Hurt often comes from the resistance to accept reality. He’s refusing to believe that he won’t hear your voice whenever he wants to, that he won’t hug and kiss you when he wants to, he’s hurting.
The socially constructed idea of a ‘man’ can complicate the situation a little. He’s hurting, but he might want to hide the fact he’s hurting because his ‘weak’ side could be exposed.
Whether he tries to hide it from you or not, the hurt will show just enough for you to read the signs he’s heartbroken over you.
Guys do hurt after a breakup, some of them long later after the breakup, some of them get struck by the pain at the moment the relationship ends. Everyone manifests and expresses it differently.
To understand this more in detail, here are 9 signs your ex is hurting:
1. He contacts you: texting or calling
When he’s hurting, especially during the mid-stages of a breakup, he’ll have an uncontrollable need to reach out to you and talk to you.
He’ll text you anything to get your attention, to get you to reply to him. Or he’ll call to hear your voice.
This is common because often after a breakup, especially if it’s been a long-term relationship, there’s an urge to know what’s going on in the ex-partner’s life, to hear their voice.
The inability to accept the truth – that the relationship is over – will cause him to feel pain. The pain will make him do things he (and you) wouldn’t imagine he’d do. He’ll try to communicate, get a word, a text from you. He’ll look for signs from you, anything.
2. He sticks to the No Contact – He shuts down
Each of us experiences and manifests loss and grief differently. Some men just shut down and give no signs at all. He doesn’t contact you, he blocks you from social media and doesn’t reach out to you.
This state of mind reflects on other aspects of his life too. It affects his work performance, his daily activities in general.
This can also be a sign of him seeking revenge towards you, trying to find a way to punish/hurt you, or using No Contact as a way to get you back.
Again, it’s a reflection of what he’s feeling on the inside: hurt. Why is he trying to hurt me? You might ask.
Wanting to cause hurt is part of the hurting process. He either wants to make you react to his silence or wants you to feel just as helpless as he’s feeling at the moment.
3. He’s posting things on his social media to provoke you
Love doesn’t vanish the moment the breakup happens. The love is still there although you hurt each other (or one of you the other).
Pain and hurt make people go beyond their ways to get what they want. Those feelings can also make them unable to see and think clearly of the ineffectiveness of their actions.
However, in this case, your ex will post things on his social media knowing that you’ll see them. It’s one of the signs he still loves you, even though it’s been sometime after the breakup.
He’ll post things that provoke you: to make you react or to make you feel hurt. Anything to get a sign from you.
4. He’s not on dating apps yet
It’s a bit of that shutdown philosophy mentioned earlier. It’s part of the grief process to not be able to find joy in things you once used to, in this case, he’ll have a hard time trying to get back to dating.
Whether he gets on dating apps or not also depends on what stage of the grief process he is and how he processes loss.
However, if he’s not on dating apps take it as one of the signs that he’s hurting after the breakup.
It can also be a sign he’s feeling guilty, especially if he was the one to hurt you in the relationship. He’s taking his time to process the guilt and the pain.
5. He’s being someone else
A breakup is a bit of a traumatic experience. As humans we’re not exactly biologically programmed to break connections, we’re more into creating them, hence the pain of a breakup often feels like a never-ending one.
When he’s in pain after the breakup, it’ll affect him: what he does, how he processes thinking, how he talks, how he lives.
This reflects a lot especially if he completely changes his lifestyle and his behavior. It’s not clear thinking, it’s him taking steps to either get distracted from the pain or get rid of what he’s feeling.
6. He started a relationship right away
This contradicts the fourth point[he’s not on dating apps yet], but have in mind that each processes the pain of a breakup differently.
Pain and hurt can lead to not-so-normal behavior due to blurry thinking and the low quality of thinking because of the overwhelming feelings.
He’ll go out of his way to show you he’s doing well without you when he’s in pain. Mind you, if he gets over you, and isn’t hurting, he won’t bother to deal with you anymore. He’s over it, he doesn’t deal with it.
How do you tell if he is heartbroken
In this case, he’s hurting: he wants you to hurt too, or to react and text/call him. A right away rebound gets him what he wants: he hurts you too.
7. He’s being rude to you
When a man is hurting after a breakup, he often tries to conflict his emotional state with logic. You can tell he is heartbroken when he starts acting like a jerk.
The reason for that? He’s got a battle going on in his heart and mind, he’s having a hard time comprehending and accepting the fact that you two broke up.
Anger is also one of the 5 stages of grief processing, so you might have caught him in that stage when you encountered him.
He’s angry at himself, and he’ll reflect that on his behavior towards you. If he’s that type, he’s hurting after the breakup, he’ll be rude to you.
8. He shows up at your door, or places you’re hanging out at
What makes a breakup so difficult to process (i.e. hurtful) is also the inability to accept it. Not accepting it as true causes him to hurt, and it causes him to reach out for you to places you once were together.
He’ll show up at your door, places you’re at, or at places, you went together as a couple.
It is a sign he misses you, he’s trying to reach out to you, and see you. He’s hurting.
9. He tells you he’s in pain
Whenever he gets the chance to communicate with you, he lets you know he’s in pain, then you trust him about it.
It’s understandable if you think he’s trying to play the victim, or that he’s just saying so that you’d take him back, etc.
However, considering the socially constructed standard of ‘manhood’, he wouldn’t express it so freely unless he’s feeling the pain.
You’ve been with him, you spent enough time with him to know when he’s happy and when he’s not. You’d know if his word is true by now.
He’s hurting after the breakup. What to do about it?
You had a connection with him and it’s very understandable to feel pain when he’s in pain.
Having this empathy and feeling so much of his pain can lead to decisions and actions that might not be very beneficial to you or him, or your connection. That’s why there’s a list of things to consider when you see your ex hurting after the breakup.
Here, 5 things to do when knowing he’s hurting after a breakup:
1. Stop focusing your energy on him and what he’s doing. Looking for answers to if he is hurting or not, means that you’re involved with what he’s doing, and how he’s handling the situation.
That’s normal because you had a connection and the person had an impact on you whether you wanted to or not. However, holding on to them will hold you back in your healing process.
Instead of focusing your energy on him, try to focus your energy on things you love doing, things you enjoy, your growth, and healing.
2. Avoid being insensitive to what he’s going through. Take his feelings into consideration before behaving a certain way towards him.
No matter what situation or factor brought the end to your relationship, being inconsiderate to one’s feelings will not help either of you.
Consider his feelings of hurt before/while talking to him, or before/while taking a certain action towards the situation you’re in regarding the relationship.
3. Don’t be blind to what caused the relationship to end. After the breakup, flowery memories start to kick in and they often lead you to rethink the decision(if you were the one to take it) or to think that you’re trapped because you’ll never find someone like them again.
Knowing he’s hurting/he’s in pain/he regrets won’t help much with these thoughts, it can often make them stronger.
That’s why it’s important for you to not be blind to the causes of the ending of your relationship. Keep a balance between the good memories and the bitter ones. It’ll help you see the situation through a clearer lens.
4. Be kind to him but don’t give him hope if you’re not planning to get back together. Your kind behavior can lead him to think there’s still hope with you.
It would make his wounds deeper if you’d give him false hope. So, be kind and considerate to his feelings, but don’t give him hope if you’re not planning to get back to him.
5. Don’t blame yourself. Doesn’t matter whose fault it is, you mustn’t see yourself with pity and hatred.
He’s experiencing pain, and I’m pretty sure you are too. Blaming yourself for what he’s going through won’t help you or him heal a bit.
See it as something you can learn from, and something that you can grow from. With a little trust in yourself, and optimism about the good things coming your way, you’ve got this!
How long does it take a man to feel the pain of a breakup?
Generally, men start to feel the pain a bit later after the breakup. It’s part of male psychology.
They feel the pain right away, but instead of letting it out, they find distractions to not feel it.
Also, in the beginning, a breakup feels freeing to them, since now they have access to “the sea full of fish”.
They’ll avoid reflecting on what’s going on with their emotional state until the illusion of “the sea full of fish” wears out and they’re home alone needing warmth and genuine love.
It takes time, but they feel hurt sooner or later.
Conclusion – Everyone hurts after all…
Men, guys, everyone hurts after a breakup.
Again, our biological programming stands more for the creation of connections rather than breaking them.
We all have different ways of expressing and manifesting pain and hurt. You know him, you’ve had experiences with him. You’ll know which way is his way of showing he’s hurting.
Breaking a connection will hurt at some point, sooner or later. What we often forget is that it’ll heal too. It’ll heal sooner or later.