Not even 24 hours after our tearful breakup, my ex was spotted flirting with someone else. ‘Um, isn’t this your guy?’ my friend texted, with a screenshot. The dude couldn’t even wait a full business day to get back out there?! Ugh, it totally wrecked me.
After our goodbye convo, I pictured myself spending time self-reflecting...dipping into emotional pizzas, signing up for my first yoga class, and slowly realising some truths that would make the memories of my ex fade and my confidence grow.
But my ex would be spending this time grabbing drinks with his dates! Like, why? Why do half of all women take up to three months to get over a breakup, while men just...seem fine right away?!
Because guys have been socialised not to take heartbreak hard, explains US-based Jordan Madison, a licensed marriage therapist. Sure, some may talk about it while playing football with their friends, or sulk alone on their couches, but most tend to follow the ‘man up’ advice they’ve been fed since childhood. To preserve their egos, they move on to the next so fast that no-one notices they’ve been burned.
Women are usually urged to let it all out. Society has reinforced that expressing our feelings is our forte.
‘We’re given the time to mourn and process our emotions,’ says Jordan.
So wait...should we feel kind of sorry for guys? Their surface-level fix isn’t doing them any favours, according to Jeannie Assimos, Chief of Advice at dating site eHarmony. ‘Men are more likely to rebound, not because they didn’t love you, but because they think it’ll help them get over you,’ she says. But it probably won’t. A study by Binghamton University and University College London found that while women report higher levels of emotional and physical pain after a breakup, they actually have an overall easier time recovering. ‘While men never fully do—they simply move on,’ it said. (And guess who gets to deal with that baggage? Yep, their rebounds!) I’m still stewing over my ex replacing me so easily. But if science says it’s better to admit that than suppress it, my pizzas and I are going to be just fine!”
Guys, do you think you move on too fast?
“After a breakup, I want to be distracted immediately and validate my ego by going on dates. That being said, my first major girlfriend still crosses my mind every couple of months—and that was almost 10 years ago.”
—Karan S., 29
“As an extrovert, I’ll rebound pretty quickly. That said, it’s taken me a lot of work in therapy to actually feel Iike I’ve ‘gotten over’ serious breakups, learned from them, and moved on healthily.”
—Vishesh M., 33