Dolly Doctor

How a guy REALLY feels after a break-up

It's over, but what's he thinking?

Boys on break ups

When Ariana and Jai called it quits for the second time, not only were we heartbroken because they were totally ~perfect~ for each other, but all eyes turned to Ariana and how she was dealing.

On the other side, being the guy, Jai was forced to put on a brave face. “I’m just focused on our movie and our upcoming tour,” he said in a post break-up interview. “I’m not going to let emotions get in the way of anything, that’s for sure, because we are too damn busy right now and I’m just moving on.”

Like most guys in the wake of an emotional event, they sound like they’re “all good” and “totally over it”. But after speaking to an expert, DOLLY can reveal what a relationship split really feels like for the opposite sex. And it’s not as carefree as you might think…

Hiding it

You’re probably reading this thinking about your last break-up, going, “There is no way he was as cut up as me – I cried for days!” But according to psychologist Dr Dina McMillan, he probably was.

Boys and girls handle the pain of heartbreak differently mainly because of their surroundings. When a relationship goes cold, we turn to our girlfriends to cry or want someone to curl up with and watch Pretty Little Liars re-runs.

“When girls are broken-hearted, they can get cuddles, sympathy and lots of chances to talk about it with their nearest and dearest girlfriends,” she says.

“Their BFFs will cheer them on in declaring their former True Love Forever really wasn’t good enough for them and all this gives girls the time, space and support to move through their grief.”

On the other side, guys don’t usually have a huge supportive network to help them handle heartache and grief.

“They face even bigger challenges than girls when they try to get over
an emotional split because they are taught NOT to show any vulnerability, especially in regards to a girl,” Dina says.

“Their friendship groups tend to be more competitive and less supportive, so they know any emotional hurt that they show could be used against them by some of their mates.”

So, like the girl he broke up with, no matter who did the dumping or how many bags of M&Ms and late-night phone calls to your pals it took to get over it, he’s probably hurting in the same way. “Guys and girls feel things just as strongly but because boys have been taught to deal with their hurt feelings differently, you need to look closely to spot it.”

True colours
When Ed Sheeran was pictured sitting next to Ellie Goulding at the 2013 MTV VMAs, we all thought it was a total match made in music heaven. Until the details of their messy break-up made it onto Ed’s latest album X in the form of his hit single “Don’t”, that is.

The blonde Brit is said to have cheated on him while they were staying on the same hotel floor. The chorus, “Don’t mess with my love, that heart is so cold,” revealed exactly how he was feeling.

Plus, Ed even decided to show one of his good friends – and fellow break-up songwriter – Taylor Swift the tune first.

“I don’t think she’s written anything that harsh,” says Ed.

“She always puts a nice spin on it. My one was out and out nasty. I didn’t tone it down.”

Our expert says that this behaviour is a sign of male heartbreak.

“Look out for a number of changes in his behaviour. Like, if he’s saying a lot of mean things about girls when he was cool and supportive before,” she says.

When a guy suddenly starts messaging and texting a lot of different girls, double-tapping some of their Instagram snaps or maybe befriending them on Facebook, the OTT displays of moving on can sometimes signal he’s hiding the pain he’s REALLY feeling.

“So, if he becomes a player, trying to hit on as many girls as possible when he was picky and very careful before, steer clear,” Dina advises. She says this is guy code for trying to prove he’s over his last girlfriend, when he actually may not be.

The damage
How much better do you feel after your bestie lists all of the reasons your ex-boyfriend was SO not the one for you during recess? Re-hashing the details of your old relationship might seem a touch boring for those around you, but it’s actually a form of therapy and allows you to dump all those bad thoughts and start feeling good again.

But according to Dina, there is often no place where guys are encouraged and supported by their pals to put down their baggage and move on once and for all.

“If you don’t fully recover from a painful relationship it can colour, impact and possibly ruin all of the relationships that follow,” she tells us.

Dina says that guys might end up mistrusting or keeping themselves distant in an effort to avoid getting hurt, which is definitely not the solution, but is all too often the suggestion given to them by their friends.

“This doesn’t help them heal at all because it can just keep prolonging the trauma.”

So next time you wonder why it’s only your heart that’s breaking, keep in mind, his
is probably shattered too.