He Said/She Said: How Guys Handle Life After a Break Up

[He Said/She Said is a series designed to help all our wonderfully confused readers figure out what he’s really thinking. So every week we’ll be throwing out a topic for debate…and unlike our fave dude, these guys won’t be sugar coating anything for you. But before you jump into their heads (which seriously will make you feel like you need to shower), check out what we think!]

The aftermath of my most recent break-up was all at once depressing and pathetic. Like, beyond the most depressing and pathetic Lifetime movie that you’ve ever seen. (And I can say that with certainty since I watched every single one on a particularly dark Saturday-somehow-turned-Monday-and-I-haven’t-left-my-bed-in-36-hours moment of darkness.) It was depressing because everything I did and saw and watched and thought about reminded me of him. Pathetic because I spent days on end crying over my computer as Dave Matthews blasted from the speakers, stalking his FB page and the FB pages of every single girl who showed up in his pics/commented on his Wall;  and constantly returned home from class or work or a run, certain he’d be waiting for me on my porch with a dozen hydrangeas in his arms and a sheepish “I’m so, so sorry” look on his face. (Did I mention I’d make excuses to leave the house just so I could come home and discover him there? Yeah, I blame it on all those Lifetime movies.)

Of course, that never happened. Actually, despite the fact that my campus had gotten teeny tiny by the 2nd semester of my senior year, I actually never ran into the kid again. Like, not once. (I have a feeling our mutual friends worked together to make sure of this…) Which should be a great thing; you can’t move on when you’re constantly moving backwards, right?

Only it wasn’t. Because not seeing him meant that I had no idea what he was up to. How he was handling this whole mega-break up. If he was at home crying into a box of Fruity Pebbles (our cereal), throwing things in a fit of rage whenever anything reminded him of me (which should mean broken everything), or just sorta going about his daily business….only now, with the enthusiasm of Eeyore.

So, of course, I had to fill in all those blanks myself, based on what I’ve seen from other guys I know/things I’ve heard/Lifetime movies. And maybe I’m a bit off here, but guys handle break-ups quite differently from us ladies. And in a way that I’m not quite sure I’ll ever understand. Granted, I may be totally wrong in my assumptions, but from my perspective, and that of many ladies I know, guys handle break-ups in one of 5 ways:

They Hook Up. Of course, this has less to do with the fact that they are over us and more to do with the fact that there is no easier way to mend a shattered ego than with a little peen in the vajeen. And they just need a body, any body, next to them in their empty bed/futon. And they need to puff up their chests and prove to their bros that they’re not some pussy who cries over a girl when there are so many girls “just begging for it” out there.


They Hate Us. Maybe it’s from all the jeering from their boys (“That bitch was not worth your time, brah”), but eventually they start to hate us. And curse anything that reminds them of us. And boil over at the mere mention of our names. So they call us new names. Mean names. Names that would make their mothers shudder. And talk sh*t about us to everyone they know…even that random skank they slept with a week after we split.

They Do Guy Things. Video games. Sporting events. Poker. Basketball at the gym. Push ups at the gym. Lots and lots of working out. Anything not to have to be alone and feel feelings. Because feeling things is weak and they aren’t weak. They’re dudes. Dudes who are strong and independent and don’t let some stupid break-up get them down.

They drink. A lot. Because they can (and maybe because they’re trying to numb the pain?). They’re single now. That’s what single guys do. They drink beer and take Jager shots and do Irish Car Bombs. They pee in public. They smoke a lot of pot. They make really horrible decisions.

They Hook Up. Seriously, when was the last time a guy you knew didn’t bang some random chick (who is always 3 notches down on the “attractive” scale from his ex) 5 minutes after a break-up? It’s like the only cure for the break-up blues is a few humps and grunts…

Is this what really happens? Who knows. Well, guys know, and I’m sure our resident male will clue us in to the reality shortly. But first, let’s see what he thinks we ladies do in the days following a split, see how off base he is in his assumptions. Something tells me there will be some mention of naked pillow fights….

Find out what he thinks girls do after a break up right here!



  1. Kendra Haden says:

    I want to know what guys actually do after a breakup. What about all those v-day, b-day, any-day gifts they bought us that we gave back to them after the breakup. I always wondered …. do they keep that stuff? What happens to the old photos and what-not? Such a lingering question that I've never had to the nerve to ask an ex.

  2. lily says:

    "stalking his FB page and the FB pages of every single girl who showed up in his pics/commented on his Wall; "– haha Glad im not the only one!!

  3. eve donegan says:

    Wondering how to get over a break-up? Check out these "5 steps to get over your ex" on my blog OR send me relationship questions of your own to

  4. IndianaJonny says:

    My dear, you know full well it depends an awful lot on the manner in which people….'seperate'.

    In a word, we 'miss' you. Or a least any lad worth his salt does – and no amount of sombre French music or restless nights changes that. But we recognise that at our age, people often 'outgrow' one another from time to time. We don't tend to feel regret. Guilt? Yes, we feel that; but regret? "Non, je ne regrette rien".

    Oh and Kendra, we DO keep the gifts…and the letters. They are often picked with much more astute insight that our respective gifts, so, having wonderfully understood the practical nature of most boys, they stay; useful and memorable in equal measure.

  5. OIn says:

    Man, unless this is meant to be glib, I'm really sorry you have such a one-dimensional view of men. I'm not sure if you just happen to hang out with the douchiest, shallowest 4% of college guys or if your unawareness of what can be a surprisingly nuanced nature of male sadness and grief comes from something else, perhaps a deeply-rooted defense mechanism. The third possibility is that you're simply a lazy writer who refuses to analyze the other sex beyond sitcom/movie/humor site tropes. In any case, best of luck figuring it all out.

    -UM alum, '09

  6. […] Last week we deliberated over what we think women do after we break up with them – it turns out that we assume that they turn into venomous, drug-addled nymphomaniacs.  We’d feel guilty about this, but it turns out that they haven’t got very high expectations of us either . […]

  7. LavenderMenace says:

    "even that random skank they slept with a week after we split" — Ugh, oh college candy writers…. please grow up already and stop using language that demeans all of us. I believe Tina Fey said it best in mean girls, "Calling each other sluts and whores just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.” Why bemoan the fact that an ex would call you "Mean Names. Names that would maker their mother shudder" when you are just as willing to call another women the same ugly, sexist words? Being broken up with does not give you the right to call other people names — no matter what their gender is or how "skanky" you think they may be.

  8. Do you really want to know what happens to the other side and how they feel? Check out weekly tidbits on

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  9. Alvin says:

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  10. jake says:

    I just broke up with my girlfriend 3 days ago and immediately had animalistic like instincts to hook up immediately… I'm on a destructive path of fuckign now! its been 3 days and I have hoked up with 4 girls

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