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Dealing with a breakup for men

Jesse Martin

August 12, 2012

A break up hurts... like hell. There is no better way of putting it. It's intensely painful. And dealing with a breakup involves getting through some of that pain to still be able to get things done in your life.

If it's a recent break up, you're probably still in shock and having a hard time accepting it emotionally. In fact your emotions are probably running the show. In this article I will teach you some techniques, specifically for guys, on how to deal with your breakup.

Regardless if you've been dating for a year, or married for twenty, you are going to be overwhelmed with incomprehensible sadness. Maybe even a combination of disbelief, anger and obsessiveness topped with an overall lack of control over your emotions. You're not just mourning the loss of someone very close to you, dreams of growing old together are shredded.

The first few weeks are the worst. They are as close to unbearable as it gets. But... break ups don't kill you. What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. In fact, through the process of loving and losing you have the capacity to learn valuable lessons about yourself, your life and your relationships.

What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger

Most interesting people have experienced a wide spectrum of emotions ranging from extreme pleasure to excruciating pain. They, and millions of men before you, have found ways to get over a break up and survive, and so will you.

Engaging Your Ex

While getting over a break up, it's okay to have a strong urge to contact your ex. More often than not, however, it will be detrimental to your emotional wellbeing to do so. Too often I see guys break down after seeing an ex's latest facebook update or by getting dead aired after a "I miss you" text. Don't make their mistake!

"No contact" are words to live by - and one of the best ways to get over a break up - according to many breakup support groups. The reason is simple. Any contact with your ex will trigger the most painful and overwhelming feelings you have been having and will set you back in your recovery.

Any contact with your ex will trigger the most painful and overwhelming feelings you have been having and will set you back in your recovery.

No contact simply means, you will not allow that to happen.

Action Steps

  1. Block your ex on all social media
  2. Remove her phone number from all your records
  3. Remove all text messages and email conversations you might be prone to unearth
  4. Remove any items that remind you of her from your living space, put them in a box and give them to a friend to hold on to
  5. Have that same friend give back any of her stuff you may find

Staying Friends

Staying friends is a fallacy. In fact, the more space you have while getting over a break up, the greater your ability to heal and move on.

Guys often maintain this hope because they are not ready to let go.

Fully disengaging is one of the most effective ways to get over your break up. This will allow you to disentangle your emotions from your rationale. That, in turn, provides you with the mental clarity to reflect accurately on your breakup.

Action Steps

In a short, to-the-point message, let your ex know that you will be fully disengaging in order to focus on moving on.


One of the biggest mistakes people make is going back to their exes seeking validation and closure.

I hate to break it to you, but the validation you crave is not going to come from your ex. It never does. We go through great lengths to try and get our partners to take responsibility, but they never do. The validation must come from within.

Know this: you are allowed to feel what you feel. This is your essential right. It is okay that you feel like crap and it is absolutely necessary that you accept your grief. Validating yourself and feeling your feelings is a vital part of the healing process. Accept your feelings and do not judge them.

Accept your feelings and do not judge them.

I understand that you feel the need to get validation from your ex. You want her to accept some accountability, and truth be told, it would make getting over a break up somewhat easier.

The reality however is this. She won't give it to you, and you don't need it. Time spent trying to get it will be time wasted, getting you enmeshed for way too long. It will drain you and make you feel worthless, but more importantly, it prevents you from healing.

Validation. She won't give it to you, and you don't need it.

Action Steps

  1. Validate what you are feeling by saying "I feel X right now, and that is okay. It is a natural reaction to my breakup. I cannot control my feelings, but I choose not to suffer at their mercy".
  2. Accept your feelings, do not judge them

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Healthy body and healthy mind are old words of wisdom but absolutely accurate and especially applicable as breakup advice. There is a very strong link between your physical wellbeing and your mental/emotional wellbeing. Now that your emotions have taken a hit, one of the best ways to get over a break up is to take especially good care of yourself.

Research and become well versed in the following areas, each having scientifically proven benefits for fighting depression:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Exercise
  3. Sleep
  4. Meditation

There is a time to grieve...

In order to survive the early stages of a breakup, you have to make peace with your sorrow. Accept that it’s going to stick around for a while.

One valuable insight, when it comes to ways to get over a breakup, comes from ancient Buddhist teachings. They tell us that the way to end suffering is to follow a gradual path of self-improvement and enlightenment. Suffering will disappear when progress is made on the path.

Although it may sound inconceivable today, it is highly probable that you will become your best possible self, healthier and happier than you could ever imagine. Don't hope to be reunited with your ex, rather foster hope for full recovery.

Action Steps

  • Take a moment every day to consciously grieve your loss.

...And There is a Time NOT to Grieve

When you sense feelings of sadness swelling up and you are not in a situation where you can comfortably allow them to do so, tell yourself "Stop!". Rather than suppressing your grief, I want you to postpone it until next time you take a moment to grieve your loss.

Rather than suppressing your grief, I want you to postpone it

A lot of men try to suppress any instance of their emotions surfacing. The key to getting over a break up quickly, however, is not letting all this emotional pressure build up. You must let it go once in a while, at a time and place that suits you.


Men too often foster a culture of "walking it off" and "manning up" and as a result very few of us have any emotional aptitude. Living peacefully with your emotions, however, does not come through suppression, but through understanding. You must become aware of what you feel and why you feel it, before you can let that feeling go.

Living peacefully with your emotions, does not come through suppression, but through understanding.

Start journaling today. Write when you feel sad. But also when you feel good. Write to your future self. Give yourself tips and breakup advice to help you through the tough times. "Hey man, I know you're feeling down right now, but remember how bossy she was? You hated that!".

Also, I suggest you write a letter to your ex, with no intention of sending it. The sheer act of putting your emotions on paper will not only give you invaluable insights, it will benefit you immensely in getting over a break up. Journalizing consistently throughout a breakup is one of the most effective tools.

Action Steps

  1. Start a journal, and write in it every day
  2. Write a letter to your ex, without sending it
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Get her out of your head

Jesse Martin © 2021