Man Vs. Woman After Break Up – 13 Vital Differences

Breakups spur a multitude of universal emotions, yet women and men feel them differently.

Reviewed by Hemali Adhiya, ICF Certified Relationship Coach Hemali Adhiya Hemali AdhiyaICF Certified Relationship Coach facebook_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Beauty & Lifestyle Writer Gracia Odile Beauty & Lifestyle Writer Experience: 3 years
Edited by , Associate Editor Madhumati Chowdhury Associate Editor Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , Beauty & Lifestyle Writer Sneha Tete Beauty & Lifestyle Writer linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years

A satisfying, committed relationship can boost confidence and bring great joy. But even the most beautiful relationships break at times, and the people involved experience a wave of emotions that leave them feeling overwhelmed and confused. Pain and grief are universal emotions, yet men and women process them differently due to differences in how their bodies are biologically wired. Every relationship requires a certain degree of understanding, compromise, and trust but there are times when these values are lost and a sense of betrayal sets in. This is when you realize that separation is imminent. It is easy to doubt the concept of “everything happens for a reason” in such a situation when everything you have worked for in nurturing a beautiful relationship comes to a halt. Moving on is often complicated and can be emotionally draining, but it is necessary to make progress. However, there are notable differences between how both sexes respond to such a loss. This article on how men and women handle breakups highlights differences between men’s and women’s coping mechanisms. Continue reading to discover more about these differences.

Man Vs. Woman After Break Up – 13 Differences You Must Know

1. Overcoming Pain After Break Up

Women tend to form a strong emotional connection with their partners, and this bond often deepens as the relationship grows. In most cases, women are more actively involved in a relationship than men and experience severe emotional pain right after the breakup (1). However, women proactively respond to their feelings and overcome the pain gradually. While men refuse to feel their emotions until later. Therefore, they may not feel the pain initially. Consecutively, it takes them longer to acknowledge and overcome it.

2. Dealing With Stress

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Both men and women experience inevitable stress after a breakup. However, men struggle more than women with managing their emotions because they tend to internalize them and show depressive symptoms (2). The void left by the breakup gets more significant as it’s easier to run from pain than to face it. Consequently, both personal and professional lives are impacted. On the other hand, women are more likely to feel their emotions and take action to get over them by communicating these feelings to their trusted circles and therefore getting over the post-breakup stress quicker than men.

3. Losing Self-Confidence

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After a breakup, people tend to feel a loss of self-esteem. Irrespective of gender, people  with low self-esteem are more susceptible to distress and vulnerability after a breakup (3). Some may feel they have lost a part of themselves and start questioning who they are without their partners. They begin to feel less attractive and battle identity conflicts within themselves that make them feel that they aren’t good enough (4). Men, however, may start to battle these conflicts at the stage when they regret their decision and miss their partners, as they refrain from dealing with the emotional impact of the breakup for a long time.

4. Expressing Anger

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Following a breakup, men experience more rage, frustration, and anger than women, which is likely a cover for underlying resentment, sadness, and other complicated feelings. They typically express their negative emotions through self-destructive behavior (2). In many cases, it can also extend and manifest into verbal threats and subtle forms of aggression, like social media trolling. All these actions stem from a feeling of powerlessness and an attempt to regain control and power. Women express their rage through emotional outbursts and wallowing in self-created negativity, and these behaviors are visible to their inner circle.

5. Connecting With A Support System

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While women are more likely to recognize relationship problems and find it simple to ask friends and family for emotional support, men find it difficult to ask for help. It is due to the stigmas associated with men expressing their emotions or being strong, which discourage them from asking for help when needed (4). They might not easily find a circle where they can talk freely about this either, unlike women who can cry their feelings out before girl gangs.

6. Rebound Relationships

In most cases, women might take extra time before entering into a rebound relationship. On the other hand, men tend to be more inclined to rebound relationships to distract themselves from the emotional pain after a breakup. Men may feel the urge to quickly refill the sense of loss left by the breakup. Entering a new relationship soon after a breakup can be interpreted by some men as evidence of their attractiveness or desirability. Often, these relationships do not have the depth or stability of long-term connections. It is possible that they are more concerned with providing quick emotional support than true, long-term compatibility.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Moving on from a breakup can be difficult and is similar to getting over an addiction. It may trigger symptoms similar to drug withdrawal (5).

7. Dealing With The Stages Of Breakup

Although men may seem happy and carefree after a breakup, they are far from reality as they bottle up their feelings and do not confront the truth. For instance, the stages of a breakup for guys include feeling low on confidence, acting out in rage and anger, becoming overly socially active, suddenly realizing that the relationship is over, feeling the emotions, accepting the truth, and then hoping to date again. On the contrary, women process the loss by experiencing grief, denial, self-doubt, anger, realization, and eventually moving on.

StyleCraze Says

No matter how much anyone denies it, humans are social creatures who crave companionship and affection. So aim to create a safe space for everyone to engage in healthy communication.

 8. Wanting To Get Back

Since men refuse to acknowledge their emotions during the initial stages, they are often ruled by a sense of relief and newfound freedom following a breakup. However, their desire to reconcile with their ex grows once that subsides. It also happens due to the realization of the void in their lives. Women also battle with these similar struggles, feelings of loneliness and longing. Still, in most cases, they rationalize their decision and stay away or are surrounded by a support system that helps them keep their distance. However, exceptions are always present and may lead to a path of reconciliation..

9. Timeframe For Healing

Woman doing yoga as a form of healing
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It was noted that emotional responses were expressed more by women than men.

As young adults, boys aren’t given the resources or the space to be vulnerable or show weakness. As a result, they grow up avoiding expressing or confronting their emotions. On the other hand, women are wired to feel and tend to emotional confrontations, making them move faster toward healing. Therefore, it is believed that women break up harder, but men break up longer when dealing with a breakup.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Don’t isolate yourself if you’re going through a breakup; if the pain becomes too much to bear alone, talk to someone about it. Remember to also set aside some “me time” for yourself.

10. Getting Back To Dating

After a breakup, many men start dating immediately, not because they want a long-term relationship but just for the attention, the rush of flirting with a new person, and to avoid feeling lonely. As a result, men frequently end up having multiple “rebounds” with women. They perceive it as a simple fix for their damaged self-esteem. On the other hand, women are hesitant to fill the void left by a former partner because it requires an emotional connection or physical intimacy. However, women have casual or rebound relationships at a lower percentage than men (6).

11. Accepting Emotions

Society expects men to act tough. They are often seen as weak if they cry or show their vulnerability, which eventually leads them to bury their emotions. They struggle to accept the pain, rage, despair, and guilt that come with the breakup and often act rashly, enter denial mode, withdraw from social interactions, or put on a mask of courage. After a breakup, women are more emotional and grounded in reality, this allows some space for self-reflection and growth. Depending on how much effort the female makes to move on, the emotional ride begins intensely and then subsides.

Amélie, a blogger, recounts her personal experience with a breakup and how it affected her. She shares in her blog post, “As a lot of you know, my boyfriend broke up with me. People seem surprised at how well I have bounced back, but, in all honesty, this was one of the hardest experiences of my life.” She further states, “And when my boyfriend broke up with me, I really did think that it was the end of me. I didn’t want to accept it. I didn’t even think I could keep going (i).”

protip_icon Quick Tip
Remind yourself that feelings are normal and natural, and you don’t have to suppress or hide them.

12.  Choosing Partners

Although “breakup” and “hook up” are relatively new terms, many of our reactions and responses are simple biology. According to a study, women’s effort in a romantic relationship is more significant than men’s, both physically and emotionally,  due to their involvement in pregnancy and childrearing (1). Men do not have to bear this particular biological cost, which is why women are pickier than men when choosing partners. Women naturally and unconsciously consider the future and make long-term decisions due to their high involvement in child-rearing, unlike most men, as they base their decisions more on the present than on the future.

13. Managing Social Media Interactions

Woman deleting photos and texts after a breakup

Social media has significantly impacted relationships in the modern era. Its algorithms make the breakup-healing process more difficult, which frequently provides constant virtual reminders about your ex-partner, the places you were together, or the picture you took on an anniversary date. A study reveals that women are most likely to have a negative attitude toward their ex than men (7). Most women stop communicating with their ex-partners on social media, delete photos, unfriend, and even block them. In contrast, men may experience ambivalence in dealing with a breakup and remain emotionally attached to their ex for longer.

Infographic: 5 Ways Men And Women Navigate Heartbreak

No matter how we handle them, breakups are painful, lead to negative thoughts, and rob people of their joy. However, there are particular distinctions in how each gender responds to heartbreak. The differences can be seen from various perspectives in the healing or moving on phase. We have compiled a list of differences between men and women during the breakup and moving on stage. Check out the infographic below to learn more!

5 ways men and women navigate heartbreak (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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Final Thoughts

Although they say that one should let go if it is not meant to be, and hearing that definitely will be hard, it is essential to remind ourselves that every cloud has a silver lining. With the help of these hard-learned lessons, breakups can be a redefining experience that forces you to find new strength. One can learn what is truly important, how to deal with loss, and how to handle emotions better. Despite how difficult they may be, breakups can be a great learning opportunity if approached with the right mindset.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for a man to miss a woman after a breakup?

Men may not miss their women for a few weeks or months because they are initially relieved to be single and then realize they miss them. During this time, they also hide their emotions and view the breakup as a sign of weakness and failure.

Do guys or girls handle breakups better?

Though everyone grieves and handles life situations in their own way, women are emotionally and physically broken after a breakup. However, they quickly deal with it by facing the complicated emotional process and tend to emerge stronger.

Do breakups hit guys later?

Usually, yes. During the period right after the breakup, it’s common to see men taking up a new sport, traveling, or going online to search for love.

Key Takeaways

  •  Both men and women have emotions but differ in expressing them.
  • Men are more likely to feel the loss later and, therefore, need more time to recover from heartbreak fully and seek closure.
  • After a breakup, women’s behavior and actions tend to favor faster healing, but men’s decisions make them flee from their emotions.
  • Since women invest more time and energy into relationships, they tend to feel more hurt after the separation.
Man vs woman after break up

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Explore the intriguing post-breakup differences between men and women by delving into their unique reactions. Watch this video to gain insights into the dynamics of moving on and healing.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Quantitative Sex Differences in Response to the Dissolution of a Romantic Relationship
  2. Mapping Men’s Mental Health Help-Seeking After an Intimate Partner Relationship Break-Up
  3. Does low self-esteem predict lower wellbeing following relationship dissolution?
  4. Breaking up Romantic Relationships: Costs Experienced and Coping Strategies Deployed
  5. Dirty laundry: The nature and substance of seeking relationship help from strangers online
  6. Romantic Love vs. Drug Addiction May Inspire a New Treatment for Addiction
  7. Coping with Break-Ups: Rebound Relationships and Gender Socialization
  8. Men View Their Ex-Partners More Favorably Than Women Do
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