Today we’re going to talk about some of the signs that your ex is hurting after a breakup.
But first, there’s one important thing I need you to understand about how men handle breakups versus how women handle breakups.
Men are more likely to AVOID the situation and push away from you
They will push away from you, and away from the situation of the breakup itself. They don’t want to face all the bad memories and negative emotions. They would rather distract themselves, stay busy and pretend everything is fine.
Women are more likely to OBSESS about a breakup.
They will ruminate – endlessly going over every word and glance to see where it all went wrong. They would prefer to talk, discuss the breakup and get all those emotions out.
So as we go through the five signs that your ex is really hurting through this breakup, you may find a common pattern emerging, that of avoidance. He’s going to do everything he can to avoid the pain associated with the breakup.
Let’s talk about those signs.
Signs That Your Ex Is Hurting After A Breakup
Below you’ll find what I consider to be the most prevalent signs that your ex is having a hard time after the breakup.
- Your Ex Unfollows Or Unfriends You On Social Media
- Your Ex Deletes All Of Your Pictures Together On Social Media
- Your ex is quick to anger
- Your Ex Purposely Shows Up To Places You Frequent
- Obsessive Thoughts and Cravings
Let’s take some time and talk about what each one of these signs means.
Sign Number One: Your Ex Unfollows Or Unfriends You On Social Media
He unfriends you on Facebook, and you can only see his public posts. He unfollows you on Instagram. He stops sharing his location on Snapchat. He leaves mutual chat groups, or deletes you from them. He might even block or delete your phone number. There are multiple ways he can do this, and all of them are hurtful to you.
So why is he doing it?
Remember, men are much more likely to avoid, and this definitely fits that theme.
What is actually going on in his head at this time? Is he doing this to actually try to hurt you, or to make you angry? While with some men it might be that, it’s usually much less about YOU than it is about HIM.
It’s about how he’s feeling.
It hurts to see your updates on social media. He doesn’t want to be tempted to watch your stories or check your location. Instead, he wants to avoid, and this is an easy way of pushing you away.
But rest assured, our research shows that at least 90% of exs will snoop on their ex’s social media feed anyway. He can still search your name and see your Facebook or Instagram profiles (as long as you keep them public), and he is very likely to do so.
Sign Number Two: Your Ex Deletes All Of Your Pictures Together On Social Media
Here again you are seeing avoidance. It hurts him to see pictures of the two of you together pop up in his feed and his Facebook memories. The easiest way for him to avoid that pain is to delete the photos altogether.
Women might look at this and think that their ex is trying to forget or erase the entire relationship, but this isn’t the case. Your ex just doesn’t want to see pictures of you two being happy together – it is quite simply hurtful. He’s doing this for his own wellbeing, and again it has much less to do with you than you might think.
If this all makes sense so far, and you are sitting there thinking, this is all very well, but I want to get him back – I have put together the ideal resource for you. All you have to do if you want to figure out if you even have a chance of getting your ex back is take the simple quiz here. It will give you a percentage likelihood of getting your ex back, based on such factors as the length of the relationship and the way you broke up. It’s the first (and easy) step to getting him (or her) back.
Sign Number Three: Your Ex Is Quick To Anger
You can’t talk to him without him getting angry and maybe starting a full-on argument. You can’t seem to discuss simple things like who gets to keep the stereo without him slamming doors and storming off. You’re trying to placate him, be nice, be kind and as calm as possible, but he’s still angry.
Again we see the theme of avoidance.
He is trying to avoid you, but you are talking to him. You are right there in front of him, in person or on his phone. He can’t get away from that which hurts him, and he will often lash out at you because you are the source of his anger. You might have heard the phrase:
When emotions run high, logic runs low
But during a breakup, your emotions are on steroids. There’s so much going on for both of you, but you’re most likely dealing with it in very different ways – obsessing, or avoiding.
You’re trying to talk and make yourself feel better. You want to understand the breakup, how he’s feeling, what he wants.
Your ex, however, wants to avoid you – avoid all talk or thought about the breakup, and distract himself from thoughts of you or the relationship. If you are talking to him, he may well lash out because you are preventing him from doing what he wants to do.
Sign Number Four: Your Ex Purposely Shows Up To Places You Frequent
There will always be a segment of men who, after failing to distract and avoid, will have to confront their feelings about the breakup. This is when some men will switch gears and start obsessing about the breakup, and about you. When this happens they will start to want to put themselves in a place that you are.
Once again the important thing to understand is that it’s all about themselves and not about you.
We make decisions about relationships based on what’s best for ourselves and will often find it hard to take the other person’s feelings into consideration.
This sign is a bit more positive – he isn’t pushing you away so much any more, he’s not avoiding you, he’s ‘bumping’ into you or creating friendly interactions when you didn’t expect it.
How can you get to this place? Have you heard of the No Contact rule? If you’re doing No Contact right, you can help nudge him towards thinking about you, wondering what you’re up to, wanting to see you even if just ‘by accident’. If you’re not bugging him, not contacting him at all, but instead are seemingly getting on with life just fine, he will start to think, hey, what’s going on? You can read more about the No Contact Rule here.
Sign Number Five: Obsessive Thoughts and Cravings
Here we have come full circle. Your ex has maybe started out by distracting himself and avoiding the whole situation, then suddenly started to obsess and ruminate about the breakup.
This is where he gets obsessive thoughts and cravings. He might blow up your phone, ask you questions, initiate conversations that last longer than usual and try to make conversations interesting to keep you talking.
Think of it like having a food craving. Often when you get hungry for something, only that thing will do. You can try another food, something that should be ‘better for you’, but you won’t be satisfied until you get what you really want.
This may seem like a strange analogy, but food cravings and love emotions are both due to ‘pleasure’ chemicals released by your brain. Your ex is craving your company; he can’t help himself.
You will note that this step is often what women start with, but it typically takes a man longer. He starts by avoiding, distracting, getting angry…but then starts to wonder, and worry. This shows that they are processing their feelings, and hurting after the breakup.
Now you have some clues as to whether your ex is hurting after your breakup – what can you do about it? Remember to check out the simple two minute quiz which will tell you if you have a chance of getting your ex back.
You can see that the two strategies of avoidance (men after a breakup) and obsessing (women after a breakup) don’t exactly make for positive interactions. The push-pull just creates even more pain and anger. If you want to know what to do next, check out some of my articles about the No Contact rule, the first step in getting your ex back:
- The No Contact Rule (Version 2.0)
- The Psychology Of A Man During The No Contact Rule
- The Male Mind During The No Contact Rule
And if you want a comprehensive, step-by-step plan for getting your ex back, consider Ex Boyfriend Pro, which goes through how to win your ex back in every situation you can think of (cheating, other woman/man, long distance relationship…and so much more).