This is a topic that’s been talked about on GaG more than once over the years and many people seem to agree that men hurt hardest from or after a break-up. I’ve wanted to give my 2 cents on it in full for a long time now and after answering someone’s new question about it recently, I will do that now.
Break-ups do tend to impact me…
I personally will admit with no reservations about it at all that break-ups in my past have definitely impacted me pretty emotionally, though I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a guy or because I just took those relationships very seriously. I’ve never done the breaking up with any women I knew. I’ve broken friendships before when I felt like they weren’t good anymore, but never a relationship. When I really, really like a woman, I enjoy her company, her voice, her texts, everything. Even if she’s not perfect and does do some things or have some habits I may not really like. Because I feel like her good outweighs the bad. I guess I know how to be happy with a woman when I’m really, really into her, despite moments of arguing or not talking for awhile.
But when they decide to end it, that has usually brought me down pretty low. I’ve had times of little or no appetite because of it - for days or weeks at a time, sleeping poorly, and even giving me low-level depression before. And I think a large part of it is that I usually know the signs before it happens: she gets quieter with me, she seems less thrilled when we’re together, she answers my texts less and less. Almost always signs that there’s someone else she’s more interested in now.
I think that’s what creates the hurt of a breakup the most.
Who hurts more from breakups?...
To be honest, I don’t really know. I know how it makes this guy feel, but not sure about others. I’ve known both men and women who were pretty broken by a relationship that ended. I’ve known men who seemed pretty sad about it, and also women who were pretty open about their pain. It’s hard to tell.
Though if there’s one thing I notice is that women have more of a tendency to later on pretend that they’re “over it” or “moved on,” especially if they’re declaring it to the world and posting it all over Facebook. When you’re really over something and not affected by it, you’re usually not that proud and vocal about it. With guys though, I don’t often see them carrying around a bravado like that when a breakup bothered him even though women are claiming that this is what men do. If you ask them how things are/were going with the girl he was with, they usually are more modest with resigned answers like, “Well, ya know, it is what it is,” or “Nothing I can do but just let it go and move on. That’s life.”
I do feel like in these times that females want to believe that guys hurt more from an ended relationship because they like the idea of it bothering guys and like an idea of guys being emotionally inferior or something. Back when I was growing up in the 90s, the burned or heartbroken woman was an extremely common thing, even in entertainment, but now we live in times where things are influenced to be reversed where men are supposed to be the weak ones, and supposed to be discovered and researched as such.
If guys really do hurt more…
I think it’s because the relationship really meant a hell of a lot to him. He really, really liked the girl all over, more than just physically. He liked her being around. He liked how comfortable he was with her and how they could spend time together, and how she brought him some level of happiness.
As a guy speaking from a guy’s perspective, I think it actually is very hard for a man to find a woman he really, really likes to that degree of enjoying her so much. Guys can fuck women they don’t really love all the time. But to actually like a woman in a real, deep way beyond fucking her is maybe a little more rare I think, and especially if he actually found one who really does care about him emotionally as well. So when that happens and eventually the relationship is over, I believe that is going to affect him, yeah.
People - especially women - keep using the tired logic that men hurt more from break ups because they “bottle it up” and don’t talk about it. I feel like this is too often people’s excuse for just not wanting to listen to men. Men are talking and pouring themselves out more than people really care to acknowledge, and when men do they often get the tough love advice, quick slap on the shoulder to just keep moving on, or people even think they’re being babies or so sensitive for caring so much. I know I’ve certainly experienced all this from people in the past, and it leaves you feeling foolish for ever saying anything to anyone, and you regret it.
And if women really do get over breakups sooner...
I do tend to believe that relationships for women really aren’t quite as big a deal to them as they may proclaim, and maybe not even as much as they realize themselves. I think for a lot of women a relationship with a man is based more on feeling good that they’re not single, that they have a man they can talk about, are getting sex that they want, or getting things from him period. I definitely do think there are women who enjoy the emotional connection with a guy, but I honestly think most women are just happy that a man is being mentally and emotionally satisfying for her.
Women also get their situation taken more seriously by others when she talks about it. There is the difference in reception between genders as I explained earlier. People will more often and more carefully take the time to hear a woman talk about her breakup and how it bothered her than they do for men.
Although they may not say it, and may not openly recognize it, I do believe that deep down women do tend to see men as expendable or replaceable, which is why breakups may not really hurt them as much. I think women do see men and sex as something they think they can always get and always change up, so they may not see ending a relationship as a big deal.
Though at the same time women are emptier and more restless than men. They are more prone to ADHD feelings with guys and relationships where they either can’t be content for very long or lose interest after awhile and blame it on the guy being boring or not being interesting. It's why 70% of relationships and marriages are ended by women and it’s the same reason why women want “change” more often than men, which researchers want to call a good thing when in reality it’s not because a woman’s constant need for change is rooted in her own inner emptiness, unhappiness, and restlessness. What person who is really happy and content with life or themselves needs change all that often? Do any of us ever want or need a change now and then? Of course. But true change is not something most people actually pursue on a constant basis. So they’ll keep going through this cycle until they finally realize that they have to work on changing what’s inside themselves.
So if women really do hurt less from a breakup that could explain it.
And that’s all my 2 cents on it. What I’ve thought about it for some years now.