It sure seems that way sometimes. What do you think?
By Sunil Ramsamooj for BounceBack.com
In simple terms, both yes and no.
After a relationship breakup, in most cases the woman and the man will cope with their heartbreak and the situation in different ways. While people are all different, and each individual will handle situations in his/her own way, there are definite stigmas and stereotypes about how men and women handle breakups.
The biggest stereotype? Men get over a breakup much faster than women. Or, at least, they're supposed to. They are expected to stay strong, get out on the social scene, and essentially, find a new girl (as quickly as possible) who wants to show him a good time after hearing how his poor heart has been broken. In the end, he is "allowed" by society to go out and approach women right after a breakup, because he's a guy, and asking out girls is what most guys do. Most guys will go with this flow, follow their friends' advice, and get right back out there. It may actually help speed up the healing process, but it could just be a nice band-aid that suppresses real feelings that should be addressed.
Women, on the other hand, are faced with the common stereotype of being "that girl" that does nothing after a breakup but sit on the couch, watching Lifetime movies with a pint of ice cream in hand and bawling at the mention of her ex's name. Did society create the stereotype? Or, are women perpetuating it? Society has dictated that it's the norm, so many women will give in, devouring excess calories (and their sense of mind) versus bucking the system and getting back out on the dating scene. Eventually, a heartbroken woman's friends will take her out, they'll have a little girl talk, and she'll move on - hopefully. When she does try to talk to a guy, there's the very real possibility he might get freaked out by her "just got my heartbroken baggage" and run away. Women see the heartbroken man as a poor hurt soul needing rescue; men see the heartbroken woman as something to steer clear of.
So from the outside view, yes, guys are pre-programmed to get over a breakup faster, because they are expected to always land on their feet and keep running. As for the 'no' mentioned from the start, it comes from the inside. From the outside, anyone can get over someone easily. You can go out, date a million people after your last relationship and people will think you're over your ex. From the inside, guys are just as broken up as girls most of the time. It's just a little harder to show it.
The issue here is that both parties, given a mutual breakup, should get over each other at their own pace, and not be limited by the myths and stereotypes put upon them by society. Women shouldn't have to worry about "How is it going to look if I ask a guy out right after my breakup" because men surely don't worry about that. Men just get a pat on the back and a reassuring smile from the world. What it comes down to is age old traditions that bind us to what we're 'supposed' to do. Men should be every bit as vulnerable after a breakup because they have the right to be. Women shouldn't feel inhibited to go out and grab the next guy they connect with. The bottom line is, no matter what we really think or feel, society and stereotypes still obviously play a major role in our dating (and post-breakup) lives.
Sunil is a native New Yorker. Growing up on a steady diet of John Hughes films helped to shape the way he sees relationships and the world at large.
BounceBack is helping people find happiness after heartbreak from a relationship breakup or divorce. It's a place to tell your story, get advice from experts, and share what you've learned with others in similar situations. Heartbreaks happen to everyone. And we believe everyone has the potential to bounce back to life and move forward. www.bounceback.com