Breaking up can be a slightly less challenging experience for women, as there exists a common narrative template in various forms of media that portrays how women cope with heartbreak. On the other hand, the situation for men is notably distinct. Their perspective often remains concealed and underrepresented, despite the fact that a breakup is experienced by both individuals involved. Therefore, let's gain some understanding of the stages that a man might undergo following a breakup.
The initial stage is a common one that most people are familiar with, and it's an emotion that is frequently associated with men - possibly the only one that they are typically portrayed as expressing. However, it's also the first stage for women, and we all have the urge to break a glass or throw a plate when we experience intense emotions. Nevertheless, we need to learn to control those impulses. This anger is usually not directed at anyone specific but rather at the situation itself. It may appear personal, but in reality, it rarely is. So, don't take it to heart, but it can be therapeutic to release that pent-up frustration.
Many men experience a phase where they express all their pent-up anger and frustration, only to find themselves left with their vulnerable emotions. These raw emotions can be difficult to handle and may prompt them to shut down their emotions entirely, similar to Damon's character in The Vampire Diaries, as a way to cope and move forward.
It's futile to pretend that men aren't equally as devastated as women following a breakup, regardless of whether they initiated the split or not. Once they allow themselves to feel vulnerable and experience emotions, all of them come flooding in. It's similar to opening Pandora's Box or waiting for a London bus; they will arrive when you least expect them. You might find yourself ugly crying into a box of ice cream on the sofa on a Saturday night, and that's okay.
Despite believing that we possess emotional resilience, dealing with emotions can be incredibly challenging. It's impossible to compartmentalize and move on from them with sheer willpower. This may lead individuals to regress into numbness after experiencing the raw aftermath of a breakup. They may vow to avoid women or alcohol altogether or take other drastic measures to evade the pain of heartbreak.
5. Hoe Phase
In theory, the post-breakup phase where a man goes out on the town with his friends and gets drunk is supposed to be the most enjoyable stage. However, due to the pandemic and the lingering feelings of guilt and rejection, the process can be slowed down. Nevertheless, it's almost certain that he will seek to alleviate his emotions by going out and potentially hooking up with someone. It doesn't necessarily indicate any deeper meaning, and it's just a way to release those emotions. The duration of this phase may vary, but for many, it can be an incredibly therapeutic way to deal with a breakup.
6. Wanting To Talk
This stage can be complicated because it's often more about the man's desire to feel better about himself than his actual interest in providing you with closure. Although he may have regrets about his actions, it's not necessarily beneficial to revisit the past so soon after the breakup. It's better to leave things be and allow time to pass so that you can gain a clearer perspective. Let the sleeping dogs lie and wait for the dust to settle before making any decisions about your future.
7. Drunk Texting
Alternatively, if the man doesn't have friends to dissuade him from this embarrassing but typical behavior, you might receive an "I miss you" text at 3 am. While this message could indicate that he still has unresolved feelings, don't mistake his vulnerability as a sign that he's now emotionally available or prepared for a relationship. It's important to remain strong and avoid getting too caught up in the moment.
8. Asking Your Friends About You
This stage is characterized by a sense of insecurity that we all experience. However, if your friends provide you with updates about the man's behavior, it's normal to feel a certain level of satisfaction. This doesn't mean that you should actively seek information about him, but it might indicate that you've moved on more than he has. You'll also begin to recognize the unhealthy aspects of your past relationship, which can motivate you to look for something better.
This stage will happen naturally and can take as long as needed, but everyone eventually gets there. It's important not to rush your emotions or force yourself to feel a certain way. Instead, be open to receiving support when it's offered and allow yourself to be distracted by the care and companionship of friends and family.
10. Moving On
We will all eventually arrive at this stage, with a newfound sense of self and clarity on what we want to prioritize in our relationships. In the end, we'll be better off for having gone through the experience.
In many ways, guys are just like us and we already know that. With time, everyone can become emotionally aware and pursue more fulfilling relationships. Take care of yourself and those around you.