Dealing With a Breakup For Men

How to deal with a breakup for menA 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.

(This is Part I – Dealing With a Break Up of my 3-part guide How to Get Over a Breakup For Men)

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
  • Block your ex on all social media
  • Remove her phone number from all your records
  • Remove all text messages and email conversations you might be prone to unearth
  • 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
  • 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.

Staying friends is a fallacy

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
  • 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”.
  • Accept your feelings, do not judge them

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Stay Healthy

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:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • 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
  • Start a journal, and write in it every day
  • Write a letter to your ex, without sending it


Go to Part II – Healing a Broken Heart

About Jesse

I’ve been helping guys recover from their breakups since 2012. Work with me to fast-track your recovery.


  1. I am a crazy person. 46 yrs old and in 23 yrs two relationships. First my ex wife for 7 yrs then now my house mate, we grew apart but she and I were “together” 12 yrs. Both were abusive, wife physical and latter mental. I closed off was content to be alone plus no desire to remember how to date. Few weeks ago I was caught off gaurd and lets say seduced and fell head over heels in way to short of time. She knew my past and was disgusted how i was treated but ended up giving me the cut off and silent treatment for reasons I dont know hence silent treatment. I am emotionally immature due to the lack of yrs of dating and I am devastated. Silence is killing me and there was no social media or texting in prior dating so I am acting like a crazy person texting hours on end with no reply. I am crushed but its crazy cause the relationship was insanely short. I feel betrayed by her knowing my past and then doing what she did. Didnt cry for over 20yrs and now 6 days straight uncontrollable crying. In my heart I never want to do this again, 3× done.

  2. My girlfriend of 2 years ended things with me right before NYE. This wasn’t the first time I had gotten a text like this from her. We very much had an on again off again type relationship. Like most relationships, everything was great in the beginning. There was instant chemistry from the first date. Things progressed but after about 2 months we had a blow up and separated for a couple weeks before I reached out to her and reeled her back in. Ultimately, she wanted me to claim her as a girlfriend but at that time I wasn’t ready for that level of commitment. We continued to have these ups and downs and over the course of 2 years we broke up probably 6-7 times. Each time we would separate it would make me want her all the more and I would go to great lengths to win her back. Each time successfully until this last time. Things had been rocky between us for a month or so due to emotional needs not being met in the relationship. After a month things started to look like they may be getting better and then a friend of hers sends her flowers on her birthday and basically tells her he has developed feelings for her. Eventually she decides to give him a chance and end things with me. I fought to win her back for a month after she ended it with me. We continued to have back and forth conversations but never moving forward. She was starting to like this guy and wasn’t willing to give us another shot. I eventually decided I had no choice but to go NC with her and sever all ties. This has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life. I feel like a part of me is now dead and I am only half alive. Especially knowing she is now with this other guy and I am left without a significant other to spend time with. I just made it through week one of NC and it has gotten somewhat easier but I still have times where I struggle thinking of the past and wishing I was still with her. I sometimes want to reach out to her to chat because in the moment it makes me feel better but afterward I feel worse because it makes me want more with her and I know she can’t give me that now. This is brutal.

  3. Einstein

  4. Jay Gerber says:

    Dumb question perhaps, but do I need to write my journal by hand, or could it be done at a keyboard? I understand handwriting is much more personal, but I fear I wouldn’t be able to read much of what I wrote based upon past experience.

  5. Hey Jesse. I’ve been struggling through a very difficult breakup and have been reading like crazy on how and why I feel like I do. I was with my ex girlfriend for two and a half years and for two of them we lived together. She became distant and moved out about four months ago. While I was working like crazy i now know she was seeing someone else and as I got laid off after a month or so of work she came back into my life with the spark in her eyes I had longed to see for a very long time. It had been better than ever for the next month until one day I was informed via social media from the guy she was seeing telling me she was pregnant and that he and her herself didn’t know if it was mine or hers. We have since had a paternaty test and found that it wasn’t mine. Im having an extremely difficult time dealing with this rejection and how she chose someone over myself since we were at one time so madly in love. I’ve read only your first part of getting over a breakup because I feel that’s where I am at right now. It’s been two and a half weeks since I found out the results of the paternity and am dealing with symptoms of depression by not sleeping or eating and have very low self worth and loneliness. I’ve implamented the no contact rule and have since discarded any momentos from our time shared together in Attempt to rid my negative feelings but I now know I have to accept them not repress them. I’ve gained unimaginable knowledge from your articles yet I still feel I need the right guideance to properly get over this. I have while not being a doctor classified myself as a axious-preoccupied attached individual and through all of this want to merge a secure attached individual. Any feedback would be great on how to deal with being a anxious preoccupied and to become a secure attached person thank you .

  6. She moved about an hour and a half away, but then I got a job that would bring me well within reach. Then she began taking weekend trips with this guy I never even heard off. She seems to have no recollection of the profound joy we had together. I ask her what I did wrong and she says I didn’t do anything wrong. I remind her of the promises she made and the things she said to me and for every ten texts I send over a couple days she shortly responds with one. I completely see and agree with what your advice, but I feel as though it would be me giving up on her if I let go, if I let go I’ll be stooping down to her level. I was going to marry this girl, I had a ring already. And now I have absolutly no way of communicating with her, no way for her to know I’m done with her pain. The only ways I see my pain ending is getting her back or developing/allowing deep hatred of her and what she did to me. She’s likely not coming back to me, and it’s against my religion to have such deep hatred towards anyone. What do I do?

  7. my, now ex-boyfriend and i had been together 6 years and lived together 2 of those years… this past weekend he got drunk (and was a heavy drinker in general) and we had a domestic dispute…i called the cops and they charged him with assault on a female…he spent 2 nights in jail…we have court this week and im gonna talk to the DA to try to get charges dismissed…i dont want our relationship to be over….i love him more than life itself….he is staying with his parents..and im staying with a friend….staying in the house that we together made a home seems unbearable to me…i have text and called him with no response…he went to the extremes as to get a 50b restraining order but in my heart i know it was his dads idea…i want to save this relationship but i have no idea where to begin….any advice?

    • It doesn’t sound like a relationship you want to save. I think you might be addicted to your ex and are not seeing the reality of the situation. Being afraid of being alone is not reason enough to continue a relationship.

  8. Exactly what i needed!! Great job!!

  9. nice

  10. Wow this makes so much sense. I was trying to stay friends with my ex, but it was just causing me soo much pain! thanks


  1. […] site is packed with free articles with breakup advice. I’ve split them up into three categories: Dealing With a Breakup, Healing a Broken Heart and Moving On After a Breakup. This roughly coincides with the stages […]

  2. […] work in progress post)Stage 1: DealingThis is damage control mode, at this point you need to learn how to deal with your breakup and survive from day to day.You need to learn how to control your emotions after the breakup. […]

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