Self, Heartbreak

How To Get Over Someone You Love, Based On The Most Painful Heartbreaks Of 11 Men

Photo: Unsplash: Keagan Henman
How To Get Over Someone You Love, Based On Men's Most Painful Heartbreaks

When women go through a painful heartbreak, the last person many of us think to turn to for advice on how to get over someone is pretty much any man they know. But while lots of men want women to believe they're a invincible knights in shining armor, don't be fooled by the tough outer shell society conditions them to wear.

Heartbreak is something everyone deals with, no matter what your gender.

I've been through it several times, as I'm sure everyone around me has at some point. And while it's the worst for all of us, everyone deals with it differently.


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Some people cry at home alone for days or even weeks, believing they are doomed and will never again find love over the entire course of the rest of their life. Others seems to brush it off, pretending as if the traumatic event never happened.

Not everyone wants to admit that they're sad, because society so often tells us that being so is a sign of weakness. We want everyone we know to think that we're upbeat and happy, because it's just too hard to talk about the things that make us sad.

I've been around several of my friends who complain that their boyfriends won't show their emotions.

People seem to have this preconceived assumption that men don't have feelings, but that's only because men are taught from a young age that they need to be strong, stoic, and confident. Our expectations teach boys not to be emotional, so we can't very well expect them to magically know how to express their deeply locked away feelings once they become men.

Of course, this then can become a big issue in relationships. Men don't want to have their masculinity questioned for caring deeply about something or someone, or worse, for being hurt emotionally.

It's pretty obvious that men and women differ in the way they express their feelings, but this doesn't mean that guys don't experience the same sadness and heartache we do when they lose someone they love.

In one thread on Reddit AskMen, a redditor asked, "What was your worst heartbreak and how did you deal with it?"

Here are answers from 11 men explaining how to get over someone you love, based on their own most painful stories of heartbreak.

1. Getting into therapy.

"About a year and a half ago the girl I was certain I was going to marry left me because she wanted to get engaged damn now and I wasn't ready yet. I told her I loved her and that I wanted to marry and spend the rest of my life with her but I felt like we hadn't been dating long enough and that I wasn't ready. Turns out she was more interested in getting married than she was in marrying me.

I pretty much sank into a depression. I didn't want to do anything except sleep. When I couldn't sleep I would just aimlessly wander around my neighborhood because just walking was something that I could do without thinking about anything. I completely lost my appetite. It was physically difficult for me to chew and swallow food, similar to how when you're really full and you can't eat another bite. This went on for days.

After about 3 and a half days of no eating I sort of started to panic and went to the ER. A social worker at the hospital diagnosed me with 'Single Episode Depression' and gave me a list of therapists in my local area to contact. I started seeing a therapist once a week and slowly things began to get better. Eventually I started seeing him every other week. Then once a month. I began dating again a little under a year after the breakup. I don't miss her anymore, but I still do think about her occasionally."


2. Finding the upside.

"I latched onto [my first girlfriend] WAY harder than I should have, because I still kind of thought she'd be the only chance I'd ever have. There was never any real potential there. She was never a good long-term fit for me, and that's easy to see in retrospect. But at the time, I was like, 'Okay, I've had a taste of dating/romance and now I never will again, and that might be even worse than never having a taste.'

So, yeah, I was pretty devastated. More so than I should have been. It's actually kind of embarrassing to look back on it now. I want to tell my past self, 'Chin up, dude, this is barely even a speed bump on life's journey. You have much higher highs and lower lows ahead of you, and you're going to do just fine.'

The upside of the whole experience is that my illusions about being hopelessly unattractive to women were successfully, permanently shattered, and I started doing okay for myself in the dating game for the first time in my life. A second girl came along almost immediately, and that was a much better experience in every possible way."


3. Shifting focus.

"Girlfriend of 5 years broke up with me without giving me a reason after we got back from a 2 week vacation in Alaska... Came to the conclusion that she was cheating on me. To deal with it, I just focused on myself and added time and pressure. I'm more fit than I've ever been and more career has been going well.

To deal with it I just focused on myself and added time and pressure. I’m more fit than I’ve ever been and my career has been going well. I saw a counselor in the beginning but don’t go anymore. Sometimes I still get anxiety when a random thought of her crosses my mind. I’m past her but I’m still working on my trust issues and being open to dating other women again. I sill don’t know if I genuinely don’t find anyone attractive enough or I’m just subconsciously blocking them because of trust issues.

All in all I’m in a much better place now but there is still room for improvement."


4. Working towards self-improvement.

"I'm currently going through a [heartbreak] and my best way to cope with it is to stay away from home and cut alcohol out completely. I'm not going to use Tinder, I'm going to work through this by bettering myself and working extra jobs to be busy and go back to school in the fall."


5. Remaining self-aware.

"I was hurt several months ago and chose to just work on myself instead of wallowing or doing things I would regret."


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6. Just being a mess for a little while.

"I made the difficult decision of walking away from my girlfriend of 4.5 years so she could find someone who wanted to have kids, because I didn't. I drank heavily, joined five dating sites and went on a rampage [meeting other women]."


7. Getting back to the gym and talking to friends.

"The most recent girl I dated. I over-invested in her and ignored the red flags that she was still insecure and messed up by her last ex. We were a really good match but she was still hesitant about everything and I overlooked the signs...

I got back into my gym routine to keep my confidence about myself up that I wasn't the issue. Went on a few dates just to genuinely enjoy conversation with someone that wasn't already a friend. Got my emotions out to any friend that would listen so that I didn't bottle them up. Downloaded dating apps to look at pretty girls again.

I'm content being by myself again. Finally deleted the apps and I'm just going about my life again."



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8. Crying, meeting new friends and working out.

"Cheated on and divorced by wife of 10 years. Forced myself not to beg for her to come back. Quit drinking any alcohol entirely for a few months. Cried. Moved. Made an entirely new group of friends. Worked out a lot. It took awhile but eventually it just stopped bothering me."


9. Hugging it out with the pillows.

"Ending a 6.5 year relationship. I initially moved out, but almost immediately realized what an idiot I was and realized what I was doing that was hurting our relationship. Thankfully, she was willing to try and fix us. While separated, I began to work on myself. Addressing the issues she had with me, losing weight, etc.

She wanted to talk with me one day, so I went over. She said that she wants to end it because I wasn't working improving... I got up and walked out. A huge part of me regrets not talking it out, fighting for her. Then again, looking back, I regret a lot I did/didn't do that got us to this point.

I doubt she'd ever want me back, is it stupid to ask? I'm having trouble moving on, otherwise. I have to sleep on my back. If I sleep in my side, I think of laying next to her and wrapping my arms around her. Sometimes I'll take one of my pillows and hug that out."


10. Moving forward no matter what.

"The worst heartbreak was one I had close to a year and a half ago. Truthfully, I'm still dealing with it. There are days when the lack of companionship during really happy or sad moments is incredibly noticeable. While I haven't found another girlfriend (nor did I go out on a rebound phase during the early stages), I'm advancing in my career, have driven and flown to see my family and friends much more than I did during the period I was in a relationship, and have made new friends by way of joining a community theater."


11. Red wine, art and music.

"I'm going through a heartbreak right now and honestly what's going to get me through the next couple of weeks is red wine, writing, drawing, and listening to Kanye West's '808's & Heartbreak' on repeat."


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Hannah Kern is an avid writer with a passion for delving deep into interpersonal relationships. When she isn’t researching new information for YourTango, you can find her making frappucinos at Starbucks or planning her next escape to the mountains.For more, follow her on Instagram.