Why Do Guys Go Cold After Breakup?

You’re about to discover the psychology behind why guys go cold after a breakup.

As a life coach who has helped clients through various personal setbacks, I have developed a deep understanding of how humans tend to deal with them.  

So, whether you’re a woman wondering why her ex has turned cold or a man trying to understand his own reaction to a breakup, this is the guide for you.  

Why Do Guys Go Cold After Breakup
source: unsplash.com (Nathan McBride)

Why are breakups so hard?

Most of us understand that it’s difficult losing someone we cared about, but let me try and offer a logical explanation about why this is. 

When we are receiving affection from a romantic partner, our brain releases feel-good chemicals such as oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin. 

These are all powerful mood-enhancers, and it is possible to get addicted to the feelings these endorphins provide.

This ‘addiction’ could be considered a nerdy unromantic definition of ‘love’ :). 

The problem is: when these amazing highs are suddenly taken away, it can lead to a horrific nosedive in our overall levels of joy.

The more intensely we experience these feelings of love the harder it is to recover when they’re taken from us.

Indeed, it’s especially difficult when one considers their partner to be their only source of happiness, and a lot of men do fall into this trap. 

Breakups can be overwhelming

If you throw in other stressful circumstances that might occur – such as having to deal with betrayal, dividing belongings, cancelling future plans, the prospect of losing mutual friends – it begins to become clear why some people suffer deeply after a relationship ends. 

In such a scenario, these feel-good endorphins are often replaced by stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine.

That’s quite a swing in the balance of your body chemicals. 

What’s more, an overwhelming dose of stress hormones can cause physical ailments, including headaches, sore muscles and poor concentration.

So, when people say a broken heart hurts, they literally mean it.   

source: unsplash.com (Mark Pan4ratte)

Why do guys go cold after breakup? 

A common reason why guys become cold towards their ex is because they don’t want to experience more of this pain.

Communicating with an ex-partner only serves to remind them of their loss, which makes it even harder for them to move on. 

Another reason is that they don’t want their ex to see them in a vulnerable state.

Many believe that this will harm their chances of getting back together.

And, even if they don’t want their ex back, most men have too much pride to reveal how hurt they are. 

Of course, it’s possible that he has moved on and wants to spare you from the pain of remaining in conflict.

This is common if he was the one to end the relationship, especially if he has started seeing someone else.

In this case, it may be that he feels too guilty to communicate with you, perhaps because he feels he ended the relationship poorly. 

Related: Does My Ex Miss Me? 21 Clear Signs

Other reasons why men turn cold towards their ex-partners

There are many other reasons why men go cold after a breakup.

Here are some of the more common ones.  

  • Some guys go cold as a deliberate strategy to make their ex miss them.
    Utilizing the power of silence after break up is a well-documented technique to get your ex back if you still love them.  
  • Others do it due to resentment or as a form of punishment.
    Keep in mind that intensive love often turns into intense hatred after a relationship ends. 
  • Perhaps it’s because they foresee communications leading to confrontation and they have no interest in dealing with that. 
  • Finally, it might be that he harbors no hard feelings, but heard that communicating with your ex is a bad idea

There is no single answer to how a man deals with a breakup.

Guys behavior after breakup depends on their personality and what the relationship meant to them.

Still, hopefully this list will give you a clearer idea on what might be going on inside his head.  

Why Do Guys Go Cold After Breakup

How do guys actually feel after they break up with their girlfriend?

This depends on the guy and how he felt about the relationship.

Yet, no matter how good or bad he is at showing his emotions, it’s safe to say that he’ll be hurting for a while if he cared about you at all.

Sometimes, this pain manifests itself as completely shutting down all emotions.

Other times, a man will do anything he can to get his ex back.

Some guys will do all they can to put on a brave face and carry on as normal.

Perhaps the grieving process will involve all three of these steps – and more. 

For sure, there is no one way how men deal with breakups, but there are very few who are immune to the pain of a broken heart. 

How long does it take men to move on from a breakup?  

It depends on the guy, how he felt about his partner and how he feels about life after the relationship.

A man will find it much easier to move on if he engages with other things in his life that bring him happiness.

Good friends.

Cool hobbies.

A busy and exciting professional life.

Perhaps a new woman. 

However, even if a man is lucky enough to have all these things, it doesn’t necessarily mean he has stopped feeling the pain of a broken heart. 

He will though, eventually.

Time heals all wounds, and these things will do a lot to make time go faster for him.  

Cold After Breakup
source: unsplash.com (Nick Fewings)

How do you break up with someone lovingly?

If you’re reading this article before executing a breakup, perhaps you now would like to know how to do it in a compassionate way?

I think it’s great to be honest about your reasons if you can bear to do this – and there are ways to deliver this honest feedback compassionately. 

A great tip is to concentrate on how you feel.

Here is an example

Instead of telling him: 

“You’re disgusting, you have no personal hygiene, you stink.” 


“It’s really important for me to date someone with good hygiene, and I just don’t think you can meet my standards.”     

Perhaps you’re even caring enough to prepare this feedback in a ‘compliment sandwich’. 

“Even though we had some great times…” 


“But I really think you’d be a great partner for someone else.”

It may well be that he’ll still feel like dirt afterwards, but at least you’ll have done your bit to try and hamper the blow.

Communicating after a break-up

Please respect your ex’s wishes if they want to cease all communication with you. 

If you’re married or have kids, it might be essential to remain in contact to discuss how that’s going to work moving forward.  

But, unless you want to try and get back together, there is little other reason to remain in contact with your ex. It’s only going to hurt them more.    

Related: The INFINITE Power Of Silence After A Breakup

How to move on after your ex-partner goes cold?

The lack of feel-good endorphins that come from a loving relationship can hit both partners, regardless of who ended the relationship.

Even if it was you that ended it, it is possible that you still love them…   

Whatever side of the split you were on, the best way to avoid bitterness is to focus on other things that bring you happiness. 



New romances.

Fun new experiences.

These will all help you move on much quicker. 

Hopefully, you feel more aware of the reasons why guys go cold after a relationship ends…

Thanks for stopping by and reading my guide. Share this piece with a friend to help them too!

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.