7 Stages of a Breakup For The Dumper: How Guys Deal With Breakups post image

7 Stages of a Breakup For The Dumper: How Guys Deal With Breakups

Wondering what happens in a guy’s mind after he dumps you? Of course, you are! You want to know if he regrets it, if he misses you, and if he wants you back. You just want to know if he’s going through any stages of grief, as you certainly are. 

The panic and heartbreak after a breakup is intense and we don’t think rationally when we’re feeling these heavy and tumultuous emotions. It almost feels like a death of sorts. Operating from this place of pure emotions can cause you to do things that you later regret.

And chances are, he’s a lot less “fine” than he seems. After a breakup, there are certain stages every dumper will inevitably go through, and yes, some of those include pain and regret. They may not happen in the exact same order, but most dumpers will hit them all and I’m going to break them all down for you. 

Before we get to the stages, I just want you to be aware that he most likely didn’t do this on a whim. He was probably thinking about it for a while, and you won’t be able to change his mind with one conversation. 

No amount of begging, pleading, or trying to rationalize with him will flip a switch and convince him not to go through with the breakup.

If you’ve followed any of my other ex-back content, you know how important it is that you follow the no contact rule

When you go through a period of no contact, you will see how this affects the guy and creates dumper’s regret. And that is when he will go through the following stages, which will make him more likely to want to get back together. 

1. Relief

I know reading this probably feels like a jab in the ribs. “What do you mean he’s relieved to not be with me anymore? Was I that horrible?!”

No! The breakup happened because something was broken. At first, he’s going to feel relief because the relationship was probably on a decline for a while, and that never feels good to deal with. Anyone would feel relief to no longer be in an emotional whirlpool.

Here’s something really important to keep in mind, in the relief stage he will end up icing you out if you continue to make contact trying to fix things and trying to prove that you’re meant to be together.

You have to give him space in this stage. The initial no contact is one of the most critical stages of a breakup. Without this, the rest of the process has a very slim chance of working.

MORE: 9 Reasons the No Contact Rule Always Works

2. Living it up

Ok, I know you don’t really want to hear about this step either but it’s necessary to fully understand the stages of a breakup that a guy goes through when he ends a relationship.

After a long-term relationship, he’s probably all hyped up to go out and live the single life now that he’s “free.” Now, before you start freaking out, you have to understand that it is a big mistake — HUGE — to interrupt this process.

It doesn’t matter what you see on social media or hear reports of him going out with friends and flirting with other women. Any reaction from you is not going to be a positive in your favor. Being negative, making jealous remarks about the women, or otherwise reacting to this is just not a good look and doesn’t serve a purpose.

MORE: Hidden Signs Your Ex Still Loves You (Even if He Says He Doesn’t)

3. Second Thoughts

Now we’re getting to a place where you’re paying attention because you want to know how to turn this whole thing around.

This is the point in the stages of dumper regret where he starts wondering if he made a mistake by breaking up with you. This happens especially because he hasn’t heard from you like he expected he would. 

Even if he seemed crystal clear in not wanting to be together, there’s always some percentage of doubt in the back of his mind. Whether it’s 1% or 50%, that feeling of doubt he’s having is your friend in this process.

A quickfire way to make that doubt disappear is interrupting the process by badgering him, showing up where he’s at “by accident,” or otherwise inserting yourself into his life trying to get him back. Instead, continue with the no-contact and let things ride out. This is the perfect time to re-orient and focus on yourself and stop making it all about him. 

MORE: 12 Guaranteed Signs You Can Get Your Ex Back

Being “free” doesn’t seem as good as he imagined it would be. Yeah, it was fun for a while but he thought you would be more broken up over the relationship ending. Now that the loneliness is setting in, he’s starting to wonder if he gave up a good thing in exchange for an illusion.

He isn’t 100% sure of his decision and now that doubt is starting to creep up and slowly win over his thoughts even as he tries to live up the single life.

4. Sadness

This is the point at which sadness sets in for the dumper. Now this is where the dumper and dumper go in different directions. The dumper usually starts off in the sadness stage and as time goes on, she builds herself back up and starts to move on. 

On the flip side, the dumper starts out happy and relieved and having a grand old time being single. Then the sadness stage starts to hit them, making them second guess their choice to end the relationship. The dumper and dumpee stages are complete opposite trajectories.

Now he’s starting to get nostalgic and remember all the good times. We tend to romanticize all of the good points while the bad memories and difficult times kind of fade away into the background.

At this point he’s beginning to realize he doesn’t have that partner in crime any more, someone who “gets” him and is there to share in life experiences with. It feels bad and lonely even though he was just telling himself he’s having a great time being single.

MORE: Unmistakable Signs Your Ex Misses You 

A breakup is still a loss, even for the person doing the dumping. They gave up a relationship in hopes of a better experience being single but now the absence of their partner is really hitting them hard.

Again, this can only happen if you follow the no contact rule. You have to be truly gone out of his life for him to fully miss you and realize the weight of your presence that’s no longer a part of his life.

5. Idealization

Now he’s full on remembering the good times and replaying all of the best memories in his head. A “Greatest Hits” of your relationship, if you will.

If he’s dating someone new, whether he realizes it or not, he will start to compare them to you and nothing can compete with the idealized memory of someone else. He’s sizing her up against all of the best memories he has of his time with you.

Once the dust settles on the breakup and time has gone by, he will forget about the reasons for the breakup, or all of a sudden the things that seemed like such big deals at the time won’t matter now.

MORE: Exactly How to Get Your Ex Back 

He’s slowly starting to enter the dumper’s remorse stage and fearing that he might have made a huge mistake.

6. Curiosity (checking to see if he still has you as an option)

If you’ve been following the no contact rule and focusing on yourself and your own life, he’s really going to be curious now and wondering what you’re up to and why he hasn’t heard from you.

This is also assuming that you haven’t gone crazy on your social media and posted all kinds of revenge photos to get back at him like pictures of you with new guys, bikini shots, things that scream “Omg. Look at all the fun I’m having! Don’t you regret losing me?!”

You should know by this point I mean it when I say no contact is the best contact. You’re not fooling anyone by posting thirst traps, everyone knows the intention behind your action. 

MORE: How Guys Deal With Breakups

Also, keep some mystery if you’re posting on social media. You don’t have to share everything. Remember, you want him to be curious about how you’re handling the breakup. He doesn’t need to know that you joined a spin class and you’re doing a weekend getaway with your friends and that you are spending all of your free time now volunteering to fill the gap he left.

At this stage, he will also be curious if he even has a chance with you. He’s wondering if you’ve completely moved on and have locked him out of your life for good or if he still has a chance. 

7. He Reaches Out

I just want to make a point here that I strongly recommend following the no-contact rule for 30 days. There are many reasons for this so you can explore this further by getting our e-book easyexback.com. Make sure you check that out so you understand the importance of the 30 days.

With that said, if he ends up reaching out to you before that, just ignore him or say, “I really need some space right now and would appreciate it if you wouldn’t contact me.” That’s it. No explanation or attitude or anything.

Here are some very important things to understand during this stage of a breakup for the dumper. First of all, he might be checking in to see if he still “has you” as an option. Just because he reaches out doesn’t immediately mean that he wants to get back together right at this moment, so don’t set yourself up for disappointment by making that assumption.

If you assure him that he does still “have you” (that is, you convey that you desperately want to get back together with him), you will undo all of the emotional evolution that got him to this point.

He will understand that he has you as a fallback option and there’s no real rush or need to get back together with you. He can date around and if that doesn’t work out, you’ll be waiting in the wings for him with open arms.

MORE: How to Get Your Ex Back

In this situation, you want to be in a strong position to say, “Listen, the breakup was hard but I’ve accepted that I’m single now.” Or say it in whatever words feel authentic to you but stick with that simple message.

Let him convince you to get back into a relationship together. Remember, he’s the one who said to you he doesn’t want to be with you anymore, so he’s going to have to do the work now to correct that action he chose to take. He’s got to work for it. Don’t just hand it to him on a silver platter the moment he shows interest again!

If you decide that you do want to get back together, make sure you don’t settle for being just friends or fall into a hookup only dynamic. Don’t make the mistake of settling for friendship and trying to use that as a cover to get close to him again and convince him to take the next step back into a full relationship.

You’re not looking for friends. You’re looking for a relationship. So don’t settle for less than that if he comes crawling back and trying to win you over by putting conditions on things.

And do not hook up with him. I mean this as a pattern of you guys getting together, getting into bed, having fun, and everything feels like old times but you aren’t doing it with a solid commitment of a relationship.

At no point is any of this meant to be mean, vindictive, angry, or resentful. You can be kind and pleasant while sticking to your boundaries and rules. As best you can, it’s better to listen and give him space than to try and force something. Again, let him come to you.

In theory, it might sound like he wants you to fall back into his arms and profess your love but it’s not reality. It’s not how you get him to respect your boundaries, show up fully, and work towards winning you over.

When he sees that you’re not running back to him and you’re presenting yourself as single, it shows him that if he wants to get back together with you it will require effort and a deliberate choice on his part.

MORE: Advice On Getting Your Ex Back

It’s becoming crystal clear that if he doesn’t make a move while you’re in this single and confident mindset, he could possibly lose you to another man if he doesn’t step up. This is a key ingredient to getting your ex back.

If you’re wondering when does the breakup hit the dumper, it’s about this point he truly realizes how he could lose you forever. I’m not saying to deliberately make it hard for him, but you definitely shouldn’t be trying to do things to make it easy on him either.

And there you have it. The full list of stages of how guys deal with breakups when they are the dumper and how to use it to your advantage if you want to turn the tables on your ex and get him back.

Now if you’re serious about getting him back and making it work this time around, there is a lot more you need to know so read this too: Do You Want Your Ex Boyfriend Back? Use This to Get Him Back…

Take The Quiz: Can You Get Your Ex Back Or Is He Gone Forever?

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Written by Sabrina Alexis

I’m Sabrina Alexis, the co-founder, and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing relatable, insightful articles that help people understand relationship dynamics and how to get the love they want. I have a degree in psychology and have spent the last 10 years interviewing countless men and reading and studying as much as I can to better understand human psychology and how men operate. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Instagram.

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I made the mistake messaging him, the day after the break up asking why etc (stupidly sent loads of messages in reponse) we stopped talking for two weeks then I caved and messaged him again. He was like I’ve made my decsion, this isn’t going to work anymore. Then removed me off all socials. Have I f**** it? Is this it? Have I lost him forever? I know I should of waited the pain was unbearable where as he seems fine.
I am working on myself. I’ve truly lost him now

Reply March 17, 2021, 7:34 am


This is always good advice. And I NEED it
Thank You

Reply February 13, 2021, 8:28 am


Keep the good work

Reply February 13, 2021, 7:50 am

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