Why Do Guys Act Like They Don’t Care After a Break Up?

Why do guys act like they don’t care after a break up? Because they either care too much and don’t want to show it, or they don’t care at all. The second answer is probably not what you want to hear, but unfortunately, that’s the reality of the situation.

The first answer is a bit more complex, and we’ll get into that shortly. But one of the most hurtful things for a woman is to see her ex partner move on so quickly after the relationship comes to an end. He wasn’t sure about anything when he was with you, he got uncomfortable when you spoke about marriage, he wasn’t interested in children, and never brought you home to meet his mother even though you’ve been together for a year.

But now he’s playing happy families with pretty Patti and they’re plastering their newfound love all over social media, what’s up with that? Let’s talk about it…

If your ex boyfriend acts like he doesn’t care, is that how he truly feels?

So, you’ve heard through the grapevine that your ex-boyfriend of two years is living his best life after breaking up with you. He’s started that business he was always talking about, and moved in with his new girlfriend…what!

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I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but he just doesn’t care. Now, before you start having a crying fit, let me explain.

Why Do Guys Act Like They Don't Care After a Break Up_

Most men don’t get into relationships with the intention of hurting their partner. In a lot of cases, he was very physically attracted to you, the chemistry was there, but once he got to know you, realized that you weren’t what he wanted after all.

Now, that’s not because there’s something wrong with you, maybe he didn’t think you had enough in common to move forward, maybe your goals were different, or your perspectives on relationships were at odds. Either way, you just weren’t a good match.

You’re probably thinking, “Well, why didn’t he just tell me that from the beginning?” The answer is that he didn’t know, he was too consumed with his physical attraction towards you to think about anything else.

As soon as that died down a bit, his mind was clear to think about other aspects of the relationship.

Sometimes the guy messes up because he realized you were not the one quite early on, but he stayed for convenience sake. Maybe the sex was good and he was simply biding his time until someone else came along. As soon as they did, he jumped ship. 

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Now he’s in this new relationship, he has literally forgotten about you because all his attention is focused on his new girlfriend. She is everything he has dreamt about and more, so now, she’s his priority. 

Do Guys Care After a Breakup?

There are some men who know they messed up and lost a good woman but they don’t know how to make things right, so they move on. There are several reasons for this:

do guys care after a breakup_

Emotional Expression

Young boys are socialized through education and society that certain aspects of their personality are unacceptable. They are taught not to express how they feel or to cry. They are indirectly told that being emotional makes them less masculine.

These unrealistic perceptions of masculinity can lead to men feeling a deep sense of shame about their feelings. The consequence is that they express themselves through displays of bravado which is what you are seeing when you think he’s ‘moved on.’ He will go out drinking with his friends, or go on a wild vacation, and sleep around as a form of escapism from his feelings.

So unless your partner was raised in an environment where he was taught that it was okay to talk about his feelings, it will appear that he doesn’t care about the breakup. 

He’s Afraid of Rejection

According to psychotherapist Jamie Gleicher, historically, men have been taught to protect their masculinity, and so they feel it’s being threatened when they’re rejected. When it comes to relationships, if they mess up, and they know they’ve messed up, a man is less likely to come and apologize to you because he’s afraid of rejection.

Instead, he’ll go where he knows he’ll be accepted, and typically, that’s straight into the arms of another woman. 

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Coping Mechanism

A study conducted by the University of Birmingham found that men and women respond to emotional pain differently. Men try and replace what they’ve lost by competing in the dating game again. Since casual relationships and hook-ups trigger the release of feel-good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, it gives them the emotional illusion of numbing the pain of heartache.

men respond differently to emotional pain

As mentioned, men can’t express their emotions in the same way as a woman. In most cases, he won’t have the same support networks as you where it’s safe to watch movies and cry into a tub of ice cream with his homeboys.

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He can’t run into the arms of his mother for comfort because she’s probably the one who encouraged him to supress his emotions growing up. So he soldiers on in line with the silent rules in the masculinity handbook in fear of being ridiculed as ‘soft’ by his male counterparts. 

He might wallow and grieve in private about the breakup which will only lead to him drowning his sorrows in some Jack Daniels. But ultimately, the best way to dull his emotional pain is to find another woman to fix him.

And he needs to do this very quickly before his feelings get the better of him. His new girlfriend will allow him to transition back into the acceptable, comfortable space of being the strong, braggadocios man he’s supposed to be.

She helps him return to his masculinity where he’s in control of his emotions and his life. Order has ben restored, and he can get back to normality. 

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Women on the other hand deal with their feelings by talking about them, which is why you keep trying to call him 50 times a day. The reason why he’s not answering the phone isn’t that he’s avoiding you, he’s avoiding confronting his emotions.

If you hear that your ex has moved in with Sally a few days after you broke up, it’s not because he doesn’t care, it’s because he was so deeply wounded, he had to move on quickly to avoid a total breakdown. 

That’s What’s Expected

It may very well be that your ex-man knows how to manage his emotions because he was raised in a household where emotional expression from men was validated. The problem is, he’s torn between what he knows to be true and the dominant beliefs in society that men should be out there sleeping with as many women as they can.

He wouldn’t mind being celibate for a while so that he can process everything that’s happened before he moves on. However, he makes the mistake of seeking comfort by hitting the town with his friends. They meet a group of girls, one of them is really into your ex-partner, but she’s not even his type.

His friends are cheering him and encouraging him to go for it. He’s probably had a bit too much to drink so his mental faculties are not in place. She invites him back to his, and he reluctantly agrees while his friends slap him on the back and cheer him on as he makes his way out of the club. The problem is that your best friend is there, she snaps a picture of them sucking each other’s faces off and sends it to you! 

The next morning, not only does he feel like crap because he’s got a ridiculous hangover, he rolls over and looks at the woman he’s sleeping next to and thinks, “How on earth did I end up here.” Like a stealth assassin, he crawls out of the bed so that he doesn’t wake her up and finds his way back home. But that really wasn’t his intention, and now he knows he’s really messed up. 

How Do You Avoid Getting Hurt After a Breakup?

If you’re tired of dating guys and never making it past first base, here are some tips to avoid getting hurt:

1. No Sex

I understand we all have our needs, but one of the most stupid things you can do is to sleep with a guy before a relationship has been established, here’s why. According to neuropsychologist Dr. Daniel Amen, when two people have sex, the bonding hormone oxytocin is released in the brain.

Oxytocin creates limbic emotional bonding, and the woman often forms a deeper emotional attachment than the man because she has a larger limbic system (the part of the brain where our emotions are formed). Men on the other hand, find it easier to detach after sex because sex is a legitimate physical need for them. Just as your body communicates with you when you’re tired, thirsty, or hungry, so does a man’s body tell him when he needs sex.

As soon as he receives that release, he’s physically satisfied. A man can get aroused by a woman without feeling any emotional connection to her. 

In other words, he can be in love with his partner but have an intense physical attraction to another woman without his emotions getting involved. The main difference in the wiring of male and female sexuality is that men can separate sex and relationships, women find this a bit more difficult.

Therefore, if you want to avoid the heartache of a breakup, refraining from sex will weaken the emotional bond you have with the guy you’re dating, and make it easier for you to move on if the relationship doesn’t work out. 

2. Maintain Your Independence

It is not uncommon for women to think they’ve found the man of their dreams and invest all their time and energy into the relationship. They stop going out with their friends in favor of ‘Netflix and chill’ with ‘hubby.’ And everything they do centers around this new partner of theirs.

stay strong and independent

In the meantime, the guy isn’t sure where the relationship is going and while you’ve planned the engagement, wedding, and kids in your head, he hasn’t even labelled you as his girlfriend yet. 

3. Know What You Want

When you know what you want in a partner, you’re not going to settle for less. Some women will start dating a guy and sleeping with him only to get disappointed when it starts becoming evident that he really isn’t that interested in her.

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If you were clear on your standards, you wouldn’t of started dating him in the first place because all it takes is a few conversations with a person to work out who they are.

One of my favorite sayings is “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” and it means that our values and motivations are stored in the heart, and any time we speak, they are revealed. Don’t be so quick to rush into a relationship, speak to the guy for a while and find out what he’s really about. 

Final Thoughts

If you really feel deep down that your partner was the ‘one’ for you and that you’ll never be happy with anyone else. You are probably wondering, should you try to win your ex back or move on? My advice to you is to give it time, let him go and sow his wild oats, but if it was truly meant to be, eventually he’ll come back to you.

He will go on dates, sleep around, but nothing will compare to the emotional and physical connection he had with you. You accepted him for who he was, you understood him on so many different levels, and his instincts are telling him that he’ll never meet anyone like you again.

If you really want to speed up your snatch-back game, one of the quickest ways you can get him to come groveling is to upgrade your physical appearance and start dating again. When he sees how good you look, and that another man has caught his prized possession, if he really wants you, he’ll do everything in his power to try and get you back. 

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Alexander Burgemeester

Alexander Burgemeester has a Master in Neuropsychology. He studied at the University of Amsterdam and has a bachelor's in Clinical Psychology. Want to know more?

2 thoughts on “Why Do Guys Act Like They Don’t Care After a Break Up?”

  1. I had always wondered why girls got attatched so quickly after sex. When I see blogs like this, I wonder if the church was right all along.

  2. Guys act like they don’t care because they actually don’t care. Remember, they aren’t female; their thoughts and actions are consistent. And yes, he likely never cared. And he probably got you to break up with him. That way he’s not the bad guy and he doesn’t have to face your wrath. It’s the easy way out. Do you blame him?


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