Why Don’t Men Get Brokenhearted?

Ask Demetria: You'd be surprised by how much a guy can be hurt by a bad breakup.

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However, men get incredibly hurt when a relationship in which they are emotionally invested ends. In fact, a 2010 study by the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that breakups take a greater toll on men than on women. The study also found that while women were more likely to be depressed after a breakup, men were more likely to turn to substance abuse.

Just because men don’t engage in the stereotypical activities that are assigned to heartbroken women in films — like consuming vast quantities of ice cream, crying incessantly or talking about their ex ad nauseam — doesn’t mean they don’t feel anything. Again, they just handle it differently — or, even better, they don’t do it in front of you.

I’m privileged to have several close platonic male friends who have been around for more than a decade. And unfortunately, I’ve been a listening ear for more than a few who were going through what I like to think of as post-traumatic breakup disorder.

I haven’t yet had one cry on my shoulder, but it wouldn’t surprise me if, in quiet hours when they got to thinking after drinking, some tears were shed. And yes, post-breakup, guys do talk about their previous relationship and ex to an annoying extent, but they tend to share their confidences with close friends and relatives, not necessarily anyone listening, as some women are prone to do. Never seen a man binge on desserts, but I’ve seen more than a few react by consuming more tequila shots or cognac than seemed humanly possible — not that it’s any better. Just different.

Try to remember this the next time you assume guys don’t have the same feelings you do.

Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor to The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at askdemetria@theroot.com.