Getting Dumped

Recently the subject of guys and breakups came up and Amy Goldenberg, Consumer Research Analyst, SurveyStud, Inc and I went back and forth about what guys generally go through when they breakup.

I’ve heard things like “When a guy’s relationship ends, he replaces her. When a woman’s relationship ends, she mourns,” or “He’s just hooking up with such-and-such to spite the ex-girlfriend,” or “Guys just don’t care” and other nonsense.

To dispel the misconceptions, let’s take a look at some of the universal truths about guys and breakups – some of which may surprise you since they certainly are hidden from the surface.

Breakups are hard on all guys. Simple enough to say, but I know plenty of women will talk about how some guy came off like an insensitive jackass after the relationship fell apart because of his actions post-breakup.

The fact is: If a guy is profoundly obnoxious or terrible after a breakup, it is most often a testament to how rough the breakup was on him. Some people cope by lashing out.

But what about the guy who breaks up and goes totally cold?

Jerry Seinfeld once said that breaking up a relationship needs to be like taking off a Band-aid – One motion: OFF! In the same regard, when a relationship ends, it is much much harder for a guy to go back and discuss and revisit and talk through and explain…

In fact, guys like to keep their emotional spectrum focused on a tight range of emotions – somewhere between amusement and contentedness. So any interaction that a guy knows will bring him out of that sweet range of emotions is an interaction he’s going to do everything he can to avoid.

Personally, I have had breakups where I pretty much went cold. It’s not that I simply stopped caring. I wanted her to be OK, I wanted good things for her in life, but I knew that nothing was going to make the situation better.

No discussion was going to fix things, no clarity was to be had – it would have just been an emotional toilet for both of us. I realize it probably came off jerky, but when I cut off communication, my heart is in the right place. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a monster, I won’t completely cut a girl off, but I definitely won’t discuss anything along a relationship conversational thread.)

But what about the guy that immediately gets into a new relationship right afterward?

This could be for a few reasons.

In the case where you dumped the guy, one common reason is that the guy doesn’t want to be alone, he doesn’t want to deal with his grief over the breakup and he doesn’t want to “deal with himself.”

Sure, you could seek closure… or try to get the ex back… but if we/I/he could go back and tell 15-year-old self a piece of advice about breakups, it would be, “If you get dumped, just move on right away. It doesn’t mean anything about you, your worth, your attractiveness, your value, etc. It has nothing to do with you, you don’t need to understand, you don’t need closure. Move on immediately, you’ll save yourself a whole lot of time and heartache.”

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