Breaking up is tough, no matter the situation. One day you and your girl are staring into each other’s eyes, dreaming about the future, and then the next thing you know, she’s throwing your stuff out the window and telling you she never wants to see you again.
While women can resort to burying themselves in front of the couch with a tub of ice cream and hour-long phone calls with their friends, you’re busy losing your mind all by yourself, Kill Bill: Volume 2 searching for a way to keep it together. You thought you had your life in order, and then all of a sudden she pulls the rug out from underneath you. Things are spiraling out of control and you have no idea what to do.
Men may be physically stronger than women, but when it comes to emotions, they are definitely the weaker sex. Guys have a tough time processing their feelings. From childhood, men are consistently told that expressions of vulnerability are an instant sign of weakness. This aversion to emotional expression results in many men not knowing how to properly process a breakup in a healthy manner, resorting to the unproductive routes of rebounding, drinking and letting their feelings explode into anger.
When a woman ends a relationship, it’s often seen as a challenge to her partner’s manhood. Regardless of the situation, a man’s ego takes a major pounding every time he gets dumped. When a man feels like he doesn’t have what it takes to hold onto a woman, his sense of self-worth plummets faster than a meteor. To avoid becoming an emotional train wreck, here are some tips for keeping your cool and moving on.
Be OK Grieving
Men often want to ignore the fact that they feel like crap and may actually be emotional wrecks. My friend said, “Instead of letting your thoughts about your ex rule your life, give yourself 30 minutes daily alone and let it all out,” she says. Life does indeed go on and giving yourself space to grieve can help you make a faster recovery than simply repressing all those feelings
Don’t Stalk Her
Yes, it’s tempting to Facebook-stalk her, but you really need to resist that urge. It will only pull you back into a negative mental space. Unfriend her on Facebook, delete her number and, most importantly, erase all those texts so you don’t end up wading through ancient history. Don’t email or text her trying to get in the last word. Clinical psychologist Dr. Carl Hindysays doing so will only “have you feeling worse about yourself.” In addition, you’re just “making the breakup easier for her and giving her more justification that you’re not the right guy.”
You might be tempted to get into a rebound relationship with the girl who first crosses your path, but that would be a huge mistake for multiple reasons. Dating expert and blogger Yue Xu points out, “How many times have you woken up after a night of rebound sex only to find yourself lonelier?” Truer words have never been spoken. Sleeping with another chick might help you in the short term, but the next day you’ll just find yourself comparing your rebound to your ex. Not only will you feel worse, but you’re also going to make that lucky girl feel like crap unless you made it clear she was just a one-night stand, either way: bad karma.
Learn to Talk to People
Most women have multiple friendsto turn to when they need a shoulder to cry on; guys have it much harder. While you may have a bunch of buddies, it’s probably tough picturing yourself leaning on them for emotional support following a tough breakup. Collins suggests that men build an “emotional cushion.” You don’t need a ton of buddies on call, but having one or two guys with whom you can talk things out will vastly improve your psychological state.
Instead of relying solely on alcohol to numb your pain, focus on working out or other physical activities that will increase your serotonin levels and allow you to channel your anger into more productive activities. Take up that hobby you’ve been putting off, use the breakup as an excuse to get into those new activities you’ve had your eyes on but never the time for. Go on a guys’ trip or even a solo adventure and just get your mind off of things.
In the end, a breakup can be a good time for reflection and personal growth. Ask yourself what you can learn from the situation, and, instead of beating yourself up or dwelling on the negative aspects of your ex, set yourself goals and expectations for your future relationships. Avoid doing things you’ll regret and wait until your emotions have cooled down before you approach her again, if at all. It can seem like the world has come to an end, but if you focus on how you can better yourself, you can move on with dignity.