It goes without saying that breakups are not easy, and nobody really ever wants to go through one.
However, most of us will go through at least one breakup in our lifetime and know how heartbreaking it can be, even if the relationship needed to come to an end.
The roller coaster of emotions you experience after a breakup might feel like they are never going to end, but something that can make it even worse is if you think he might not be hurting too.
Guys react differently to hurt, emotions, and breakups, so it might not be obvious that he is hurting, but there are definitely signs to look for. He isn’t made out of stone, and he will definitely have some degree of emotion over the relationship ending.
Keep reading to find out all the signs to look for that he is hurting after the breakup, so you know that it affected him as much as it did you, and you are not the only one going through heartbreak.
Do Guys Also Hurt After Break Ups?
Some men do really well to hide their hurt and emotion, even though this isn’t the healthiest way to deal with their feelings, so it can sometimes seem like they don’t feel much after a breakup.
The truth is that guys do hurt after their relationship has ended, no matter how hard he might try to act like it hasn’t affected him at all.
Just like you, he would have invested time and energy, and emotion, into the relationship, and having it end isn’t always easy to deal with, even if there was a good reason for the relationship to come to an end.
Guys might also take a little longer to feel the hurt after a breakup, as they might be excited to feel single again and be free from any of the issues you might have had, but the emotions will catch up with them, and they feel it more because of it.
Obviously, every guy is different, but it wouldn’t be right to assume that guys don’t feel anything after a breakup just because they are male, no matter how hard they might try to hide it.
Signs He Is Hurting After The Break Up
If you want to know if he is hurting too, but he isn’t making it too obvious, you can look for signs that he is in fact affected by the relationship, and you are not the only one going through hurt and heartbreak.
These are the signs that he is hurting after the two of you have broken up:
He Goes Silent
If he goes radio silent, you stop talking after the breakup, he doesn’t try to talk to you, or doesn’t respond to you and avoids any conversation, it could be because he is too hurt to speak to you.
His emotions are still raw, and he feels like he might break down even more if he spoke to you. He doesn’t want to put himself at risk of being hurt all over again and he thinks that being silent and not talking might be his best chance to try and heal.
It could also be that he is really hurting, and is starting to withdraw into himself.
This happens often when someone is going through a difficult emotional time, so it is understandable that the last person he would want to talk to is the person that has caused all of his pain.
You may even hear about him from mutual friends but he doesn’t make any contact with you. After all, he is now your ex boyfriend, and going quiet may make the breakup process easier for him.
If this happens, don’t push him. Give him his space. The more you try to force him to talk, the more it will hurt him, and it is obviously something he does not want to do.
It’s also good for you to get some distance and go through your own healing process, especially if you have a broken heart.
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He Starts Seeing Someone New
If he does not think that there is any chance for the two of you to get back together, then he might try and distract himself by jumping into a relationship with someone else.
Or at least speaking to other girls and going on dates.
Many men deal with breakups by jumping into a rebound relationship. It’s a classic coping mechanism to avoid negative emotions and be distracted.
Instead of sitting at home and drowning in his emotions, he thinks that seeing someone new might fill this void. Hoping the new girlfriend or date might make him not miss you anymore.
This is actually a common way that guys deal with breakups, they instantly put themselves back on the market. This normally only works for a short time and the hurt catches up with them at some point.
Women tend to (typically) do the opposite. They take the time to hurt and go through the pain before seeing someone new, which is why guys always seem to want their ex back when she has moved on to someone new.
Everyone has a different breakup process and coping strategy, so don’t take them moving on quickly to mean anything about you. Men are just wired differently and handle their emotions differently than women do.
He Is In Denial
A classic defense mechanism during a hard breakup.
If he did not want the relationship to end, and if he cannot imagine his life without you, then he might be in complete denial that the relationship has come to an end and that the two of you are going to stay broken up.
He would say things that show he only thinks of this as a temporary break, and that he knows the two of you will land up back together soon enough. He ignores your feelings and instead focuses on him wanting the two of you to be together.
This could also show by him texting you, calling you, and even coming around as normal. He doesn’t want to accept that things are done, and in his denial, he just keeps on acting like the two of you are together, and nothing has changed.
This is so unfair to you – as you need your space to move on and to mourn the relationship, without him pretending that everything is normal and nothing has changed.
He Tries To Stay In Touch
He might not be in denial over what has happened, and he might have accepted that the relationship is over, but he can’t help but stay in touch with you, texting and calling you when you feel like you need your space.
You were his ‘person’ when you were together, and now he can’t quite fill that gap after you have broken up, making him come back to you for companionship and support while he is hurting.
If he wasn’t hurting, and if he didn’t feel any pain from the breakup, he wouldn’t feel the need to message you or stay in touch with you.
You need to be firm with your boundaries, and let him know if you feel uncomfortable with him messaging you all the time, especially if you find that space will help you heal better.
He Talks Badly About You
This is one of the more hurtful signs for you that he is hurting. Everyone deals with heartbreak differently, and for some guys, they might lash out at the person who is hurting them to try and deal with their pain.
For them, you are the cause of their anguish and hurt, and this could develop into anger they feel towards you.
To let this anger out, they might bad-mouth you to friends and others, giving him temporary relief from his anger, and making him feel better for a little while.
You might think that his bad-mouthing might mean that he is just thinking negatively of you and is happy to not be with you anymore, but it can indicate that he is hurt, and he just doesn’t know how to deal with his pain.
He Starts Drinking More
For some guys, alcohol might become their refuge after a breakup, giving them a way to escape their pain and hurt for a brief moment in time.
This could be drinking on his own, going out to bars, or excessive partying – he is seeking the numbing that alcohol can give.
Although this very quickly turns into a vicious cycle and creates bad habits that are hard to break if he does not deal with his emotions.
As worrying as this might be – it also can’t become your problem to fix, as it would just drag you down and prolong your hurt further as well.
If you are concerned, talk to his family or friends and let them be there for him, supporting him through the breakup.
He Tries To Hurt You
He might not understand his hurt and pain, and he might mistake it for anger and vengeance, blaming you for the turmoil that he is feeling. When this happens, then he might try to hurt you in any way he knows how.
This could be bad-mouthing you to friends as we mentioned above, posting negative things about you on social media, or even sending you degrading messages directly.
He could also be doing this to try and get a rise out of you, to try and entice you to reply, and to fight back, just so he gets some type of attention from you, even though it might be more negative.
If this happens, you can try to block him on social media, block his number, and ignore him as best you can. Talk to family and friends for support, as this really isn’t something that is easy to deal with.
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He Blocks You
The thought of seeing you on social media, whether it be on your own or moving on with someone new, might be too much for him. Because of this, he might block you on all social media platforms.
This can be hurtful, especially if you didn’t really end on bad terms, but you need to see it from where it is coming from.
He probably feels like he won’t be able to move on from you if he is seeing constant reminders of you online each day.
A clean break works best for some people, and this might be how he feels he will be able to deal with the breakup.
You might think that he is blocking you because he isn’t interested and he is over you, but it is likely the opposite reason.
Other than social media, he might block your number, so you cannot text or call him.
He wants to reduce the chance of you making contact, as it would hurt for him to have to deal with that, and he is scared of being hurt all over again.
Blocking someone’s social media accounts can be hurtful and it’s easy to take it personally, but this is one of the obvious signs he is hurting after the breakup.
Respect his wishes to be left alone and make a conscious effort to move on yourself and not check his accounts.
He Asks For Another Chance
One of the more obvious signs that he is hurting after the breakup is if he asks you for another chance. He can’t help what he is feeling, and for him, the only way to fix his hurt is to try and get back together with you.
He will likely try and apologize for his part in the breakup, and promise you that things will be different the second time around.
He will pretty much say what he feels he needs to say to try and win you back.
It can be so easy to buy into these promises and apologies, especially if you are still hurting yourself and want comfort, but you do need to give yourself some time to heal too.
You can listen to your ex’s verbal explanation but be sure to think things through for yourself and not jump into a relationship with him so quickly.
From personal experience, getting back with an ex without addressing the root cause of the break up never ends well.
He Doesn’t Show Any Emotion
This seems like the opposite of the sign you should be looking for, but it could be an indication that he is really, really hurting.
It could very well be that he cannot, or does not want to, process and deal with his hurt and grief, and the only thing he knows to do is to shut down and not show any emotion at all. He will be short and straightforward with you and offer nothing more than that.
He would come across as cold, even callous, and distant, and no matter how hard you try to get some sort of emotion, he would not give anything back.
This isn’t a healthy way to deal with emotions, not acknowledging them at all, but you can’t really change the way he deals with the pain, and you should not try to push him so much just for a hint of emotion.
He Avoids Seeing Anyone New
Some guys go out and date straight away to distract themselves from the pain, but some guys do the opposite and avoid getting into a relationship with someone new, or even dating at all, for a very long time.
They don’t want to jump into a new relationship to deal with their break up.
They lose hope that they will find someone who measures up to you, and they feel like they do not want to make themselves vulnerable to someone else, just to land up hurt again.
For some guys, the pain of a breakup lasts for years, and it is something that can really affect their love life, making them wary of trusting again.
They can appear completely fine on the outside, but their walls have gone up and they aren’t willing to open up to anyone.
He Is Overly Busy
To distract himself from the hurt and sitting at home and only thinking about the breakup, he might try to fill up his schedule as much as humanly possible.
Being constantly distracted from the pain might be the only way he feels like he can deal with it.
He might pick up new hobbies, join a new sports group, or hang out with his friends much more than usual. Whatever he can find to fill his time, he will use.
For many guys, this involves going out to bars and clubs more often as well, making it seem like they are putting themselves out there, but in reality, he is just trying to take his mind off of you.
He Avoids Running Into You
This is mostly applicable if the two of you run in the same circles, whether with the same friends, at the same gym, if you work together, or if you go to school together.
He will do whatever he can to avoid running into you and seeing you, and if the two of you do end up seeing each other, he might act like you aren’t there or only acknowledge you and move on. He will probably also avoid eye contact with you.
He knows that seeing you will bring up all of the hurt and the pain, and he just isn’t ready to go through that again.
Respect his space and don’t go out of your way to try and see him, and don’t make it awkward or force him into communicating with you if you do run into each other, let him deal with it the way he feels best.
He Asks About You
He might not feel comfortable asking you how you are and what is going on in your life, so he would find all of this out by speaking to your mutual friends and maybe even family.
You might hear from family and friends that he has been asking how you are dealing with the breakup, and if you are seeing anyone new. He still cares about you and he wants to know if you have moved on yet, but he doesn’t want to talk to you directly.
You are still on his mind, and he still thinks about you often, and while he is hurting, he still cares about you.
He Flaunts Online
For him, making you feel jealous might be what he thinks would make him feel better. This doesn’t always work out and cure the pain, but he would need to discover that for himself.
To do this, and to make you jealous, he might start posting more on social media. This could be pictures and clips of him on nights out partying, or even pictures of him with other girls.
It might seem like he is just moving on and enjoying his newly single status, but it could very well be that he is hurting, and he is trying to convince you, and even himself, that he is happy and dealing with the breakup well.
How Long Does It Take A Guy To Realize He Messed Up After A Breakup
Generally speaking, men react very differently from women straight after a breakup. A guys behavior after a break up is normally completely different from a woman’s.
The common cycle is the man goes out partying and dating without much hurt, while the girl sits at home heartbroken, only for the tables to turn and he starts hurting after a while, but she has got over it and is ready to put herself out there again.
For a guy, it can take up to two months for him to realize that he messed up after a breakup.
Within these two months, he might have enjoyed the freedom that has come with being newly single, and he might have been able to distract himself enough by being out, only for it to come crumbling down.
Partying and distracting himself eventually wears off, and then he realizes what he has lost in you, and he knows that he is going to battle to replace what he lost.
Some guys take longer to realize they have messed up, and some take a shorter time, it will depend on how he reacts to pain and grief, and the circumstances of your breakup too.
How Long Does It Take A Guy To Get Over A Breakup?
There is no clear answer as to how long it takes a guy to get over a breakup. Every guy is different, and how one guy deals with heartbreak might be completely different from how another one does.
It does generally take guys a long time to get over a breakup. They are not as in touch with their emotions as women are, so dealing with these emotions does take longer, and for some guys, that heartache doesn’t ever go away completely.
Summary: Signs He Is Hurting After A Breakup
If you and your (now) ex partner have split, you might be on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster and it’s normal to experience pain.
You want to know that you are not the only one feeling this way, but your ex seems to be carrying on with life quite normally.
However, if you look a little closer, you might notice some signs that he is actually hurting, but he is just dealing with it differently from how you are.
Men tend to hide their emotions more and lack emotional support during break up, so finding signs he is hurting can be hard.
But many men will jump into rebound relationships, party a lot, or seem totally fine but be deeply hurt on the inside.