Do Guys Really Shut off Their Feelings After a Breakup?

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Breakups are normally painful to both parties, no matter who initiated the split, but many guys seem to avoid the typical post-relationship roller coaster of emotion. Knowing common reactions among men after a breakup can help if you feel devastated watching your ex-boyfriend readjust to single life as though he feels nothing. Key in understanding his response is learning about the differences in emotional expression between men and women.

Past Influences, Present Responses

Many people, male or female, conceal emotion after a painful event to protect themselves. However, men may be especially prone to this type of concealment in accordance with social feedback they received while growing up, says clinical psychologist Leon F. Seltzer in his “Psychology Today” piece “Why We Hide Emotional Pain.” During their impressionable years, many men faced criticism and taunts for openly displaying emotion that came naturally to them. The messages from the past carry into the present, discouraging them from demonstrating what could be considered less than masculine behavior. The fact that he does not give off signs of sadness doesn't mean he is truly numb to the breakup's impact.