Breakups are devastating. Let’s take Peter from one of the best and funniest rom-coms, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, as an example. He shows a lot of emotional truths and tries to forget his ex but the memories and coincidental meetups make it excruciating. He displays all the clear signs he is hurt after the breakup. That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in this article.

Of course, women also experience pain after a separation. However, a new study has found that men go through more emotional pain than women when a relationship reaches its terminal stage.

Guys’ behaviors change after a breakup hits them hard. They may have a hard time getting over it. Read along and find out all the signs a man is hurt emotionally. This will help you in navigating what to do about it. Heal him or move on with your life.

17 Clear Signs He Is Hurt After The Breakup

Guys hurt the same way as girls do. He may also act like he is completely fine, but deep down, he could be miserable. Your memories might be eating him up as he puts on an “I am fine” facade.

There is also a possibility of him becoming apathetic and suppressing his feelings. We will decode all his behavior and find out some of the definite signs he is not over you yet.

1. He isolates himself

How do you know if a man is sad after a breakup? He will isolate himself. He avoids talking to anyone and won’t come out of his house. He saw you in a long-term relationship with him, but now that vision is shattered.

So, he will wallow in his sadness and think that his aching will be endless. He will give everyone the silent treatment and won’t make any effort to seek professional help because he is still in the early stages of grief. In fact, he will reject emotional support from others.

He is angry. He is depressed, and he is having a hard time accepting that things have ended. Perhaps he hates you and he is wondering how you could be so cruel to him. He will ignore his friends and family members too. This is one of the telltale signs you really hurt him.

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2. He contacts you for various reasons

Another obvious sign he is hurting after the breakup is when he frequently contacts you. He is still into you and will make efforts to restore conversations with you. Some of the excuses he will use are:

  • He will text you under the pretense of checking up on your pet or ask you about your sick grandmother
  • He will comment on your pictures on social media to see if you will respond to his messages
  • He will call you randomly to ask if your work life is going well

He won’t reveal his sadness. He won’t act like he is missing you and wants you back. His uncanny ability to mask his emotions will make you think that he is doing okay. But he is not.

He is in a lot of pain, so he is coming back to the one person who knows him inside and out. His real reason for calling you is not to ask about the hoodie he left behind. He just wanted to hear your voice.

3. He posts sad quotes on Instagram

Posting sad pictures and writing captions like “Lot but not broken” or “From pain to power” is one of the classic examples that indicate his sorrow. He is trying whatever he can to embrace this new solitude, but his hurt feelings aren’t letting him move on.

He is trying to get your attention by revealing his true feelings on all his social media accounts. This is one of the signs he is pretending to be over you.

How do you know a man is sad after breakup
Image by on Freepik

4. He becomes nostalgic

They say that the further you go away from your breakup, the more your ex will become nostalgic about your relationship. Some of the signs he is thinking about the happy memories are:

  • Ordering your favorite food when he is home alone and then posting a picture of it on social media
  • Telling mutual friends that he went to watch your favorite actor’s movie
  • Posting “throwback” pictures of the places the two of you visited

Instead of remembering all the bad things, he is only reminiscing about the good times. His emotions are all over the place and he has forgotten all about the ugly fights that led to the breakup. This is one of the common signs your ex-partner still misses you.

5. He blocks you from everywhere

If you are saying, “He went silent after the breakup”, then there are chances of him still loving you. The reason why he has blocked you from everywhere is because:

  • He is preventing himself from contacting you
  • He doesn’t want to text “I love you” or lash out in anger
  • He doesn’t want to see your name popping on his screen
  • He doesn’t want to give in to his desperation and text you when he is feeling low
  • He is trying to establish a no-contact rule

All the above reasons hint at his longing for you. This is a clear sign that he is hurting after the breakup.

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6. He talks trash about you

Here you are singing “I can buy myself some flowers” by Miley Cyrus and there’s your ex-boyfriend talking all kinds of crap about you. Don’t be surprised.

Trash talking is when you speak ill of your partner after breaking up with them. It is one of the common things many people do when people aren’t able to accept reality.

He will try to spread so much negativity about you. He is a wounded animal with a fragile ego. He thinks being dumped has reduced his self-esteem. He thinks badmouthing you will ease his pain and help him move on. This makes it clear that he is terribly hurt.

7. He keeps tabs on you

From knowing what you did last weekend to how many people you’ve dated since the breakup. He will know everything that happens in your life.

Many ex-boyfriends do this to find out if their ex has moved on before them. Your ex-lover is also doing the same. He will even create fake accounts on social media platforms to see what you are up to.

8. He often bumps into you “coincidentally”

He knows your favorite coffee shop, pizza place, and ice cream parlor in town. He knows the kind of movies you like to watch in the theater. He even knows where you usually shop, yet he will arrive at these places and act like this was a coincidence.

If it has happened once, then that’s fine. That could be a genuine accident. However, when it happens frequently, it’s one of the signs he isn’t okay post-breakup. It could also be possible that your ex is trying to manifest you.

He bumps into you suddenly
Image by Freepik

9. He develops toxic coping mechanisms

When a guy is hurt, he usually wants a quick healing. But life doesn’t work that way. Each human being has to go through all the phases of grief to heal.

However, researchers have found that when men’s or women’s feelings get hurt after a breakup, they resort to excessive drinking. Some other bad habits and toxic ways to deal with a breakup include:

  • Overeating
  • Gambling
  • Self-harm
  • Recreational drugs
  • Serial dating other girls

This is one of the most important aspects to talk about when a person is going through a breakup. While these things may briefly suppress your emotions, they aren’t food for anyone in the long run. They will damage your boyfriend’s mental health. This is one of the clear signs he is hurt and is using escapism to hide his anger and other negative emotions.

10. He is already in a rebound relationship

Your mutual friends let you know that he is using dating apps to go on dates with other women and his relationship is moving too fast. But how can you erase feelings at the flick of a switch for someone you’ve been with for over a year? It doesn’t matter whose fault it was. It won’t stop hurting him irrespective of how many women he dates. He needs to heal before jumping into a new relationship.

Women and men tend to take a few months to a year to forget someone, heal from it all, and move on. However, if your ex-lover is already in a new relationship, it’s one of the signs he is using this woman to forget about you or to at least keep his sadness at bay.

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11. He is still single years after the breakup

Research has found that any individual has a 25% chance of entering a new relationship seven months after the breakup. Here it’s been more than two years since the two of you parted ways.

But you find out that he is still single. Now, what’s stopping him from starting a new relationship? Your memories. He hasn’t found anyone like you yet and it’s obvious that he still has feelings for you.

signs he is hurt after breakup

12. He tries to hurt you back

An eye for an eye. His self-esteem, ego, and self-worth are hurt. He wants to give you the same emotional pain. He will try to physically, mentally, or verbally abuse you. He will blame you for ruining his life.

He could even go to the extent of damaging your property. He is being vindictive and is venting out his anger in whatever way he can, and he isn’t sorry for hurting you.

“The only reason I can think of why an ex would try to hurt you is because he/she still has feelings for you that are strong enough to make an effort to hurt you. The goal of this is to get a reaction out of you, to get your attention, or just to see you suffer, writes a Quora user on why exes try to deliberately hurt their former partners.

13. He wants to seek closure

He went silent after the breakup, but now he is texting you with closure questions like:

  • When did you start thinking about breaking up with me?
  • How did you know this wasn’t going to work out?
  • What was the final nail in the coffin?
  • Were you ever unfaithful?
  • Are you happy without me?

According to phenomenological research as quoted in PsychologyToday, “closure is knowing the reason a romantic relationship was terminated and no longer feeling emotional attachment or pain, thereby allowing for the establishment of new and healthy relationships.”

The fact that he is looking for more answers regarding the breakup makes it obvious that he is hurting and wants to forget you.

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14. He says he misses you

He texts you out of the blue and says, “I miss you”. He has plucked up the courage to confront his feelings. This shows that he doesn’t want to suffer without you anymore.

He wants you back, and he will come back if you show the slightest impression of fondness toward him.

Furthermore, he will start taking accountability for his wrongdoings in the relationship. He will accept his mistakes and will even apologize for them. Your ex’s verbal explanation and his sincerity are some of the evident signs a guy knows he messed up.

15. He makes a huge life decision

Like moving to a different city, leaving his job, or completely transforming his looks. Some men reinvent their wardrobe and buy all the revenge clothes to make their ex feel like they missed out on a handsome man.

Some men try to heal themselves by going bald. Yes, they shave their heads. Here’s a good example from Reddit where a man goes bald in an attempt to restart his life after parting ways with his girlfriend. If your ex-lover has taken any drastic decision, it’s one of the signs he is heartbroken over you.

16. His friends ask you to talk to him

He tried to contact you, stalk you, and even get your attention by hurting you. When these things have failed, he is using his friends to reach out to you. Your mutual friends are suddenly begging you to meet him once or at least have a phone call with him. This is one of the telltale signs he is hurting.

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17. He asks for a second chance

He begs you to give him another chance. He says he is heartbroken over you and wants to make new memories with you. He wants you to forget all the bad things that happened between the two of you.

Basically, he will request a fresh start. Nobody wants a second chance with someone they don’t like. He is still in love with you and that’s why he wants to sort out all the past mistakes and reconcile.

These are some of the most common signs a guy is hurt after a breakup, even if he acts like he is totally fine. If you are wondering what to do next, scroll down and give it a quick read.

What Can You Do If He Is Hurting After The Breakup

If he is hurting after the breakup, consider the following steps to provide support and navigate the situation with empathy:

1. Communicate with him and express empathy

He is going through a lot of pain at the moment. It’s best to not cut off communication. Instead, be there for him. You’re the only one with whom he has shared his ups and downs over the past several years.

It’s not going to be easy to get used to the fact that you won’t be there for him anymore. So, create a non-judgmental environment where he can express his feelings. Also, be empathetic. Acknowledge his pain and express empathy.

Be empathetic to him
Image by drobotdean on Freepik

2. Avoid blame and judgment

His emotions are through the roof. Whatever you say or do will go against you. Blaming him will only make him feel worse about the situation. It’s best to refrain from assigning blame or passing judgment.

The focus should be on understanding emotions rather than dwelling on whose fault it was. This approach fosters an atmosphere of acceptance and mutual respect.

3. Practice self-care and draw boundaries

Remind him to take care of himself physically and emotionally. Most importantly, make a conscious effort to motivate yourself to do activities that promote well-being, such as exercise, hobbies, or spending time with supportive friends and family.

Lastly, it’s time to draw healthy boundaries a few days after the breakup. Don’t let him coerce you into reconciling if that’s not what you want. Have a strong social support system and ask your friends to check up on him once in a while.

Key Takeaways

  • Breakups are heart-wrenching. Men may have a hard time accepting the breakup
  • Some of the signs he is still hurt after a breakup include blocking you, trying to contact you, and stalking you on social media
  • He will even apologize for his mistakes and will request you to give him a second chance

Being in a situation where your ex-boyfriend is still hurting after a breakup requires a delicate balance of empathy, communication, and respect. Healing is a gradual process.

Don’t bicker or quarrel with him if he has a difficult time maintaining the boundaries you drew. Encourage him to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Answer all his closure questions.

Meanwhile, make emotional well-being your top priority, and don’t let him influence your decisions, judgments, and thinking patterns.