Your girlfriend broke up with you. You may be confused about what comes next. This article will serve as a guide to what you can expect and how to use this breakup to turn things around.
To start with, you need to understand that breakups can be painful. Depending on your personality and your attachment style, this breakup may be one of the most painful events in your life.
But like they say, what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.
You are going to survive this breakup.
No, scratch that.
You are not only going to survive this breakup, you are going to become a better man because of it.
How can I be so sure?
Because I have seen thousands of men do it. This website gets a lot of men from all over the world and a lot of them reach out to me months after their breakup sharing stories of their growth, their newfound confidence, their acceptance, and their self-improvement.
What To Expect After Your Girlfriend Breaks Up With You?
When your girlfriend leaves you, you are bound to go through breakup grief. If you’ve not heard about the stages of grief, they go something like
These stages don’t necessarily come in the same order as above. You may feel depressed after your girlfriend broke up with you and realize how angry you are at her after two weeks of breakup.
It comes differently for different men. But these are just the surface level of emotions you are going to feel. We are going to dig into this deeper. And we are going to explore the most common thought patterns after a breakup and how to tackle them.
1. How Come She Doesn’t Want Me Anymore? – The Feeling of Rejection
You thought that things were going great. Sure, you neglected her a little bit. But she said she loved you. But then, she broke your heart like a piece of china. She dumped you.
And then you start getting all these thoughts in your head about yourself.
“How could she break up with me?”
“Does she not love me anymore?
“Am I not good enough for her?”
Rejection hurts. It takes a toll on your self esteem. Especially if you were proud of yourself for dating your girlfriend.
Did you ever think about how your girlfriend is amazing and you are lucky to be with her?
Well, her leaving you kind of feels like all the luck in your life just slipped through your fingers. Like it just evaporated all of a sudden.
And the rejection feels like you never really deserved that luck in the first place.
And this feeling then leads to a cesspool of self-deprecating thoughts. Thoughts such as,
- “What if she never loved me?”
- “What if no one will ever love me?”
- “Am I just doomed to be alone?”
- “I will never find someone who can love me again.”
- “I screwed up. I really screwed up.”
- “How can I screw up the one good thing in my life?”
And while these thoughts may seem logical at the moment, they are a result of the breakup grief. They are a result of the anger, the sadness, and the confusion that come after someone you loved leaves you.
Take a deep breath.
You are not alone in going through this. Millions of men all over the world have gone through this sadness. They have probably thought the same things as you are thinking right now.
And they have come out the other side stronger than before.
They became better simply because they had a desire to become better men.
You screwed up? Learn to make better choices so you don’t screw up again.
You pushed her away? Understand yourself, accept yourself, and learn to minimize the behaviors that pushed her away.
You won’t find love again? Realize that it’s just your low self-esteem talking. Focus on building the courage and confidence to find love again.
A lot of men have realized that they deserve a loving and amazing relationship. They deserve a girlfriend who is loyal. They deserve a girlfriend who loves and cares for them as much as they love and care for her.
I want you to know that you also deserve a loving and amazing relationship no matter what your sad and depressed mind may be saying right now.
2. Who am I if not a loving and caring boyfriend? -The Loss Of Identity
A lot of men tend to lose themselves in a relationship. Heck, it’s one of the most common things after a breakup for both men and women. It’s especially prevalent in people with an anxious attachment style. (according to this study)
If you find yourself extremely anxious after the breakup, you are feeling overwhelmed about what you should do or you are very worried about your ex moving on from you; then you likely have an anxious attachment style.
That means when you feel your relationship is threatened, you react by fighting for the relationship. A lot of men with an anxious attachment style also have anger management problems.
If you feel like you have lost your identity after the breakup, you may end up thinking things like,
- “My life is meaningless without my (now ex) girlfriend.”
- “I have to get her back, no matter what.”
- “What will my friends and family think about me when they find out?”
- “They always thought that she was too good for me. This will prove them right.”
A lot of your identity is tied up around your girlfriend and how your social circle perceives you or your relationship.
For some men, it’s a positive perception. For example, some of my clients say things like,
“All of our friends and family thought we were the perfect couple. They can’t believe we broke up.”
And some of my client’s friends and family have a negative perception about the relationship. They say things like,
“Her friends thought I was not good enough for her. My family always treated her like they knew we were gonna break up. I don’t know if there is any hope for us in the future.”
In either case, you are determining your value from the relationship and tying your identity to it. You either feel good about yourself because everyone thought you had a great relationship. Or you feel bad about yourself because everyone thought you aren’t capable of a great relationship.
A good way to counter this thinking is to focus on things you have going on for you other than your relationship.
Remind yourself of your achievements in your life and career.
Focus on how far you’ve come in life.
Focus on the hardships you have overcome.
Remind yourself, “I’ve gone through a lot and I can get through this.”
And if you can’t think of anything, then start thinking of things you want to achieve and make a plan to reach that goal.
3. Why Did She Breakup With Me? What Did I Do Wrong? – The Confusion
A lot of men go through the confusion of why the breakup happened. There could be a lot of things to consider over here based on your particular situation.
But I can give you the most common reasons that my clients realize after analyzing their relationship post breakup.
Here are the most common reasons for girlfriends leaving a relationship, as realized by many men after reflecting on their past relationships.
1. You Neglected The Relationship
The no. 1 thing that most men realize after a breakup of a long term relationship is how they were neglecting their (now ex) girlfriends. Notice that this reason is most common in long term relationships. My clients say that they neglected their girlfriends needs and were complacent for a long time. They thought everything was okay until one day it wasn’t.
They regret not paying enough attention to what their girlfriends wanted. They would often say that they feel selfish and stupid for not doing what their girlfriends were expecting from them.
2. You were needy or desperate
Your girlfriend may have dumped you because of your neediness or desperation. A lot of men get anxious and needy when they feel that their girlfriends might leave them. Some guys just get anxious and act needy or desperate when they feel their girlfriend is upset with them.
They do things to win approval from their girl. Things like buying them a lot of gifts, getting them flowers just so they stop being upset with them.
Don’t get me wrong, the act of buying gifts or flowers for your girlfriend isn’t needy and it doesn’t push your ex away. It’s your intentions behind getting her gifts or flowers.
Did you just do these things because you were expecting something in return?
For example, did you think to yourself, “I am a nice guy. I buy her flowers every day. I make a lot of sacrifices for her. She won’t leave me for someone else.”
And then, she leaves you for someone else.
The neediness usually comes from low self-esteem and an inability to be truly honest with yourself. It comes from a fear of always wanting to please others (especially women) at the cost of your own well-being and your own desires. Men with such low self-esteem often have difficulty setting boundaries.
There is a lot to think about if you relate to this section. A good starting point would be to read the book No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover. Here’s a YouTube video explaining the concepts popularized by Dr. Robert Glover.
3. You (or both of you) sucked at communication
One of the most common reasons for breakups all over the world is poor communication. One of the most recognized names in relationship research, John Gottman, said he could predict whether a couple would breakup or make it last, just by watching how they fight or argue.
A lot of men realize that they sucked at communicating with their (now ex) girlfriends when they reflect on their past relationships.
Good communication means listening to her, showing empathy, and sharing your feelings without attacking or putting her down.
Can you say that you were good at communicating with her?
On the other hand, if you get defensive, overly critical, or just shut down; then you sucked at communication. And it probably contributed to your girlfriend dumping you.
A lot of guys suck at communicating because they are just not comfortable being vulnerable and totally honest with their girlfriends. They are not good at being empathic and really listening. They always try to find a solution to the problem and some guys even get angry when they can’t solve it.
4. There was infidelity in the relationship
One of the most obvious reasons for your girlfriend leaving you could be you cheating on her or her cheating on you.
If you cheated on her, and she found out, then you already know where you screwed up. But there are still a lot of things you need to think through to become a better man.
If she cheated on you or if she left you for someone else, it sucks, but you can still use this as a lesson in your life and become a better man.
Remember, life may knock you down every once in a while. But you gotta get up and fight again.
5. Your relationship was long distance
Long distance relationships are tough to maintain. And it’s no surprise that a lot of guys find that their girlfriends leave them when they can’t see each other for a long period of time.
There are a lot of people who make long distance work. But the thing about long distance relationships is that it magnifies every other issue in the relationship.
If you neglect her, she feels way more neglected in a long distance relationship than she would if she could hug you at the end of the day.
If you are needy, you are probably going to act more needy and desperate when you can’t see her and are insecure about her cheating on you.
If you suck at communication, it’s even harder to resolve a fight over texts.
You get the point. Even if your relationship was long distance, you can learn a lot about yourself from the way you handled everything.
6. She wanted to explore her options (or the grass is greener syndrome.)
A lot of women tend to leave a relationship because they want to explore their options. This is very common in young couples. Especially high school sweethearts when they go off to college. They see this new world and people from all over the world and they can’t help but want to explore their options.
Again, it sucks that it happened to you, but you can still use this as a lesson in your life. Heal from the breakup and focus on becoming a better man. Explore your options as well. If it’s meant to be, she will come back.
7. You both just grew apart
The last reason is a bit hard to digest. Sometimes, a relationship just wasn’t meant to be. Your girlfriend may have realized that you just weren’t the man for her. Sure, some of your actions may have contributed to that decision. Your neglect, insecurity, lack of communication, or infidelity.
But ultimately, she just realized that she just didn’t want you as her man. And it’s okay. She just wasn’t the right person for you. But that doesn’t mean that no girl will ever love you again. In fact, the only way to find the right girl for you is by letting go of the wrong girls. This breakup will just bring you one step closer to finding the girl of your dreams.
4. What if She Comes Back? How Can I Win Her Back? – The Hope Of Getting Her Back
The only comfort, for a lot of men going through a tough breakup, is the hope of their girlfriend returning.
The thought of getting her back can calm your nerves. Note that this is the denial or bargaining stage of the breakup grief.
A part of you would like to believe that the breakup is temporary. That she will eventually return on her own. You will start looking for signs that she still loves you, that she misses you, or that she wants you back.
You will devise detailed plans on winning her back. A clear road map to calm your nerves.
“Okay, I am going to call her exactly 30 days from now. At the precise time when she is missing me the most. And then I am going to charm her back. Before she could figure out what’s happening, we will be back together.”; you will say to yourself as you pat yourself on the back for cracking the code of female psychology.
But then, the doubt will creep in.
What if she moves on?
What if she doesn’t pick up my call?
What if she never replies to my text?
My Dear Reader,
You have fallen for the most common trap that most men find themselves in after a breakup. The trap of control. Men try to control the outcome of the breakup because it gives them a sense of relief.
But in reality, the only thing you can control is your own healing and your actions. You can’t control whether or not she will miss you, whether or not she will come back, and whether or not she will move on.
Yes, you can do things to increase your chances. But that’s about it. I am not going to put you off from the idea of getting her back, because the truth is, a lot of people do get back together in a healthy and loving relationship. But the correct way to do that is by focusing on self-improvement and building strong foundations for your new relationship if you get back together.
In other words, the best way to get her back is by becoming a better man.
5. How Can She Do This To Me? – The Blame
At some point after the breakup, you are going to feel anger towards your ex girlfriend. You will feel angry about how she could do this to you. You will blame her for how she was unfair to you. You will resent her for not trying to save the relationship.
Some men may even feel used. Like she just used you for what she wanted and left you as if you meant nothing to her.
This anger and the blame is natural. In fact, there’s an argument that anger can be healthy for you.
When you feel this way, don’t try to suppress your anger. One study found that suppressing anger can lead to a lot of health issues.
Instead, let it out in a healthy way. Use your anger to become a better man.
Go to the gym and use your emotions to have the best workout of your life. Write down everything you feel. Go on a rant in front of your friends.
When you feel less angry, try to focus on the things you could have controlled and how you could be better for your next relationship.
If she used you, why didn’t you set clear boundaries?
If she was unfair to you, why didn’t you have the courage to stand up for yourself?
If she wasn’t communicating with you clearly, what could you have done to communicate better?
I am not asking you to shift the blame from her. In fact, you should always remember the things that she did wrong (unless you get back together and she actively works on her issues). But you should also use those injustices as a lesson to become a better man.
6. This Breakup Feels Like Freedom Again – The Relief
And then comes the relief. You can date again. Remember the pretty cashier who always smiles at you? You can now ask her out. You are single. And that opens up a world of opportunities for you.
A lot of men reach this stage immediately after a breakup. They feel so relieved that they could date again, that they don’t even go through breakup grief until a month or two after the breakup.
They feel like a kid in a candy shop. That is until they realize these candies are expensive. And you can’t really have any candy you want. You need to spend a lot of time, money, and energy to just get one candy. And then they look around and realize there are a million other kids who want the same candy as them.
If you didn’t get the analogy, the dating world isn’t exactly great for a lot of men. In fact, a lot of men have reported being more lonely than ever.
The relief, for most men, does not last long. Mostly because their expectations of a single life are unrealistic. While being single comes with freedom and excitement, it also comes with challenges, responsibilities and loneliness.
No wonder married men live healthier and longer lives than single men. (Here’s a study supporting this claim).
Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t enjoy your single life. But you should also use this time to focus on your interrelationship skills, communication skills, and learn to be more vulnerable.
While you enjoy the dating aspect of being single, you should also use this time to rebuild your friendships, make new friends, and build a social circle that you can rely on despite your relationship status.
What To Do When Your Girlfriend Breaks Up With You? How To Cope, Heal and Grow
You should follow these tips even if you still love her, even if she left you for someone else, and even if you are desperate to win her back.
My clients have found that the best way to cope with a breakup is to practice self-care, self-improvement, cutting contact with your ex, and focusing on becoming a better man.
As you try to pick yourself up after your girlfriend broke up with you, the following tips will help guide you on the right path.
1. Self Improvement Is Your Salvation – Focus on becoming a better man.
The No. 1 thing that men find most helpful after their girlfriends leave them is self-improvement.
Some men start on the path of self-improvement because they want to win their ex girlfriends back.
Some men start on the path of self-improvement because they want to move on from their ex.
In either case, the act of focusing on self-improvement is what helps them feel in control. It gives them a sense of direction to follow. It gives them something to do rather than just sit and sulk in their misery. It makes them feel like themselves. It makes them feel like a better man.
Yes, your girlfriend broke your heart and dumped you. She may have even left you for someone else. But that doesn’t define you.
What happens to you doesn’t define you.
What you do is what defines you. Your actions define you.
What you choose to do now, will define you.
And the best thing to do (according to the thousands of men I have come across as a coach) is to focus on becoming a better man.
Look yourself in the mirror and say the following out loud,
“My girlfriend left me and it’s okay. I am going to use this time to become a better man.”
“I am going to dedicate the next six months of my life to be better than what I was before.”
How do you do that?
You do that by becoming better physically, mentally and emotionally.
Start doing things that help you physically, such as gym, sports, yoga, running, marathon, triathlon, or anything else you always wanted to do.
Start doing this that help you become stronger mentally and emotionally, such as meditation, journaling, therapy, etc.
Learn new skills that will help you achieve more in life and make you better at relationships.
The most important skill for men that helps them in every aspect of their lives is communication. Mainly because a lot of men suck at being empathetic, listening and communicating their needs properly.
I recommend the book Non-Violent Communication by Marshal B. Rosenberg for anyone who is looking to improve their communication skills.
2. No Contact Rule is a Necessity – Cut off Contact With Her
The second most important thing that you need to do is cut off contact with your ex girlfriend. This act is called the no contact rule. I know a part of you might be terrified of doing it. You may say to yourself,
“What if she forgets about me if I don’t text her?”
“Maybe if we just stay in touch she will realize the breakup is a mistake.”
“I feel so restless if I don’t speak to her. How can I ever stop texting her.”
You may feel a strong urge to reach out to her. Just hearing her voice. Just a text message from her that asks you how you are. But the truth is, your mind is kind of addicted to your ex. And as long as you are addicted to her, you are making it difficult for both of you to move on.
For the uninitiated, the no contact rule is a popular thing to do after a breakup. You essentially cut off all contact with your ex and try your best to heal from the breakup and grow as a person.
I’ve written about the no contact rule in detail. It’s essentially the cornerstone of breakup recovery and you should embrace it.
3. Social Support is your Best Friend – Don’t ignore your friends
Human beings are social creatures and if you don’t spend time with your friends and family, you are bound to go back to the unhealthy and self-deprecating thought patterns.
When you spend time with your friends and family, you are giving yourself actual proof that people love you and care about you. You are giving yourself proof that you are not alone with this world. That you have people you can rely on and who will support you.
And that proof can feel like a lifeline in times of need. When you are sad, depressed or alone; a phone conversation with an old friend can really lift your spirits up.
4. Mental Health Is Your Priority – Always Be Kind To Yourself
You should always keep a check on your mental health. Always. This is no longer the age where men are supposed to suck it up and get through it. Suppressing your emotions and ignoring your mental health can cause long-term issues in your psychological, social and physical health.
I know the thought of going to a therapist scares a lot of men, but being vulnerable and speaking about your emotions in detail can lead to a lot of growth. And that growth can in turn to lead to a great relationship that you truly deserve. (Sometimes that relationship is with your ex.)
You should particularly seek a therapist if,
- You are extremely anxious, depressed or sad.
- The breakup grief is affecting your physical health, your day to day life or your career.
- You can’t stop obsessive thoughts about your ex.
- You feel you have extremely low self-esteem or you feel you will never find love again.
In addition to going to a therapist, you can also look into hiring a breakup coach to help you navigate this breakup or subscribe to our free email course that helps you heal from the breakup and maximize your chance of reconciliation.
5. Your Next Relationship is the Proof That You are Lovable – Start Dating Again
I know I’ve told you a few times that you deserve an amazing relationship. You deserve a girlfriend who is head over heels over you. A girlfriend who is loyal, who understands you, who cares for you and who wants the best for you.
But the only way you will truly believe it is when you actually see it happening. This is why there is no better cure for breakups than a new healthy relationship.
So when you think you are ready, you should start dating again. You should ask out that pretty cashier who smiles at you. You should go do that activity that you always wanted to do and if you see a cute girl, you should spark up a conversation with her.
Put yourself out there. Eventually, you are going to find someone who likes you enough to be with you. And with all the growth and self-improvement you’ve been doing, your new girlfriend is going to love you more than your ex ever did.
Stories Of Men After Their Girlfriends Broke Up With Them
As I said earlier, a lot of men come to this website and share their stories about how they healed from a breakup and became better men. Here are a few of those stories that will hopefully motivate you into starting on the journey of self-improvement. [Note: Some names are changed or hidden because they requested anonymity]
“When I first came to your website, I was in a state of panic and was looking for ways to get my ex girlfriend back. I followed your guide and did no contact for a while. As you suggested, I used the time to work on myself. I learned self-acceptance.
Eventually, I became okay with moving on and letting my ex-girlfriend go.
It’s a year later and I am now in a new healthy relationship. I got in shape and in love with my physique, I got the job I always dreamed of having, have a new sense of confidence, and have a new and different perspective on relationships. I was able to move on and self-improve myself. I love the girl I’m with now.I have realize there is always someone else out there for you. You just have to look.”– M. W.
“By really adhering to the course, I realized that I had more work to do on myself.
I did try to get back with my ex. But I came to understand two things.
First, I was enamored with the IDEA of a partner and the HOPE she gave me. So it wasn’t about her as an individual.
Second, I am worth more and deserve better than the way she treated me. If someone now treated me the way she did then, they would be out of my life for good. The best advice I could give would be this. Start or continue no contact. And, put all of your energy into improving yourself FOR YOU. Not for your ex. You deserve to be happy, healthy, and successful. When you are those things, the right person will come, or come back.”– B. H
“I learned that giving people time and space really does heal and renew perspective. I’ve since found another partner and am happily married.”– Nadi
“First, you saved me from a enormous depression, as I was going through dark times at that time and your website gave me hope and a path to follow. Second, back in 2016, when I first discovered your website, I was so desperate, I ended up writing my whole story on you forum (I don’t know if it is still active but you had a forum at the time) , and some other guy replied to me on that forum, willing to help out as he was going through a similar story. 7 years later we are still friend and we helped each other grow , learn and discover new knowledge, books and stuff about personal development. I may have lost an ex, but thanks to you I gained a lot more about myself and a genuine friendship.”– Gaetan NICODEME
While this may not be the happiest you have ever been, it could be one of the most important moment in your life. Use this time to become a better man and focus on self-improvement. Here are a few resources to help you get started.
The No Contact Rule – It’s one of the most important aspect of breakup recovery and self-improvement after a breakup. Once you stop contact with your ex, you have the time to focus on other more important things, such as the well-being of the person reading this article.
A Healthy Guide To Win Her Back Based on Self-Improvement – If you can’t let go of the idea of winning her back, a good way would be to use that energy to focus on self-improvement. This guide will help you do just that.
EBP Basics Email Course – This course helps men heal from the breakup even if they still love their ex girlfriend. You can subscribe by taking a quiz.