Do Guys Hurt After A Breakup? (8 Hidden Signs)

by April Maccario

It’s important to remember that everyone is human, and we all (both men and women) feel pain when dumped by an ex. If you have found yourself in the unfortunate position as an ex-girlfriend, you are likely asking yourself  "Do men hurt after a breakup?"

Well, the answer is, yes; of course, men do hurt, although they may not express it the way women want them to; it does not mean they feel nothing. 

This common question is, no doubt, due to the lack of a noticeable reaction from most men or because as women, we don’t understand their method of grief. Crazy enough, many women assume that men don’t have as much to lose as women do when a relationship is over, neither are their emotions out of whack; however, that’s also not really true. 

Men, just like women are very badly torn when someone they trusted and gave a hundred percent of their love to in a relationship becomes an ex. So, in the case of your ex-boyfriend, if he is an expressive person, you might not be able to tell off the bat if he’s hurting after the breakup or not. 

How To Tell He Still Has Feelings For You

I understand it’s natural to want to know that he misses you or that you’re not the only one hurting, that’s why the below signs will further help you to understand a guy’s behavior after the breakup, which are also good indicators of how men deal with breakups in general. 

However, it’s also vital to note that, although many of these signs apply to most men, a good number of men in general (unlike women) are good at hiding their feelings after a breakup, whilst other people are very expressive about it. 

1. Avoids the subject 

The post-breakup is usually really tough to go through. In this situation, you’d want to talk with your ex to find out if you’re the only one feeling the pain. It’s not every couple that stays in contact after a breakup, so if you still are, you’re in luck. That said; continually referring to the breakup in your conversation can be very tricky and he could keep you at arm's length as a result. 

Also, I know that right now, you miss him, and that’s why you’re wondering how he feels about not being with you anymore. What’s more, it’s a massive sign of pain when your ex avoids talking about the breakup with you or with any other support system like family. However, it’s very likely he’s bottling up the problem of not being with you anymore. 

In fact, many people go through the denial stage of grieve by ignoring the subject. That’s probably your ex’s way of expressing it. You know it’s serious when he hasn’t spoken to any close friend or family about it either. Not wanting to talk about it with you or other people, shutting down the subject when it’s brought up by someone else, just shows he’s in pain but trying to be a grown-up about it. 

2. He tells you 

He tells you

Paying attention to what he says to you would help you tell if he’s hurting. The “I miss you” may not come as it used to because you’re not together anymore, but if he’s making an effort to reach out to you, it’s something. Also, if your ex was an expressive person, it might be easy for him to tell you just how he feels on the inside. This is the surest sign that he is in pain about not being with you anymore. 

The reality is that many men (and women) often avoid being portrayed as weak and admitting they still miss their ex could be translated like that. So be attentive, your ex might try expressing his feelings in gestures like asking to do something you shared out of the blue or just drawing closer to you

He probably cries himself to sleep as you do. It's not out of the ordinary for a man to call as I said, we’re all human. If he lets you see how vulnerable he is without you, that’s a sign he hurts and probably wants you back in his life. The most straightforward way to know about his feelings is if he shows you, bear in mind he may not go all out about it, just little hints. 

3. He’s being mean 

Your ex blocked you on social media, doesn’t want to see you or hear of your name in conversations, he is being unpleasant to you. 

Listen, only a man who is deeply pained about a breakup would shut you out like that. No doubt, it’s a coping mechanism that helps him run from what he’s truly feeling. Hanging around with you, seeing your post on Instagram, talking about it with anyone would light a fire in him and he is strongly avoiding that. 

As much as he tries to look like he’s fine, not being able to face you again means that he’s not okay. I understand It’s not easy to stop caring for someone you shared so much experience with, and it gives you some kind of satisfaction to know it’s not easy for them either. 

However, being mean to you is his method of showing you how he feels inside, so, you should tread on careful grounds; after all, you don’t know how far he would go to pass the message, and things could get ugly fast. It’s not easy to tell how a man deals with a breakup and you being all up in your emotions you might not be the best judge of character right now.  

4. He’s not with anyone else 

It’s possible your ex hasn’t been able to get in a relationship with someone else because he’s not over you and doesn’t feel better. Expressing emotions by remaining single is not unusual for guys. He probably finds it hard to move past not being with you anymore, which is affecting his next relationship. Maybe he wants to take time off, clear his head of all the emotions he’s been feeling since the breakup too.

It’s not as easy as men are always told to remain macho and get over a relationship quickly; however, this isn’t always easy especially if that guy was in love. Sometimes, the wait is a window for things to get back together, but that’s only likely if your ex keeps in touch with you, occasionally acts like you’re still together, or brings up the memories you both share. 

Just pay attention to his behavior, you’d be able to tell if he’s letting you go or not. Being unable to move on or hold new relationships long enough is one of the oldest signs a man is still hung over his ex. He could pick up another girl for formality's sake as his method of dealing with breakups. Sometimes, not being with anyone, is a message about still being hung on you. 

5. He comes around

Has your ex started acting like a puppy seeking some affection? Does he occasionally show up to places you happen to be at? Does he try so hard to insert himself into things that concern you so both of you would spend time with each other? 

If you answered yes to all these, he’s definitely broken. What’s more, if you find him doing things he won’t normally do just to get close to you again, it’s a sign that he’s in pain and still wants to be with you. 

You must handle this situation carefully. For all, we know it could only be guilt for mistreating you, not love. The thing is - he knows your schedule, and finding you at your favorite restaurant or coffee shop wouldn’t be hard to do. At some point, this might seem very stalkerish, but whether you find creepy or sweet is your choice to make. 

He’d also talk to your friends about wanting to get back together, and he may not even tell everyone that you guys have broken up yet because he’s not willing to let you go. A guy’s behavior after a breakup is highly unpredictable. He could become cold towards you or the exact opposite; all of these reactions mean he’s hurting. 

6. Talks about you

When an ex jumps at every opportunity to talk about you, he’s clearly not over the breakup. He could be bad-mouthing you to other people like friends and family to make himself feel better, then draw all the sympathy to himself - just like throwing a pity party. No doubt, making you look bad makes him look good and the better he looks in his head, the easier it is to justify the situation. 

On the other hand, he could genuinely miss you and finds the breakup situation easier to deal with when he talks about you. I am sure you have also been in a similar situation where your friends call you out for talking too much about a guy. The same applies to your ex - when your friends tell you that he talks about you at the slightest opportunity, he’s surely missing you. 

More so, if he doesn’t talk ill of you and gives only good reports there’s a chance he hopes to get back with you or he generally wishes you well. Also, I’m guessing he still mentions you in his posts, and even tweets about you in ways only both of you understand. Very likely, he might even reach out to you by calling or coming to visit in person, just to make sure you’re okay. 

7. Tries to make you jealous 

You can tell when an ex is actively trying to make you jealous. Swinging by where you’d be with a rebound relationship would be an apt place to start. Also, talking to you about “how much he’s moved on” and how life has been beyond great after the break up is another sign he’s hurting and probably not over you. No doubt, he also knows you’re very curious to know how he’s been faring since the breakup; so don’t be surprised if he is putting up a brave front. 

No doubt, he also wants to make you jealous hoping you’d make the first move; certainly, if you want to, you can. However, anyone who’s trying to pass a message across to you by making you feel jealous is better off as an ex (mistake) than anything else. So, make no mistake, it could be a narcissistic attempt to get you to notice him, a new look or girlfriend.

That being said, if you are aware that he simply cannot make a move towards a future without trying to put it in your face, he is in severe pain, darling. You can indulge him if you want him back in your life; other than that, you’ve got your sign, he’s only pretending to be okay about it. 

8. He cries about it

He cries about it

If you’ve caught him shedding tears about not being with you anymore, that’s big! I mean men can be affectionate and emotional about something but crying about it is pretty rare. Say in the middle of talking things through he bursts into tears - he may not say why but he just cries, - that’s a sign of deep emotions. Not a lot of men cry in the open about this sort of thing but they do, believe me, I’ve seen it. 

I understand that you feel you’re the only one who goes to bed at night wondering what he’s up to, how he feels about you, and if he’s truly moved on like his last tweet said. Do I really have to still point out that if guys cry in front of you about a breakup it’s serious? I know there are clowns out there but do you really think he’d go that far? You know him more than I do anyway. 

All I am saying is a common sign your ex is hurting is if talking about him makes his eyes water, even though it’s just a minute. Love is strong, the switch cannot simply be turned off when it’s on,  and there’s no telling what a man would do to show he still cares about a woman. 

FAQs

Do guys feel pain after a breakup?

Of course, they do, they are human just like you. They just may not express it the way ladies do but they definitely feel it. Just as it’s not easy for us women to separate from an ex we shared a lot of good memories with, the same applies to men - especially when you have a lot of common friends. 

Emotions get stirred up at the end of every courtship and trust me, guys feel it too sometimes worse than you do. He might not show it physically because he doesn’t want to look weak; it’s rarely because he’s immune to the pain of losing you. 

Do guys miss their ex after a breakup?

It depends on the kind of courtship he had with his ex. Not all relationships are the same - it’s highly probable that a guy would miss hanging around with his ex-girlfriend. Especially if the connection didn’t end on horrible terms like cheating or worse; even at that, guys still miss their ex. He won’t miss you as much if he was mentally done with the relationship before now. 

Who hurts more after a breakup?

The answer to this question is gender-neutral. It’s not about men, and you're not the one that hurts more after a breakup because you’re female. The person whose trust was broken is likely to hurt more after a break up than the person who broke the trust. However, the one who is more in love with the other takes the bullet. 

What do guys feel after they break up with you?

My guess is he would feel heartbroken by it. Sometimes, relationships end not because anyone wants them to but because they have to. The same deep pain you feel when things are not working out is probably the same way he feels. There’s no rule book to express these feelings, they don’t have to shed tears to prove real pain, and you can’t tell him how to deal with breakups.

Why is he so cold after the breakup?

Maybe it’s not easy to move past breaking up with you and he needs time to heal. You cannot expect him to react to you the way that you want, he’s going through the pain of not being with you too and it’s okay for his healing process to be different from yours. No doubt, coldness is a sign that he still needs space to sort his emotions.

On The Whole,

Did you enjoy reading this article? Did any of the signs sound familiar? I’m sure something struck you as you read. Remember, guys, are not as expressive as women and always look out for these signs if you’re curious about how he feels about the breakup. 

Write your thoughts to me in the comment box below and don’t forget to share the article too, someone out there would like a telltale of how he feels after the break up too.

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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