why do breakups hit guys later

Why Do Breakups Hit Guys Later?

As a relationship coach, I often hear the question, “Why do breakups seem to hit guys later?” It’s an interesting phenomenon that deserves attention, as it sheds light on how different people process emotions and the end of a relationship.

Through my experiences and research, I’ve gathered valuable insights into this topic. In this article, we will discuss the possible reasons behind this delayed emotional response and explore the ways in which men and women grieve the loss of a relationship differently. Understanding these differences can help us better navigate the complexities of breakups and find a path toward healing.

The Science Behind How Breakups Impact Men Differently

Breakups can be hard – that’s no surprise. But have you heard of the science that explains why guys can feel it later? Emotional and physical changes caused by breakups can affect men in different ways. So, let’s dive into the science of how breakups impact men!

The Different Reactions to Breakups

Breakups can be tough and emotional. But men and women feel differently. Both may experience sadness, loneliness, despair, and loss. But men usually find it harder to deal with the aftermath.

Studies have shown that women are more likely to end relationships. When they do, they seek comfort from family and friends or find other activities to distract them. Men, however, take longer to process their emotions. They can become isolated and struggle to cope with the pain.

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Biological factors, such as testosterone and estrogen, may also affect how men and women react. Testosterone is linked to higher aggression and violence after a breakup. Estrogen is linked to stronger feelings of sadness in women.

These gender-specific reactions explain why breakups may hit men later than women. Knowing this helps us understand how to better support each partner after a breakup.

The Role of Testosterone

Most know that breakups can harm self-esteem. The consequences of a broken relationship can have long-term effects on physical and mental health.

Scientists found that men and women may differ in their reactions to breakups due to many physical and psychological causes. One distinction is testosterone. This hormone has a great impact on the intensity and duration of men’s emotions in a breakup.

Men usually have much more testosterone than women. This hormone gives them more energy and courage when they are in distress. Testosterone is also linked to emotion regulation in men. When the hormone level goes down, feelings of aggression, depression, or anxiety increase.

These emotions are made worse by endorphins because of the breakup. So it takes men longer to get over a relationship than women, who are not affected as much by testosterone. Women have natural tools like estrogen which help regulate emotions.

The Role of Stress Hormones

Men’s physical and emotional effects of a breakup can be hard to identify. Studies have found that men produce higher cortisol levels compared to women when going through a breakup. Cortisol causes the body to get aroused and makes it tough to manage emotional changes. This makes it hard for men to cope, causing them to struggle with the breakup and prolong the process.

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It has been noted that when undergoing extreme stress, such as a breakup, some men have decreased testosterone levels. This could lead to greater emotional pain than normal. Also, an increase in prolactin happens, leading to depression, sadness, decreased motivation, or reduced libido – usually seen in women, but sometimes in men during breakups.

Research suggests the opposite reaction in women during times of extreme stress; an increase in testosterone levels instead of decreasing it. Fluctuations from baseline hormone levels could explain why girls recover faster after heartbreak compared to guys.

The Social Stigma Around Men and Breakups

When it comes to breakups, there’s a common idea that men don’t care. They supposedly get over it quickly. But this stigma has made many men feel like they have to act like it doesn’t hurt them. So, they hide their hurt and process the breakup differently than women.

Let’s look at the stigmas causing guys to appear as if they’re taking longer to get over it:

The Pressure to be Strong

Despite society’s expectation for men to be strong, breakups can hit them hard. They’re taught to hide their feelings, leading to depression, anger, or numbness.

When someone breaks up with a man in a relationship, he may feel like he doesn’t measure up. This stigma stops them from seeking help.

It’s important for men to recognize the importance of mental health after a breakup. Seeking help from friends, family, or therapy will benefit their overall health in the long run.

Coping Mechanisms for Men Going Through a Breakup

Breakups are never easy. For men, they can be especially hard. The hurt and confusion can last a long time. It’s important to understand the stages of grief and how to cope.

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In this article, we’ll explore ways men can move on after a breakup:

Talk to a Friend or Family Member

Opening up to someone you trust can help men during a breakup. Talking openly with a friend or family member can help them process emotions and realize there are people who support them. Bottling up feelings will lead to stress and heartache – talking it out can provide relief.

Talking with someone who has gone through a similar situation can be comforting. This could be an older friend, family member, or an online community.

Men may benefit from professional counseling services for additional support. This provides unbiased guidance for those struggling with depression, loneliness, or other challenging emotions.

Seek Professional Help

If you’ve been together for a while and it’s hard to move on, seek help. A pro can help you share feelings and blow off steam. It can also explain why the split was so tough. Professional help is the best way to be healthy during this hard time. Even if help isn’t accessible, there are still options.

Take Time to Reflect and Heal

Breakups are tough for anyone, no matter their gender. Sadness, anger, loneliness, and insecurity are common emotions felt. Men must take time to reflect on their emotional well-being. It is important to be honest and open with oneself. Facing emotions will make it easier to cope.

Self-care is a must. Activities like hiking, biking, sports with friends, and journaling can help. Reaching out to loved ones is also beneficial. Talking and seeking guidance from a therapist or counselor can break down negative thoughts. Healthful coping mechanisms will help men heal and move forward.


It’s not strange for guys to feel the breakup much later than women. It’s just part of healthy emotions when a relationship ends. Grief isn’t always linked to gender – it all depends on the individual and how they can handle pain. Everybody is allowed to feel sadness.

The best thing to do is to get help, either from friends, family or a professional.

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