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Out Of Relationship Mode, What Goes On In A Man’s Mind After A Breakup

in Breaking Up

I‘ve been more than just seeing a girl for about 2 years. You know the whole exclusive thing and all.

Well we recently broke up and now it’s time to move on.


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I feel like I’m in relationship mode. Like my “game” isn’t what it was. Like I lost the edge I had… and on top of that I feel like going out to enjoy a few casual affairs.

But doing that is much harder when you’re in relationship mode, isn’t it?

You start searching for women who are young, easy, but show no signs of wanting you back.

Maybe it’s the guilt – a self-fulfilled prophecy – because you feel bad having lost someone so close.

Almost like a mourning phase with the anger, regret, then acceptance thing.

You want to make it more real by giving the separation enough time to prove to your “nice” self that you gave it all.

I imagine if we suddenly end a long term relationship and then immediately sleep with a few women it sort-of degrades the past experience. De-valuing what it meant.

So if we hold off a little – give it time to settle in – it feels like it meant more.

It’s our little way of NOT admitting we were wrong AND how we DID try hard enough.

What I see, right now, as men we’re destined to stay in relationship mode for a period after a separation.

We become more nurturing to the women we meet destroying attraction and lowering our self-confidence just a little.

Then we get angry for doing those stupid things. Like someone stole the identity we had before the relationship…

And now we have to claw our way to back to who we were before the whole thing started.

With all that we find ourselves trying way too hard. We contact a few past girlfriends for anything we can get from them.

We end up making so many more mistakes and each one of them seems like an idiot thing to do – or like it means more now.

But it doesn’t – does it?

Who cares if we screw it up with a girl and you don’t find her in your bed within a night or a week.

Who cares if we say the wrong thing, act a little skittish, or run out of things to say.

Hey – men and women do that stuff all the time and putting pressure on ourselves is unfair.

I’ve found this whole “attraction game” at some point seem like we’re supposed to be these perfect little men – and then we become the ultimate man where women are beating down our doors the like they do with the “naturals.”

Here’s the truth:


In fact being perfect actually pushes women away. No woman with any real self-esteem wants to feel inferior to you or me.

The whole dominance – submissive thing is important but there’s a clear distinction between “inferior” and “submissive.”

One’s a female role – a sexual thing – a relationship side. The other is someone trying to achieve superiority over someone else by making them feel inferior.

What goes on in a man’s mind after a breakup, yes depends on the whole “why” or “what caused it” and is slightly based on the residual feelings left dangling close enough to emotionally grab again…

BUT based on my own experience our thoughts linger for some time. We search for our identity. We think about the bad, the good, and sometimes all the things we could’ve done different.

If we wait – we give it more value and it means more in the end.

If we don’t wait – we’re distracting ourselves and searching for an escape. Something to make any of the pain dissipate quicker and easier even if it’s just for a night.

In somewhat “normal”  breakups, if there is something like that, men, including me DO experience a loss and although we may show it differently what goes on in our mind is a break from “relationship” mode.

Peter White. Revealing the secret world of men because we’re not all that obvious. 😉 Stay in touchnewsletter, Why Do Guys Facebook – Twitter @peterwhite125Thank you for everything.

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6 comments… add one
  • Nivi

    It’s been 3 months since my ex broke up with me.
    He moved outisde the country for work and recently posted a cheek to cheek picture with a female colleague.

    It bothers me that even after we had such a cordial break up (no fights, yelling, name calling, stalking etc), he didn’t have the heart to understand that this action of his will hurt me even though we are not together anymore.

    Do guys ever think back? Do exes (like me) ever cross their minds?
    Do you think men every think of wanting to get back with someone they broke up with?
    Would like to know your thoughts, thanks 🙂

    • Peter White

      Hi Nivi,

      I would say, yes. Men think about getting back with their “ex” all too often. However I won’t say he’s thinking about getting back with you. That’s behind me and the information I have.

      Just like everyone else (including women) we’re all guilty of doing something which hurts someone. Sometimes we forget or don’t think things through.

      Yes, it sucks but it’s an unfortunate part of relationship break ups. You can’t assume he’s suffering less just because broke up with you either.

      I know it’s tough but you must realize he can not avoid living his new life because you might be watching or happen to see something which perhaps, you should avoid if the break up is still fresh in your mind.

      It seems to me that if something he does might hurt you, and you had a “casual” breakup, then I would definitely avoid putting yourself through it all by distancing yourself and allowing yourself to fully recover.

      I do hope you get over him soon because three months is a long to still be thinking he might change his mind.

      This may not be what you wanted to hear, but I do believe it’s what you needed to hear and I of course do wish you a speedy recovery,


  • Anne

    I dated my boyfriend for about 2 months. He was sort of new too it because his previous relationships were short and lasted like a day or a week. He told me I was his most serious one and apparently had fallen in love with me also. He felt like himself with me. every couple has fights and i guess he was scared I would leave him. We both told eachother we would never leave eachother no unless cheating was involved. I knew for a fact i would never leave because im not that type (unless he were to cheat) And one day bam he pulls the trigger and says he cant anymore. I dont know why he just made such a haste decision. We broke up and my old ex came back into my life and then my recent ex had found out and said he wanted me back and drove my other ex away. When he drove him away he tells me I love you but I still cant do this. It was pretty messed up that he drove my oppurtunity for love again ,away.(even tho it was sort of a rebound) He said he was afraid of committment. I gave up on it i fought alot for our relationship. He never would post om social media before and now all of a sudden he is and he seems all happy and stuff. He saw me once at a cafe with another guy and it had pissed him off and he left so mad. He confuses me, if he loves me why is he so scared to commit? Hes been distracting himself with his friends so much. I dont even think he even loved me. But i could see it in his eyes when he would tell me. And when we would fight he was always afraid i would leave him. so instead he pulled the trigger and said it so he wouldnt get hurt in the future. We were very serious and we have ALOT of mutual friends! And hes a very sentimental sweet human as well. He hasnt moved on to another girl either. He always said if we were to break up for any reason then he would never be able to move on or forget me.. :/ im doing the no contact rule rn so hopefully something good comes out of that. We both live so close to eachother and go to the same college! Ive already started working on myself as well.

    • Peter White

      Hello Anne,

      The truth is love and commitment, to a guy, are two different things. We can love without committing to a woman AND we can commit to a woman we don’t even think we love.

      Falling in love (for some men) is easy, committing is tough.

  • Kgaugelo

    Iv been dating this guy for 2 years and about a week ago we had a very big fight because i found out he was cheating on me and he blow up on me and turned the situation on me and said he doesnt want to be with me anymorw i guess it was to make me feel guilty but anyway, 2 days later he sends me a text apologising for disrespecting me n tells me he can’t live without me and told him i couldnt either. We continued to communicate for a few days and now we haven’t spoken in 3 days. Im now confused as to does he want to work it thru or he still wants or if he just needs space. I dont understand whats going on. Please help

    • Peter White

      Wanting to work things out and actually doing it are two different things BUT neither one changes the facts behind his performance. 1. He blamed the cheating on you. 2. He says he can’t live without you but did everything to assure that would not happen by cheating on you.

      I’m going to say yes he “sort of” wants to work it out with you BUT most of that comes from the fact the he now understands he can get away with it. Might not be a good thing there.

      Guys cheat for lots of reasons. That I will not deny. I’m not privy to his reasons, only his actions.

      I would suggest HE needs to set a clear example here by getting the necessary REAL help to prove to you his effort is real. That means outside relationship help for him first and then for both of you. Doing this on your own probably won’t solve anything.

      Beyond that IF that’s not happening give him all the space YOU need, not him.

      All the best,

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