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How to deal with heartbreak for guys

You lost the girl you love!!! You’re in a real pickle!!! You don’t know where to turn!!! You need to know how to deal with heartbreak for guys!!! We got you, man….get your “mojo” back with our guys guide to getting over heartbreak.

How to deal with heartbreak for guys

We all know the story; Girl meets boy, the girl thinks she’s in love with the boy and says the magic words “I love you!” But then inexplicably, the magic disappears and she dumps him! She unfriends him on Facebook, changes her status back to “single”, doesn’t answer his calls, and acts like the past never happened!

Meanwhile, the boy slowly falls to pieces, analyzes every little thing he did to lose his girl, and tells his friends that he’s already over the relationship!

As he goes through total misery, she buries her feelings deep down and proceeds to fill her Instagram feed with photos of strange guys at bars all over town! Just know that the girl is probably hurting just as much as you are (even though her suddenly lively media social life tells a different story!)

There are tons of articles on the net to help women get over heartbreak but for one reason or another, there are limited resources for the guys. This is why the Ape has felt the need to write a “How to Deal with Heartbreak Guide” for guys getting over a recent breakup.

Our hope is that our guide will help all you dudes deal rationally and maturely with the inevitable aftermath, if your nearest & dearest decides to “call it a day”.

Step one – Accepting what has happened

First things first, you need to be honest with yourself! Just because you are a guy, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to feel hurt and depressed. Try not to lie to others (and yourself) by saying that you are fine when you are not.

You may think that you can push the feelings down but there will be many reminders of your time together and you fail in the long run if you can’t be honest with yourself.

It’s OK to feel sadness, confusion, anger, and loneliness. Try to avoid “numbing-yourself” to the pain but to instead feel the emotions and let them run their course.

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Step two – Dealing with the immediate aftermath

Heartbreak for guysThe cliché “time is a great healer” sounds blasé and flippant but the old adage is still the cornerstone of getting over a heartbreak.

Be aware that your progress will not be a straight upward line but more a roller coaster of ups & downs. Remember that each time you go through the same “emotional-circle”, you’ll become able to better deal with the difficult emotions that arise.

The more you try to fight your feelings, the harder it will be to feel normal again. Some guys find it therapeutic to write a journal of how they are feeling. This is a great technique for strong/silent types that don’t want to open up to friends or family.

By all means, listen to angry or sad music but only do this as a way to get those feelings out. Do not, however, listen to “Nothing Compares to You” by Sinead O’Connor on a loop for two-weeks-straight as this will lead you down a very dark path and will not aid your recovery!!

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Step three – Letting it all out

Heartbreak in menSorry to repeat this again but don’t “bottle-up” your emotions! Research shows that the pain caused by a breakup is processed by the brain in a similar way to that of people going through cocaine withdrawal!

Denial of your feelings will accomplish nothing and can only increase the chance of them exploding later on. You must do everything you can to accept these feelings so that you can let them go and move on.

Everyone is unique and will have different ways to let out negative feelings. Guys find comfort in meditation, physical exercise, good food, music, and spending time with good friends or family members. In fact, anything that can take your mind off the situation (for however short a time) is a good place to start.

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Step four – Cutting ties

Of course, every relationship is different but in most cases, it is better to avoid any unnecessary contact with your ex-girlfriend. This means no emails, no “What’s App”, and definitely no bumping into her “accidentally-on-purpose” at her gym or local bar.

In these connected times, there is a lot of temptation to cyber-stalk your ex on Instagram, Facebook or SnapChat but fixating on what she is doing will make it harder for you to move on. If you don’t trust yourself to stop spying on your ex’s social media accounts, you might need to unfriend or unfollow the person in question.

Finally, be very wary the dreaded “drunk-dial.” We have all been there at one time or another! Drinking a boat-load of booze and deciding to ring your ex at a ridiculous hour to either emote, declare, confide, or proposition…all of which are BAD IDEAS!!!

It goes without saying that you should never be intimate with your ex after your split. “Friends-with-benefits” or a quickie for “old-times-sake” will trigger feelings of connection and affection and make it impossible for you to move on.

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Step five – Taking care of yourself

Acknowledging that something bad has happened to you and that you are strong enough to get over it is key to moving on after any breakup. It is vital that you do things that make you feel good and take your mind off your woes. Exercise is always good medicine for a damaged ego as serotonin released during physical activity makes you feel happier, more in control of your emotions, and you look great, too!

Watch your diet! While some dudes don’t want to eat, others reach for the Doritos and the Ben and Jerry’s and indulge in a bit of binge-eating. If you have lost your appetite, try making a smoothie with fruit, yogurt, and milk to make sure you get your calories. Stick to foods that are known to increase your serotonin levels such as oatmeal, cherries, and kiwis. Foods that are rich in antioxidants such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, and apples should also make your shopping list.

Finally, take care of your mental health. Keep an eye out for signs that your sadness is leading to depression. If you start feeling that nothing in your life matters anymore, talk to your local doctor in the first instance.

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Step six – The healing process

Excercise to deal with heartbreakThe next stage of our guide of how to deal with heartbreak for guys is to steer clear of things that trigger memories. You may have shared a song and when you hear it again, it will trigger painful memories to surface. Trying not to linger on these feelings and instead turn your attention to something more positive such as an upcoming holiday or a time in your life when you were really happy without your ex-partner.

Music can aid your recovery to chase the blues away. When you listen to music that you enjoy, your brain releases endorphins to lift your spirits and help you better deal with stress. Avoid soppy or sad romantic tracks, as these will not help to heal your wounds.

Above all, try to keep busy and your mind occupied. Whether it is talking to friends, reading a book, playing sports, or even learning something new, you should not dwell on the past.

You may feel drawn to ease your pain with more unsavory pursuits such as drugs, gambling, excessive amounts of alcohol, or binge-eating. Vices merely mask your pain by making you feel numb. Be wary not to add to your woes by getting an alcohol or painkiller addiction to boot!

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Step seven – Working through your feelings

How to get over heartbreakIf you haven’t done so already, confide in someone – “A problem shared is a problem halved!” Often just getting feelings off your chest will help. Give people a chance to support you by giving advice or just being a shoulder to cry on.

Try to avoid placing the blame if you can. Part of fixing yourself means to truly accept what has happened and by blaming yourself or your ex you will prolong your heartache.

This one’s a toughie! – Try to feel some kindness for your ex!! That doesn’t mean you have to forgive her but it does mean that you cannot hold on to any anger or rage towards her. It might sound silly, but meditation has helped millions of people with all kinds of emotional issues to find some peace of mind. You could try meditating for 5 minutes per day and increase that by 5 minutes each day until you can manage 45 – 60-minute sessions.  A great website for info is Learn Meditation Online.

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Step eight – Moving on

It’s time to stop watching those sad movies and listening to REM’s “Everybody Hurts”!!!… Impose a daily “grief-limit” on yourself. After you have gotten over the initial shock of the break-up, don’t spend too much time wallowing in self-pity. You can set aside 15 – 20 minutes each day to reflect on the breakup but any longer than this is counter-productive and will slow down the healing process.

After giving yourself some space, don’t just automatically reject the possibility of meeting someone else. We’re not saying that you should jump into another relationship but we are saying that you should not close yourself off and withdraw from society. It can be very hard to “get back on the horse” if you leave it too long!

If you feel that you cannot move on, you could try counseling. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness and is nothing to be ashamed of. By getting professional help, you’ll be able to make sense of your feelings and learn new skills for coping better in the future.

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Step nine – Coping in the long-term

After the pain starts to subside, take this chance to find out who “you” really are. For a long time, it has been about you being part of a couple. Work on personal growth, re-discover what makes you unique, and focus on yourself so that you can learn and grow from this experience.

A great way to keep your mind off your own problems is to help someone else with a challenge that they are facing. Don’t let your sadness stop you seeing that many other people are dealing with their own sadness, too. If you don’t have any friends that need help, you could consider volunteering at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

At this stage, you should be accepting the fact that relationships change. You will also be aware that recovering from heartbreak takes time and that you should not feel guilty about feeling sad or occasionally thinking about your ex.

If you do find yourself thinking about old times, rather than suppress these thoughts, accept them and then think about something more positive instead. Above all, remember that you still have a bright future, even though it doesn’t include one particular person. Now you can re-kindle old dreams or replace old dreams and goals with new ones.

Our final word here is about not being discouraged during this difficult time. Healing from heartbreak doesn’t happen overnight …. after all, you gave away a piece of your heart to someone! Your pain is proof that you are a normal human being made with imperfections just like the rest of us!

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Breakup strategies that should be avoided at all costs!

  • Avoidance – Most men tend to avoid their ex after a breakup (Baxter 1982) and just stick their heads in the sand.
  • Distorting the truth – Some men like to lie to themselves as a post-break-up strategy. This method has a two-pronged effect; it will reinforce the internal message that you “don’t care” and act as a weapon by telling her that “she never meant that much anyway!”
  • Being a jerk! – Yes, every girl has experienced this one! By being obnoxious, rude, unsupportive, or downright nasty, you are really sending her a message of “you hurt me and now I’m going to hurt you!!” Often, the more intense the animosity, the more the guy is trying to hide his emotional agony but paradoxically, this approach will just lead to more feelings of guilt.

The best way to break up (if possible) is to end the relationship with all lines of communication open. This method allows both parties “supportive communication” but unfortunately this situation is rare as because it leaves both parties emotionally vulnerable. Couples can sometimes negotiate their break-up calmly if they both knew that the relationship was over for a while but neither party was ready to admit it.

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