Rebounding from a Breakup: Why Men Do it Best -- and How Women Can Learn

One doesn’t have to have a Y chromosome to survive a breakup well, but men do tend to rebound better than women. It’s not because they don’t care. According to Professor of Sociology Robin Simon, of Florida State University, men may actually suffer more mental anguish from romantic heartbreak. However, they are often strategically better at moving forward and thriving after a breakup, while women remain devastated, nursing their wounds. 

Wired with brains that put pragmatism above affection, the most savvy men use the following tactics to get over their broken hearts after love has said goodbye. 

1. Detach and play.

When in emotional trauma, women pine while men play. That’s according to research by Hawaii University psychologists who report that men respond to the stress of breakup by detaching emotionally and engaging in activities, while women “ruminate and reflect.” The male approach lessens pain while the female approach amplifies it, researchers say. 

Detaching sounds cold and cruel, but in reality, it’s a survival mechanism. If you’re not into manly distractions like sports, beer pong, video games and trash talking with the fellows, find a few extracurricular activities to keep you occupied. Lukewarm interests won’t do. Diversions that awaken your passions works best. Love often manifests when you’re not looking for it. 

Detachment doesn’t mean you shouldn’t process the heartache, psychologists say. It simply means processing won’t be a 24-7 obsession.

2. Keep love options close.

We’re not advocating cheating. However, there’s a reason why men often have a few doting girls perennially in the friend zone. Many men constantly scout for who can make a great future girlfriend or wife, keeping the best candidates close but platonic. When a breakup occurs, these friends are often the first in line for movies, crying sessions, emotional confessions or simply hanging out. Next thing you know, love blooms. 

3. Maintain your swagger.

There’s nothing like a romantic breakup to sap confidence. Only failures and losers get rejected and abandoned in love, right? Wrong. That defeatist attitude kills any chance of rebounding. A 2009 University of Missouri graduate study found that men had better self-esteem and as a result generally performed better in life after a breakup than did women. The opposite sex is attracted to confidence, strength and vibrancy, not melancholy, insecurity and sulking. The most successful rebounders know to show no fear or brokenness. Find your inner spark again. Find your grin, your biggest laugh and your greatest ego. 

4. Date for the fun and the art of it.

Many women turn down dates after a breakup, believing no one can really measure up to what they had. After a while, they may become closed off, overly cautious and non-trusting of the opposite sex. Men who successfully rebound don’t do this. Being overly selective and reluctant when it comes to dating is a good way to end up alone. At worst, such behavior is a good way to become rusty and awkward when it comes to the arts of mating and attraction. Think of dating as show time. Practice opening up again and trusting. Sharpen your ability to flirt, charm and regale with stories. Experiment with your gifts of attraction. Even if the next person who asks you out doesn’t fit your type, why not indulge? It you don’t find love, maybe you’ll remind yourself and others how fascinating and entertaining you can be.

5. Kill that fantasy of finding the ultimate soul mate. 

Do you believe there is one soul mate out there for you? Do you search and long for “The One.” Men don’t. They often believe there are hundreds of soul mates available and that “the one” is a romantic illusion, fed by movies and fairytales. That makes breakups more tolerable. Why cry over the last, when the next is waiting? The number one reason men rebound better is that they believe new love is always possible, while women believe in a dearth of love. Women often subconsciously believe in a love supply so meager they must hold on. Let go and be happy. Open your arms to a million possibilities. Love is not found; it’s created. 

Got that women? Listening to sad songs on your MP3 player and watching old, sappy romantic movies until your eyeballs bleed are not effective tactics to rebound. With one of the above tactics, however, you might be on your way to new romance with a guy who is even better than the last.

This was a Guest Post by Brenda Panin, a web content writer for Australian Institute of Change. In her free time she loves to blog about fashion, home improvement and home decoration.

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