Monday, April 27, 2009

Build a Bridge and Get Over It: Why Do Men Take Longer to Recover from a Break-Up?

We’ve all heard this excuse before; he isn’t interested in committing to a relationship because his last girlfriend “broke his heart” and he isn’t entirely over her. In guy-speak, this means:

a) he wants to hook-up
b) he wants to explore his options
c) he doesn’t LIKE you like you and is trying to let you down nicely
d) a girl did break his heart, but it was ages ago and he really should be over it by now
e) all of the above

Heads up; letter e) seems to be the popular choice.

In the rare cases where D) is the correct answer I try and understand what went so terribly wrong. I try to imagine what kind of horrible human being turned this otherwise decent guy into damaged goods. She must be a pathological liar that eats hearts for breakfast, otherwise why all the fuss?

Recently I have witnessed many confident men turn into walking train-wrecks after a break-up becomes official. What does a walking train-wreck look like? A lot like an alcoholic on the rag who decides to take up stalking as a new and exciting hobby. Break-ups are certainly difficult but I can’t help feeling a little bitter. When women go through this we cry to our girlfriends, camp out on the couch with a pint of ice cream, and a couple of weeks later we GET OVER IT. We move on.

That's because women are resilient creatures. We have to be, because more often than not we allow ourselves to be emotionally vulnerable only to have that trust broken time and again. We could either wallow in it or learn how to deal.

So we learn how to deal, keep going, and show off our battle scars proudly. In contrast, men will generally let themselves emotionally commit only if they really like you. At this point they are in it to win it. In his eyes, the relationship becomes sacred, like we should feel "privileged" to have earned his trust. If this privileged relationship ends it shakes his entire world concept. Women change? Women lie? Of course they do. Sucks being on the other side, doesn’t it?

So begins the era of the walking train-wreck. Unfortunately, men always want to fix things. They are convinced that with enough time and effort they can fix anything, but some relationships are just not meant to be. It doesn’t mean that there wasn’t love there or the relationship wasn’t special, it just wasn’t supposed to last forever. Men need to call a spade a spade and know when it’s over.

So gentlemen, quit moping and start wearing those relationship scars proudly. Remember, chicks dig scars.

And unless she still has your favorite sweatshirt, stalking is NEVER acceptable behavior.

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