In our culture, the heartbreak of women is quite documented. We all know what they do from TV, movies, and personal stories. The girl gets her heartbroken by a mean and uncaring man, so she then “holes” herself up for forty-eight hours doing nothing but crying and eating ice cream while watching dramatic romances on Lifetime network with unbrushed hair.
After two solid days of that, the female emerges from the depths of heartbreak, takes a shower, shaves her legs, puts on make-up, and returns into the fold having successfully purged most of her pain. In another week, she either finds another man or strengthens herself with some form of girl power, and then proceeds in life relatively emotionally unscathed.
This is how pop culture shows us what women do when dealing with heartbreak. And, for the most part, it’s at least accurate in the timeline. Women generally get over heartbreak very quickly and very emotionally efficient.
What about a man’s heartbreak? Where’s the stereotype there? Pop culture might have him make a wild attempt at getting his girl back after she justifyingly had to let him go. And after she thwarts his efforts to change her mind, he might go get drunk for a night somewhere and be an asshole and maybe get his ass kicked. After that, movies and TV don’t reveal much about how men deal with heartbreak. They just show the guy getting on with his life slightly more subdued than before. But that’s it.
WHAT IS MALE HEARTBREAK REALLY?
Guy’s heartbreak isn’t very well documented. Sure, men are way more sensitive and emotional then they were fifty years ago, but still not so much with when a woman rips his heart out of his chest and shows it to him still beating.
Men today may have highlights in their hair, can “must love dogs”, and have their feelings easily hurt, but when it comes to heartbreak, they still have to demonstrate hardness. And this is only a demonstration. Inside, a man can be torn the fuck up when he loses his woman.
The way I see it, male heartbreak is caused by four different things. Any poor bastard with this affliction can have one or more of these.
THE FOUR REASONS OF MALE HEARTBREAK
Reason 1 – The guy is co-dependent – A lot of males become co-dependent of their mates. She may take care of things for him like paying the bills, ordering things he needs, or managing his social life. He also may have become attached to having someone to sleep next to, watch tv or talk with. There are a hundred ways a person can become dependent on another on an almost daily basis. Then, when she is gone, the void caused by her absence can be everywhere with nowhere for the guy to hide from it.
This is heartbreak 101 right here! The guy may have really hated his girl and wished he could get away from her for years. But when she’s gone, he misses all the things that she was involved in. This can affect all aspects of a male’s psyche. She may have been a part of his emotional, spiritual, financial, and physical well being.
Now that she’s gone, he has to rebuild some of his neural pathways to take care of shit on his singular own. That hurts and that’s heartbreak.
Reason 2 – The guy feels a loss of ownership – No person can legally own another. But that doesn’t stop guys from thinking that they own their woman. I’m sure it’s some primal thing that enables males to feel that they have some form of ownership with their mate. Right or wrong, the feeling of a loss of ownership is most definitely a form of heartbreak.
This is something a lot of guys won’t admit, especially to themselves. But eventually, if the dude can successfully come to the real terms of what he is feeling and why he is heartbroken, he may arrive at the harsh truth about himself. That he thought he owned his female. Yeah, he found out he didn’t when she bounced! Ouch.
This is common with certain male personalities. You know the guys who take pride in owning shit. They may own a house, a boat, property, animals, a business, watches and so on. And they may define themselves greatly on those things. It’s natural for that type of dude to add his wife or girlfriend to that list. And for that kind of guy, it’s quite crushing when he finds out he doesn’t own her and therefore is no longer able to control her. Yep. Heartbreak city!
Reason 3 – He’s not sure if he will ever get laid again – Let’s face a fact here. The vast majority of men don’t cheat on their wives or long term girlfriends. I know our culture tries to make it seem like all guys are “dogs” out fucking anything they are able to. But the reality though is that shit ain’t true.
Males are simple animals. If they have a decent and available source for sex, they will just take that and find a way to be somewhat content with it. Even if the sex isn’t that good or only happens a few times a year, he’ll accept it. This is why a lot of guys freak out when they have a break-up. They aren’t sure if they will ever get laid again!
One of the advantages guys in relationships have is that they know where they are going to get their sex in the future. Single guys are used to the uncertainty of who, how, or when they will be getting laid next. And it gives them some confidence on the matter. When a relationship guy loses his outlet for sex, it’s a harsh reality that he will now have to get it from someone else. And that is most assuredly heartbreak!
Reason 4 – The guy is in love – Just to be clear here, what I am describing is a guy’s position as being “IN love”. You can love your watch, love to fish, love the Pittsburg Steelers, and love your truck. But you can’t be “in love” with anything but a mate.
I can’t explain or describe the “love vs in-love” thing in less than a novel, but I can say that If you don’t know the difference, then you haven’t lived. A man in love can be the happiest, blindest, most content, and purposeful human that he can be. And when he loses his love, he can turn into the saddest, most pathetic, jealous, and discontent version of himself.
In a word, when a guy loses the woman he is in love with, it is pure despair! And it’s the father of all-male heartbreak. Any guy that has lost the girl he was in love with knows it sucks balls hardcore! It has happened to me and easily was the most intense thing I ever experienced.
HOW LONG DOES MALE HEARTBREAK LAST?
Recovering from heartbreak can take a guy a while. Years ago, I met this guy named Bill when I went to Minnesota. He was a family friend of my best friend, so his story was offered to me well documented.
When I met Bill, he was probably in his late forties. There was nothing particularly special about him except that he had been divorced for like twenty years and was still heavily pining for his ex-wife. When they were married all those years ago, Bill was an upwardly mobile fellow with great plans for a wonderful and achieved life. Then he lost his woman and got divorced. Twenty years later and I met a man who had been stagnant and broken the entire time. He never recovered from his heartbreak.
Bill’s story is extreme, but it does take guys a really long time to get over heartbreak. Of course, it depends on which of the four reasons he is heartbroken. If he can get his head right, a guy can meet another woman fairly quickly and satisfy his knowing 1) when he will have sex again, 2) begin a new ownership process, and/or 3) start replacing his co-dependence.
If a man is feeling heartbreak from being “in love” though, it’s gonna take some time. “In love” cannot be easily or quickly be replaced (unless you are a sociopath).
If, after some time and careful consideration you decide that you are heartbroken because you are “in love”, then don’t be so hard on yourself if you’re not shaking it off easily. Maybe you’ve had heartbreak before and it was much easier to get over. Well, that’s just because you weren’t in love with that previous female, so it was a much quicker process in getting over it.
Your heartbreak may take a long time to get over. It may take way too long then it should though. This is why, as a man, you have to fight to start becoming a fully functional YOU again. You sure as hell don’t want to end up like Bill.
HOW TO REALLY GET OVER MALE HEARTBREAK
Before I get started with mapping out ways to get over a girl you are heartbroken from, I have to address something. The most common advice guys hear on how to get over heartbreak is bullshit!
We have all heard something like “The best way to get over a girl is to get in another one” or something. While it’s admittedly helpful to get laid after a breakup, it will have very little to do with the healing of heartbreak. I have experienced it and many others that I have talked to have done it and all agree it didn’t help with the long term pain.
Male heartbreak is a difficult and intense condition. It can’t be remedied just by getting your dick wet. Guys may be simple creatures, but the male psyche is much more complex to allow one physical action to cure something so detrimental.
I’m not saying to not go get laid after a heartbreak if you can. Go knock it out. What I am saying is that it won’t help that indescribable feeling you get in your stomach called heartbreak.
After you have identified the reasons for your heartbreak(read above), try doing some of these things:
IF YOUR HEARTBREAK WAS FROM CO-DEPENDENCE
1 Man up! – Was your woman doing things like making sure the bills were paid, washing and picking out your clothes to wear, planning your vacations, etc.? Yeah, its time for you to start handling your own shit. Remember that you are a man and don’t need a woman to take care of things you should be taking care of anyway. I mean, you don’t need your mommy any more either, right?
2 Become more self-sufficient – Learn to handle and maintain all aspects of your life. Knowing that you can do things like doing your taxes or cooking some dinners will give you more confidence and help you not put yourself in the same position with the next relationship. Unless you like how this feels (yea, that was sarcasm).
3 Break up some of your patterns – Co-dependence is something that can seep into all aspects of living. It can be hard to withstand the absence of your missing dependent if you are rooted in the same routines. Breakaway from some of them. Any new way that you do things won’t have an association with your missing “her”. This can help a lot.
4 Do some new things – Ever wanted to take up scuba diving or go go-cart racing or something? Do it. Adding some new things to your life will take away some of the old things that you had a co-dependence on. At first, you won’t be motivated to do new things, but do them anyway and get over this.
5 Decide not to be as co-dependent with your next relationship – There is maybe no better existence than when you are in a “you and me against the world” relationship. And being able to rely on and depend on another person while they can do the same with you is a necessary part of a great and lasting relationship. But too much dependence is just unhealthy!
Learn from the pain of your former co-dependence and make your next relationship a better one by not being as co-dependent. Identify how this happened and if it was you, her, or both of you that created this.
If you decide that it was your former mate that was the cause of this, then be more careful with who you choose to share life with and look for early signs of co-dependence. Maybe it was you because all of your relationships have had this, then do some soul searching and try to discover why you create too high a level of co-dependence. If you don’t like this about yourself, then change.
IF YOUR HEARTBREAK WAS FROM A LOSS OF OWNERSHIP
1 Come to terms with thinking you owned her – This is big! Many dudes who suffer from this condition of trying to own their woman will be way too insecure and narcissistic to be able to identify this about themselves. If you can see this about yourself and can come to terms with it, then congratulations, you have a real growth opportunity here.
2 Do some soul searching to identify why you thought it or wanted to own her – I’ll admit it no problem. It would be awesome to be able to own a beautiful woman in every way. If you could own her body, her mind, and her heart, then you would never have to worry about her fucking someone else, wanting anyone else, or anyone else having her heart.
It’s a great fantasy. It’s also a great illusion that some think exists. Yea, it doesn’t. Asking yourself why you thought something so impossible was real will suck, but be worth it if you can figure some shit out.
3 Decide if this is something you need from a relationship, then find a woman that will better accommodate this in a healthier way. – Have you ever heard of these super-wealthy guys paying super high-end prostitutes for long terms? Yea its a thing and they call them escorts instead. A rich guy will pay a super fine escort for six months of service or longer. They agree that she will be accessible to the rich guy whenever he wants her and that she can’t turn any tricks with anyone else during that time.
Basically then, he owns her for that time and can take her anywhere and fuck her anytime he wants. You may want this. If you do, two things. One is you better put some overtime in at work because she will be “pricey”. The other is that you should know that you are only buying the availability of her body. You won’t be able to buy her mind OR her heart no matter how much flow and cocaine you throw at her.
This is an extreme situation for me to make a point with, but there are some other real-world alternatives. Many women need and like to be completely taken care of. Finding the right girl can be a key for you if you can’t shake the wanting of owning a woman. It’ll only be an illusion, but it’s not a perfect world, is it?
IF YOUR HEARTBREAK IS FROM THINKING YOU’LL NEVER GET LAID AGAIN
1 Do some real math – The United States has over 330 million people living in it. Half of them are female. Out of that, there are about sixty-five million women between the ages of 25 and 54. If you did some demographics of the city or town you live in, you’d easily see that there are a shit ton of available women. Fortunately for most guys, they only need one woman to satisfy them.
Remember that you aren’t Coke or Pepsi here. You don’t need millions of customers just to make ends meet. To get laid, you only need one woman. That is very doable no matter who you are.
2 Stop feeling hopeless – I’ll admit that when you have just broken it off with your girl, the thought of what its gonna take to get some other woman to have sex with you is daunting. Tough shit! You’re going to have to go inside yourself and remember that you are capable of making it happen. The first step to doing this is to stop feeling fucking hopeless.
Do what it takes to get your head right on this. Remember past successes with girls or tell yourself over and over that you will be getting laid at some point. Pump yourself up often if you have to in order to not allow any feeling of hopelessness to take over your thinking. Have some confidence about this.
3 Get your shit together – Maybe you got lax during your relationship about some things. Maybe you quit giving as much a shit about your physical appearance or wasn’t as aggressive with your job and being successful. Maybe you haven’t bought a pair of jeans in a couple of years. Your single now. It’s time to shore your shit up!
Start to do the things that make you the better you. Maybe you stopped caring about some things because the relationship you were in sucked and you were subconsciously devaluing yourself so it would end. Get healthier physically, mentally, financially, spiritually, and socially if any of those need improving. Getting your shit together will most certainly make you feel more in control of your life and more importantly, control over your ability to get laid again.
IF YOU ARE HEARTBROKEN BECAUSE YOU ARE “IN LOVE”
1 Don’t try to get her back – If she broke it off with you, you’re only going to be and look like a clown to try to get her back. I know it’s the one thing, hell, it’s the only thing you want to do. But don’t do it.
If you are over the age of sixteen, you already know that you shouldn’t try to win her back. But you’re probably gonna do it anyway. I get it. I’ve done it more than a couple of times myself when I was younger. The sad truth about women is that the only real way you can get her back is to figure out a way to not want her anymore. And you can’t fake it either. Women are four times more perceptive than us. They’ll see right through your “fake” not caring. If you can somehow demonstrate that you don’t give a fuck anymore, she may come back around. Not before that though.
If you broke it off with her, then you still shouldn’t try to get her back. I mean, what are you doing? There has to be a reason you broke up with someone you are in love with. Don’t capitulate your position. Wait until some of that strong emotion of not being around someone you are in love with wear thin. Come to terms with your issues with her before you get back to it. If you don’t, you’ll be breaking it off again. And you don’t want to go back and forth like that. You’re a man. Make a decision and see it through.
2 Try to remember the things you DIDN’T like about her and the relationship – When it comes to remembering relationships, women have a huge advantage over men. They can easily remember the things that they didn’t like and focus on those negatives. Guys are the opposite. We only remember all the good stuff and only focus on what was good, especially when we are heartbroken. This is a real bitch when you are mourning the loss of your love.
Force yourself to remember how bad things were. Recall how poorly she may have treated you or that the sex wasn’t really that great or that she was lazy or any thousand other things that could’ve been bad for you. Write them down if you have to so you can look at the list and can keep focused on the reality of the relationship and not just the happy stuff.
I’m not suggesting that you figure out a way to hate this person that you are in love with. I’m saying that it’s harder to get over this major heartbreak when you are being unrealistic about how things really were.
3 Take some time to morn the loss, but not too much – When you have lost someone you are in love with, you will be insane for a spell. It’s a major emotional deal that can affect nearly every aspect of your life. You’re gonna be a little nuts and there is no avoiding that, so drink too much, cry to yourself an embarrassing amount, smoke week like Snoop, eat like shit, call in sick, or do any form of mini self-destruction you like. But don’t do it for long.
After you have felt all the sorry for yourself that you can, it’s time to pick yourself up and start the move-on process. It’s very important to make the decision to stop self-destructing, wipe your face, and move back into the sunlight. If you don’t, you could stay depressed for years. No bullshit!
4 Learn to be confident that you will get through this and will get over this – At first, this won’t be easy. Early on, the loss of being in love will feel like you are wearing a lead suit. It will be hard to do anything. After a while though, small rays of warm sunlight will sneak in places and you’ll start to feel a tiny bit better.
Help this process along by telling yourself that you will get over this. This will not beat you. That one day, you’ll completely recover from her and none of this will matter to you at all. Or that one day, you’ll meet someone else. Someone better.
Insist to yourself that you will get through this. You know you will anyway. Just have the inner conversations that tell you you are strong and that you will be out from under this rain cloud of despair soon.
5 Do what it takes to move on – The pain of the absence of the one you are in love with can be a crushing deterrent to moving on. Guys in this state don’t care about the things that were super important to them. They may not give a shit about their job, getting laid, fishing, sports, or their friends.
You may not feel like doing things, but you’re going to have to push yourself to do them. Keep up with friends, change the oil in your truck, Fix the running toilet, and be social. You know what you need to do to get and keep your life going. Do those things. Pull yourself out of that dark hole and start getting back to who you are and what you want out of life. Every little and big thing you do will make this heartbreak a little better and you’ll be getting over it a little bit more.
6 Don’t try to replace what you had – Most guys who lose the woman that they were in love with want only one thing. And that’s just to have things back to what they were. Guess what? That ship has sailed. The only thing you want at that point is maybe the only thing that you’re not gonna get.
Things will never get back to where they were. Ever! Your life has changed forever, so forget about what things used to be and start thinking about what your life can be like in the future. This also means trying to replace your former woman with one that is just like her. Yeah, that won’t happen either. Women can be and act alike in a lot of ways, but there are no two that are the same.
Instead, get excited about the kind of woman your next girlfriend can be like. Maybe you’ll want a redhead this time (not recommended). Maybe you’ll want one with a career that makes her own money. Could be you want one that actually likes to have sex and truly finds you attractive. The possibilities are endless and positive. Think about how different and how much better the next relationship can be. That’s way more productive than trying to get back what you had, which failed by the way. Just sayin’
SOME BASIC RECOMMENDATIONS TO HELP GET OVER MALE HEARTBREAK
So, if you’ve managed to read through this article, identified which form of heartbreak you are suffering from, and read about how to manage your specific heartbreak, here are some general recommendations for getting over this shit.
1 Go be social – My dad had a saying, “You gotta circulate to percolate”. Suffering from heartbreak draws you inward and makes you not want to out into the world. Going out into the world though is the best way to get over it.
Being social does so many things to help recover from heartbreak. It gets you out of your head, occupies your mind with something other than your depression, allows you to start replacing old memories with ones, and of course, gets you closer to other women.
Now, going out to a bar and sitting there hanging out with four pints of Miller Lite all by yourself and then going home doesn’t count. You have to eventually interact with other humans.
2 Get ready to be single again – There’s a clear difference between the “relationship you” and the “single you”. When you’re single, you will naturally get your shit more together. Do that.
It’s time to start eating food with color, paying attention to interesting things, get a haircut before you need one, being cleaner and being more available. It’s time to say “yes” to things, work out more, and maybe get some fucking sun on your face.
The “single” version of you is a more attractive and agreeable one. Becoming the single you will help tremendously with your heartache.
3 Try not to drink too much alcohol or smoke too much weed – Drinking and smoking will make you feel better at first, but then you’ll pay for it by feeling down and bad about yourself.
Go out and do your social drinking (cause we all know a little alcohol helps), but don’t over drink. Too drunk while heartbroken in a social setting can sometimes equal pathetic. Stay in control even if you don’t want to be. This is heartbreak. If you don’t take getting over it seriously, then you’ll stay in that funk for way too long.
Also, don’t smoke so too much weed (for you). It won’t do any good blazing yourself into your own personal cloud of introspection. Instead, get only high enough to help connect with the outside world.
4 Take on a new hobby or activity – It’s time to replace some of those old neural pathways with new ones. Take up something you’ve always wanted to do. It will make you more interesting and maybe cause you to meet a whole new group of people.
5 Be productive – Heartbreak will rob you of your motivation. Get up and do shit! Take care of some of the things you’ve been putting off. Maybe your ex-love used to nag at you to get some of this shit done. Prove to yourself that you don’t need some woman pestering you in order for you to take care of stuff.
This is your life now. Get you shit done and make some progress on things that are important to you. Do it for you and because that’s who you are.
And being productive makes you busy, which takes your mind off of your loss.
6 Meditate – This isn’t a consequence of some religion or cult. I’m not some kid on a bike dressed in a white shirt and black tie, knocking on your door with some free latter-day saint book. Meditation is a real thing that helps you figure your shit out.
Those readers who have done some meditating already know this is good advice for recovering from heartbreak. If you’ve never experienced meditation before, check it out. It’s not at all easy but if you stick with it long enough, it’ll give you some meaning.
7 Do things to make you feel better about yourself – Getting over heartbreak has a lot to do with pumping yourself up and trying to feel good about yourself and your future.
Eating an entire pizza and drinking beer and watching Netflix until you cry won’t make you feel good about yourself. Getting up early, going for a run, eating a good breakfast, then starting your day will make you feel good about yourself. Do those things.
There may be nothing that robs a man more of his confidence than heartbreak. Slowly get that confidence back by doing things that make you feel strong and in control of your life. You may still be sad, but you’ll know you are a bad motherfucker who will be happy again soon.
8 Limit talking to friends and family about your heartbreak – This is a bigger key than most think. Harping on about your unjust past and miserable present to those close to you should only go on for a very short while. At some point (and that point arrives quickly) it no longer helps to talk about your sad situation.
Demonstrate to those close to you that you are moving on by not talking about it anymore. It’s not so much what they think about your status. It’s how not talking about it makes YOU think about the status of your heartbreak. That you are getting past it.
9 Meet and talk to girls – This may not be something that you can do right away. At some point though, you gonna want to start talking to and interacting with women. And it should be sooner than later.
For some guys(like me), this is where the end of heartbreak begins. Talking to women and maybe building some attraction will directly challenge your former situation like nothing else. It is a crucial step toward making it back into the light so to speak.
10 If you can, take some time to find yourself – This is the pinnacle of the healing and improvement of your heartbreak experience. Taking a nice long break from defining yourself (at least partially) by the relationship you are in can be crucial to obtaining some real personal growth and enabling your next relationship to not have some of the issues that, in fact, you were causing.
Holing yourself up, not being social, and not making actions toward what you want out of life is NOT what I mean here. It’s very important to carry on with life and not sit around sulking. Instead, live your life for you and make no plans to get back into a relationship. Develop a better relationship with yourself.
Learning how to be more emotionally self-sufficient than you are is not easy. And becoming too emotionally self-sufficient is not a good answer for most either. Turning into a man incapable of love because he got burned by a woman or two may appear to be an answer to avoiding this high level of pain in the future, but it’s not worth it.
Spend some time as a mentally and emotionally well single guy so you can find more of yourself and become a better mate for a future someone special. The single clock starts though only after you have dealt with your current heartbreak.
DON’T AVOID LOVE BECAUSE OF HEARTBREAK
Don’t be ashamed because you got your heartbroken. You can be ashamed of some of the stupid shit you did to combat against it for sure. But not because you allowed yourself to be vulnerable enough to make a woman more important to you than you could control.
This is a risk vs reward thing. As a man, love is easily the greatest thing I have ever experienced and felt. A lot of guys will try to “brake hard” and say that love is weak or that they don’t feel it. That’s utter macho bullshit! In my life, I know and have known some real men. One hundred percent of them and any guy less than them (in terms of masculinity) have had their hearts broken. And they all fell under at least one of the four reasons for heartbreak listed above.
To achieve all the great things that love can give a man (and there are a lot), he must risk getting his heart broke. For some guys, the heartbreak was so absolutely devastating to them, that they will make sure and never allow love again. For me though, it’s a no brainer. Having love is worth the risk of heartbreak.