Breakup Advice

How to Get Over a Bad Breakup (for Guys)

I dealt with a bad breakup of my own, but it was a very difficult time for me. I didn’t really know how to handle my emotions, let alone how to get through splitting up with somebody I’d been with for years.

I figured things out eventually, after much hardship and without any break up advice from others, because back then there was very little online.

After I emerged a changed man, I vowed never to go through something like that again. I wrote How to get over your ex to help other guys avoid going through the heartache of a bad breakup.

In this article, I answer the most common questions guys have about bad breakups.

How do guys get over a break up?

Getting over a breakup can be harder for guys – particularly a difficult split. One reason is that women tend to move on faster and this can hurt your feelings if you haven’t fully accepted the breakup. In order to move on with your life, a period of recovery is required in which reflection and acceptance must take place.

That’s the overview, which is easier said than done. Now let’s take a look at what to actually do and tackle some of those pressing questions.

Block your ex – don’t call or text her

A relationship breakup is a split, after all. Block your ex’s number and banish all thoughts of calling her. If you don’t, you’ll spend your time staring at your phone and jumping every time you hear a text, thinking it’s her. It will drive you crazy.

You need to separate yourself mentally from your previous partner, not just physically, and you can’t do that if you’re still connected to her in some way. You must put yourself out of her reach.

Don’t seek revenge

If you feel like you’ve been played or betrayed, then you’re not the first guy and you won’t be the last. Take a deep breath and own the fact that you also played a part: the victim.

This may be hard to swallow, but you were stupid enough to let whatever happens happen. Take ownership, learn the lesson, and move on. Don’t even think of revenge. If you are, then realise that you’re thinking like a teenager. Grow up and move on.

Take it easy on the drinking and partying and avoid having a rebound

Some guys disappear after a breakup – they barricade themselves at home and lick their wounds while they recover. I was one of those guys, and I can tell you that is the most productive thing you can do.

Getting over a girlfriend takes time – more for some guys, less for others – but it still takes time to digest the new reality and adjust to being single again.

While going out with friends is not a bad thing per se, if your whole reason for hitting the bars is to find new love, then stop kidding yourself.

You know you’re trying to get into a rebound relationship, and you already know that’s a bad idea. Rebound relationships can enable you to distract yourself from your breakup, but ultimately, you’re wasting your time and your new girlfriend’s time.

Often times, with rebound relationships, when you recover from the emotional pain of your breakup, you find yourself in another bad relationship.

Set aside ample time to just chill. There’s nothing wrong with being at home, reflecting. Don’t try to run away and hide from negative feelings. We all have to deal with those. And anyway, how will you know when times are good if you avoid negative feelings to be a part of your life?

Don’t try to win your ex back

In most cases, this is the worst thing you can do. Some relationships run into trouble because of something inconsequential. In those cases, it’s usually because both people are immature in some areas or lack life experience and get overwhelmed over very little.

Sometimes, both people come to regret their decision to split and agree to get back together again. Often times, that little break makes their relationship stronger, because they both had time to reflect.

A bad breakup on the other hand, is not a little thing, nor is it inconsequential. The fact is that, right now, you’re going through a rough time and your mind is going to suggest anything and everything it can to make this situation go away.

What would instantly end your current emotions? What would make your painful breakup go away immediately? Getting back together with your ex, of course. So don’t be surprised when you think of this option.

But when you do, ignore it. Almost always, it’s a bad idea and a waste of time.

Ask yourself if you’re missing the sex, or female company. Most times, that’s going to be a yes. You owe it to yourself to be strong right now and do the right thing for you. So stay away and learn from your experience so you can be better in future relationships.

Expect anger and sadness during the early stages of your recovery

You must set aside time to deal with your feelings and ignore everything else. One good reason for this, is that when real life kicks in, it really will kick you.

Sadness can very quickly turn to anger. You’ll feel angry that this happened to you; you’ll feel angry that she did this to you; you’ll feel angry at whoever she gets with next.

It’s normal to feel angry, so don’t try to suppress it. Instead, accept it as a normal part of the grieving process. If you can harness your anger, that’s even better.

Use the energy to clear out your home from her stuff. Throw everything that needs to be thrown out.

Expect a rollercoaster of emotions, swinging from anger to sadness to self-pity. Remember, stay strong and think of this not so much as a rough time but as a test.

You don’t get to be the superior man you will soon become without a little hardship.

Accept your new reality

Spending time alone is the best thing you can do right now. The time frame of the recovery process varies from one guy to another, but trust me, you’ll know when you’re ready to emerge again.

The one thing you must realise at this stage is that the breakup recovery cannot start until you actually accept the fact that your relationship is over. Failing to accept this will keep you hanging on and hoping like a fool.

To move on, you must move on in your mind first. So let go. She’s gone. Tell yourself that it’s over enough times to make it seem real.

Reflect and learn from your mistakes

Once you accept your breakup, it’s time to reflect. This is all about you, not her, so don’t look to place blame. Nobody is listening to you and nobody is going to pity you either. Take ownership of your part in the relationship and think about what you could have done better.

The things you learn during this reflective period are the things that will make you stronger later on.

Rebuild your self-esteem

Once you’ve had time to come to terms with your new single status and you’ve had time to reflect, you’ll get the itch to step out into the world again.

This is the ideal opportunity to spend time with friends. I’m not talking about hitting the bars just yet. Instead, visit friends and chill out with them. Enjoy their company and conversation.

If you have a female friend you can count on, even better. Spending time with the opposite sex – especially being seen with another girl – will really boost your self-esteem right now.

Enjoy being single again

Being single is a blessing in disguise. You get to own your free time and do whatever you wish with it. Enjoy it while you can – it won’t last forever.

To really make the most of your free time, instead of hitting the bars (there will be time for that later) spend time thinking about your entire life and deciding where you’d like life to take you next.

This is a unique opportunity to design the life you want.

Learn something new and change your routine

Now that you’re out and about again, make sure you avoid old haunts and even supermarkets where your ex may be. Avoid also mutual friends – you don’t need other people reporting back to your ex on your progress.

Make plans and look forward to the future

Think about your future relationships and all the things you want to accomplish in your life. Consider also your approach to relationships – you do not want to end up with another bad partner.

Improve yourself and you’ll naturally attract better calibre women into your life.

This is the silver lining you’ve been waiting for.


Getting over a bad breakup is no walk in the park. However, if you really want to emerge from this a superior man, you must resist the temptation for distraction. Don’t be tempted to get into a rebound relationship and forget about getting back with your ex.

Instead, take the time to reflect and learn from the experience and then focus on moving on. When the time is right, start hanging out with friends to rebuild your self-esteem.

Enjoy your time as a single man and make plans for yourself and your future.

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