receives that release, he’s physically satisfied. A man can get aroused by a woman without feeling any emotional connection to her.
In other words, he can be in love with his partner but have an intense physical attraction to another woman without his emotions getting involved. The main difference in the wiring of male and female sexuality is that men can separate sex and relationships, women find this a bit more difficult.
Therefore, if you want to avoid the heartache of a breakup, refraining from sex will weaken your emotional bond with the guy you’re dating and make it easier for you to move on if the relationship doesn’t work out.
2. Maintain Your Independence
It is not uncommon for women to think they’ve found the man of their dreams and invest all their time and energy into the relationship. They stop going out with their friends in favor of ‘Netflix and chill’ with ‘hubby.’ And everything they do centers around this new partner of theirs.
In the meantime, the guy isn’t sure where the relationship is going, and while you’ve planned the engagement, wedding, and kids in your head, he hasn’t even labeled you as his girlfriend yet.
3. Know What You Want
When you know what you want in a partner, you won’t settle for less. Some women will start dating a guy and sleeping with him only to get disappointed when it becomes evident that he isn’t that interested in her.
If you were clear on your standards, you wouldn’t have started dating him in the first place because all it takes is a few conversations with a person to work out who they are.
One of my favorite sayings is “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks,” meaning that our values and motivations are stored in the heart, and any time we speak, they are revealed. Don’t be so quick to rush into a relationship. Speak to the guy for a while and find out what he’s really about.