Why Do Guys Go Cold after a Breakup? 15 top Reasons

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A guy goes cold standing in front of window

Breakups can be really hard. After you stop dating someone, sometimes guys act differently. They stop calling and texting altogether. It’s like they went cold turkey on you! Why does this happen? 

There are a few big reasons. Guys have complicated feelings after breakups. They might feel sad, hurt, angry, or relieved. Some feel awkward around their ex.

Others dive into school, work, or hobbies to keep busy. Some start dating a new person fast so they don’t have to think about their ex.  

This can be super confusing for the girl who just got broken up with. One day they were your boyfriend, the next day it’s like you don’t exist anymore! That’s not fair.

This article will talk about the main reasons guys go cold after breakups. Knowing why it happens might help it feel less confusing. By learning what guys are thinking, their silence might hurt a little bit less.

So without any delay, let’s dive into it.

15 Reasons Why Guys Go Cold after a Breakup

A close-up shot of man's face  who went cold after a breakup

1). They’re Hurt and Sad

Breakups make most guys feel hurt and sad on the inside. They might have loved their girlfriend and pictured being with her forever.

Or maybe the breakup was a big surprise and they weren’t ready for the relationship to end. Not being with that person anymore can feel awful.

When people are very sad, sometimes they don’t want to talk to anyone. Seeing or texting their ex can make them think about how much they miss them.

Or it reminds them of the pain of getting broken up with. Staying quiet and keeping to themselves helps guys feel less sad for a little while.

It doesn’t heal their sadness completely. But talking to their ex often makes the hurt feel fresh and overwhelming again.  

So hurt guys go cold and avoid their exes as a way to numb some of the intense sadness for a short period.

They hope ignoring it will reduce some of the ouch so they can cope with losing the relationship.

Of course, real healing takes a lot longer. Going cold turkey is often the first stage of guys mourning what they lost.

2). They Need time to Get Over the Relationship

Breakups are very hard on guys emotionally. They need time to adjust to all the changes and move on from their ex.

What does “move on” mean? It means coping with the hurt and getting over the girl so they can be okay on their own. But “getting over a person” takes a while. Guys don’t heal overnight.  

To get over a relationship, guys need space away from their exes. Out of sight can help get girls out of their minds…at least a little bit!

Seeing or texting an ex reminds guys of both good memories and the pain of the breakup. Some guys don’t have the emotional strength yet to handle those reminders gracefully.

It reopens their wounds. Distancing themselves for a while helps numb their feelings until they have had time to process the breakup and heal. 

Getting over a broken heart is easier to do without contact with an ex bringing up old feelings.

Going cold turkey buys guys the necessary space and time to adjust to single life again. Slowly memories with their ex will hurt less.

While guys never forget important relationships entirely, one day fond memories can be looked at with acceptance, not heartache. But to get to that point, no contact from their ex is key.

3. They Want to Avoid their Ex

After a painful breakup, sometimes guys just don’t want to talk to or see their ex anymore. Seeing her might bring up too many unhappy memories of the relationship ending.

Hearing her voice may remind him of how much he misses her. It might be too hard for him to even look at photos of all the fun times they had together.  

Also, he might worry that if he hangs out with or texts his ex, she’ll think they could get back together someday.

He doesn’t want to give her false hope if he knows for sure the relationship is over for good. Or he may be trying to force himself to move on so he avoids contact that feels too friendly or couple. 

Whatever the reasons, desperately wanting to avoid an ex is common after breakups. Ignoring calls, texts, and invitations from her helps create distance between a guy and the girl who dumped him.

Physical and emotional space helps him cope with his hurt as well as avoid sending mixed signals about getting back together down the road.

Going cold turkey might seem harsh, but it can feel like the only way some guys can mend their broken hearts.

woman holding hands with person facing ocean

4). They Don’t Know What to Say

Breakups can make talking to an ex awkward for guys. What kinds of things are okay to say versus off-limits?

Figuring that out is tough. Responding takes extra thought to avoid leading the ex-girlfriend on.

Guys aren’t sure how to strike the right tone. They might worry they’ll say something that gives their ex hope about rekindling the relationship.

Or that they’ll be unintentionally hurt if they try acting normal as friends. Figuring out appropriate post-breakup chitchat feels uncomfortable and confusing.

Rather than stressing over each text or call with an ex, many guys decide it’s easier to just stop communication.

They feel too uncertain navigating strained small talk or responding to emotional texts from their former partner. By avoiding the conversation altogether, guys don’t have to decode complex social cues. 

Cutting off contact removes the burden of deciphering what’s okay to discuss post-breakup. This abrupt change leaves ex-girlfriends confused and hurt.

But for many guys, it feels simpler than stumbling through painful “How have you been?” exchanges in the aftermath of getting dumped.

5). They’re Angry at their Ex

Breakups often make guys feel really mad. They may be angry at their ex-girlfriend for hurting them by ending the relationship.

Or they might be mad at themselves for doing something that caused the breakup. 

Anger comes from feeling disappointed, sad, or resentful about how things turned out. When people are very upset, they sometimes say mean things without thinking first.

Other times, angry folks want to be alone so they can cool off and get their frustration under control. 

After a bad breakup, talking to an ex can reignite the guy’s hurt and anger all over again. So to manage their mad feelings, some guys cut off contact altogether.

Ignoring their ex helps them avoid saying regretful things they can’t take back. Staying away also keeps them from getting into shouting matches about who is to blame. 

Going cold turkey gives angry guys space to work through their resentment without making things worse.

It helps them react less and heal faster. Even though it frustrates their exes, avoiding contact can lead to calmer, less bitter feelings down the road for the angry guy.

6). They Need Space to Heal  

Breakups are very emotionally painful for guys. Afterward, talking to their exes can rub salt in the wound. It reopens hurt all over again.  

To help mend their broken hearts, guys require a lot of space from their exes. Seeing them is just too hard. It reminds the guy of everything they have lost.

By cutting off contact completely, guys give themselves the separation they desperately need. Being cold helps numb their pain so they can slowly begin to heal. 

Eventually, they can move forward. But first, they need time alone, with zero interaction with their ex, to process the loss. Going cold allows guys space to glue their shattered hearts back together.

7). They throw themselves into Work or Hobbies

couple sitting at table with documents laying on it

After getting dumped, some guys try to distract themselves with other things besides their ex. They channel their energy into school, sports, guy time with friends, or extra shifts at work.  

Keeping super busy helps guys avoid thinking about the breakup all day long. Focusing hard on other parts of life can numb the sadness for a while.

When they collapse into bed exhausted each night, guys don’t have much brain power left to miss their exes.

Throwing themselves into non-relationship activities can help speed up getting over a breakup. Work, school, hobbies, and friends fill the void left behind. Eventually getting immersed in their own lives again helps guys move forward. 

Of course, guys still feel waves of pain, anger, or loneliness about the split sometimes. But staying busy minimizes this by distracting their minds.

Over time, they rely less on distractions as their hearts mend. Packing their schedules first with other priorities gives them the space guys need to process everything at their own pace.

8). They Don’t Want to Seem Needy or Desperate

After a breakup, a guy might worry about looking “needy” if he keeps texting his ex. What does “needy” mean?

Well, it’s when you feel desperate for someone else’s attention and time. People who are needy text or call WAY too often hoping to hear back.  

Guys don’t want their exes to think they are pathetic and lonely without them. Or that they’re begging them to get back together.

Seeming desperate makes guys feel embarrassed and weak. So they try acting like the split doesn’t bother them at all. 

Part of acting “cool” is going cold turkey on communication. Not texting their exes helps guys seem mysterious and busy with their own lives.

Even if they secretly DO miss their ex a ton, guys work hard not to show it on the outside. Ignoring exes allows guys to pretend to move on fast, even if it takes way longer to heal on the inside.

Pulling away makes guys appear strong rather than clingy. It helps them save face and rebuild their pride after getting dumped.

Going cold turkey might hurt their exes temporarily. But in their minds, it helps guys regain power and confidence during a vulnerable time.

9). They Start Dating Someone Else Right Away

After a breakup, some guys jump into a new relationship fast. Starting to date a new girl almost instantly can confuse their ex. Why do guys rush to find new girlfriends so soon?  

Well, a new crush or romance provides a pleasant distraction from the pain. The excitement and joy of love help guys temporarily forget how sad they feel about their recent breakup.

It gives their bruised egos a boost when someone else wants to date them, even right after getting dumped.  

Also, new relationships speed up guys moving on from their exes. Hanging out with, texting flirty messages to, and kissing someone else combats loneliness.

Forming an emotional bond with a new partner slowly nudges out feelings for an ex. It almost “replaces” the hole in their hearts faster.

Of course, guys don’t forget meaningful past relationships that quickly. But dating again right away kickstarts easing heartbreak.

Jumping headfirst into new love and intimacy gives guys cope space to start letting go of their exes. Even if it seems rushed or harsh from the outside!

10). They Feel Awkward and Uncomfortable

Breakups can make everyday conversations feel awkward between exes. Guys who were once super close with a girlfriend can get shy, nervous, or quiet around her after splitting up. 

Simple things like running into each other in the halls at school or sending memes back and forth may seem impossible all of a sudden.

Joking together feels strained when there’s no more relationship comfort to rely on. Both people second guess everything that’s okay to share now versus topics that are off-limits heartbreak territory.

Sparking easy, relaxed talks gets turned upside down after a breakup too. Guys dread even little run-ins becoming long, weepy discussions about the failed relationship.

Or they worry about accidentally sending flirty vibes that might confuse their ex. Treading cautiously to avoid uncomfortable moments requires a lot of emotional energy.

Rather than constantly stressing about stilted interactions, many newly single guys hit the brakes on communication altogether.

Cutting off an ex spares them both the uneasy tension that sticks around after couples split up.

Removing opportunities for awkward encounters helps guys breathe easier while coping with unwelcome changes.

11). They Blame their Ex for the Breakup

A guy who blames his Ex for the breakup having argue on street

When relationships end, guys often feel mad at their ex-girlfriends. They may think she is the one to blame for causing the breakup.

Guys can make a big list in their heads of everything their ex did wrong that led to the split.

For example, maybe she started a bunch of fights over little things. Or she stopped putting effort into their dates.

She could have betrayed his trust by sharing private stuff with her friends. There are lots of ways a guy might pin the breakup on his ex’s bad behavior.

Blaming their exes makes guys more frustrated and angry at them. Being mad keeps painful sadness at bay for a little bit.

But seeing their ex often brings up both blame AND grief. This turbulent mix makes for some fiery conversations!  

That’s why a lot of guys cut off contact completely post-breakup. Ignoring their ex helps guys avoid taking out hurt and anger on her through petty fights.

Going cold turkey provides space for the blame to fade a bit over time. Eventually, guys move towards healing rather than staying bitter at an ex. Silence can help with this.

12). They Were Not as Invested in the Relationship

Sometimes guys aren’t as attached to a relationship as their girlfriends are. They may not have been taking it as seriously.

Or they could have been unsure if his feelings were strong enough to stay together forever. 

So when the breakup happens, the guy might not feel as upset or heartbroken. After all, he hadn’t felt 100% passionately in love and committed to his girlfriend. Ending things doesn’t rock his world like it does for her.

Since he’s not as emotionally wounded, the guy doesn’t have an intense urge to talk through what went wrong.

Rehashing the breakup over and over keeps painful wounds fresh that this guy never had. He focuses his energy on moving forward instead of mourning a relationship that wasn’t rock solid to him anyhow.

The guy’s indifference might come across as cold-hearted to his more invested ex. But he handles breakups differently because he hadn’t pledged his whole heart already in the first place.

For him, breaking up feels more matter-of-fact. Going cold turkey quickly if the connection wasn’t deep is natural when a guy’s emotions aren’t so entangled.

13). They’re Relieved the Relationship is Over

Sometimes guys are secretly glad when a relationship ends. Being someone’s boyfriend may have felt like too much pressure. Or he decided he didn’t share enough interests with his girlfriend anymore. 

Whatever his reasons, a guy might feel relief instead of sadness when breaking up. Ending an unhappy partnership lifts a crushing weight off his shoulders.

A guy who feels free again has no desire to analyze the relationship with his ex. Staying in touch only traps him back in a situation he just escaped!

Cutting things off quickly allows him to carry on without the burden of strained talks. Relief lets him walk away cold turkey without looking back.

14). They Met Someone New Leading Up to the Breakup

Sometimes guys start falling for a new girl while they are still dating their girlfriend. Meeting somebody they connect with better might lead them to break up with their current partner.

For example, what if a guy meets his girlfriend’s friend and feels immediate chemistry? He might realize his current relationship has run its course.

But now visions of a fresh start with someone new dance in his head instead.  

When guys leave a relationship because another option already excites them, goodbyes often come quickly.

Their minds are already looking ahead to new possibilities! Responding to frequent texts or long heart-to-hearts has little appeal. They don’t desire closure when a promising new crush awaits.

Cutting ties abruptly can seem cold to guys’ exes who still feel attached. But meeting somebody new before breaking up explains why guys might eagerly race into the future.

For them, a clean break allows the thrill of potential rather than the sting of past heartache.

15). They Want to Seem tough and Unfazed

After getting dumped, some guys work extra hard to seem “tough.” What does it mean to be tough?

Well, it’s looking strong enough to handle problems without getting upset. Guys want their exes to think they have thick skin that breakups bounce right off of.

Acting all sad and mopey does the opposite – it makes guys appear sensitive and bothered. Calling their exes crying about mistakes or texting 47 times shows weakness, not rugged manliness. 

That’s why guys who strive to seem tough go cold turkey after getting broken up. Ignoring exes helps give off the image their feelings are entirely under control.

On the inside guys might feel shattered. But not letting on protects their egos and self-confidence during a low moment. 

Putting up a detached, chilled-out front mask the sting to ex-girlfriends and friends. And over time, resistance gets reinforced as feelings scab over.

Eventually, carefree confidence replaces vulnerability for guys focused on seeming tough, unaffected, and emotion-proof.

What Should I Do When a Guy Cools Off After a Breakup?

1). Give Him Space

It can be really hard when your ex-boyfriend stops talking to you after a breakup. You might want to ask him a ton of questions about why he’s ignoring you. Or beg him to chat with you like old times. 

But the best thing to do is give him lots of space right now. As this article explained, guys go cold for many reasons after splitting up. Getting distance helps them manage overwhelming feelings and start healing.  

So try your absolute best not to text, call, message, or even bump into your ex for a while. It will be sad and confusing at first when his silence continues.

However, respecting his need for time alone can help him process the breakup in a healthier way long term. 

And over time, you’ll begin to feel better too. Focus on hanging out with friends, new hobbies, and self-care while he copes through coldness.

Trust that showing patience now allows the fruitless chase for his attention to fade, making room for your happiness. Be strong!

2). Don’t Beg or Pressure Him After the Breakup

It’s totally normal to feel desperate and sad after a breakup with someone you still care about.

You might want to ask your ex to explain why he broke up with you or convince him not to leave the relationship. 

Even though it’s painful, try your best not to beg or pressure him during this time apart. Texting over and over saying “I’ll change” or “I can’t live without you” will most likely push him away instead of bringing him back.

Pestering your ex or making dramatic claims about needing him won’t help either. He’ll feel trapped and think you don’t respect his choice to end things.

Getting in fights or stirring up drama between your friends won’t make this difficult time any easier.

Instead, give your ex the chance to miss you. If you spend this space crying to him and causing a scene, he probably won’t have a chance to realize what he gave up.

Back off for some weeks and work on being your best self. Let him see you moving forward in a calm, mature way.

That has a better chance of making him reconsider his feelings than acting desperate ever could.

3). Let Your Feelings Out Healthily

It’s normal to feel sad, angry, or confused when your ex goes stone-cold silent after a breakup. His sudden distance might not make sense or seem fair.

Finding healthy ways to process hard emotions will help you cope better on tough days. Talking things out with a trusted friend can make sadness feel lighter.

Ripping up recyclables while loud music blasts can relieve anger. Journaling all your confused thoughts often brings clarity.  

Lean on your support squad when you need a shoulder to cry on too. Getting emotions out prevents build-up that could cause you to react in uncontrolled ways towards your ex.

Use this period to take really good care of yourself! Healthy expression of feelings allows for patience as you wait for his freeze to thaw.

4). Spend time With Friends and Family

When a guy you care about goes cold post-breakup, loneliness can creep in. He was a huge part of your life, and now his sudden absence leaves a hole.  

Combat sadness from losing him by hanging out with people who do make time for you. Plan a weekly dinner night with your little sister.

Ask friends to go hiking on Saturday mornings. Say yes if your fun neighbor invites you over to vent and eat ice cream.  

Staying busy with meaningful company fills your cup in steadier ways than chasing your ex’s attention. Laughter, adventure and feeling supported help dry hurt tears faster.

Focus on bonding more with the caring folks who want to be present through your pain. Together you’ll start to smile again before you know it!

3). Focus On Yourself  

When your boyfriend says he needs space, use this as a chance to focus on you. Spend time enjoying your hobbies, like sports, music, art or reading.

Lean on friends who make you smile. Explore new places around your neighborhood you’ve wanted to check out.  

Taking care of yourself and staying busy helps the sadness feel less intense. And working on being your happiest self can sometimes bring an ex back around.

Self-care isn’t about changing for someone else though. It’s about being your best you, whether your ex notices or not.

6). Be Patient

It’s hard when someone you care about asks for space after ending a relationship. You might hope if you reach out enough, he’ll talk to you again soon. But people process breakups in their timeframe.  

Nagging your ex to connect before he’s ready won’t change how he feels. It’s better to give him space for a few weeks, or even months. Let your ex breathe and make sense of his emotions privately. 

Even if it drives you crazy, be patient. If you pressure him to reconnect too fast, he may pull away for good instead.

Responding with maturity and compassion leaves the door open for him to come back if the breakup was a mistake.

Use this time to focus on your schoolwork, supportive friends and pursuing what makes you happy.

Have faith that you deserve someone who can’t wait to be by your side when the time is right. And if it’s meant to be, he’ll come around. Just give it time.

7). Decide if You Want Him Back

When your ex wants space, it gives you a chance to think too. Do you want to get back together, or are you better off apart?  

Make a list of relationship pros and cons. If cons like fighting or lack of trust outweigh the pros, moving forward might feel best. 

But if you had more good times than bad, realizing they outweigh the cons could help you decide if he’s worth waiting for.  

There’s no right or wrong answer during this reflection. Just check in with your heart before reaching out once he’s done needing space.

8). Either Move On or Wait and See if He Comes Back   

After a few weeks of giving your ex space, you have a choice to make. If you realize breaking up was the right call or you’re tired of waiting, move on without him.  

Move on by:

  • Deleting old texts to stop re-reading them 
  • Hanging out with cheerful friends more  
  • Saying yes if someone new asks you out

But if you still care deeply and think more time apart could lead back to each other, you can give it a little longer. 

While you wait:  

  • Focus on schoolwork and hobbies you enjoy
  • Be kind to yourself on sad days  
  • Stay open to reconciliation, but don’t assume it’s guaranteed

The choice between moving forward or extending your patience depends on what your gut says is healthiest for you. Trust yourself to make the decision that will lead to the most happiness.

When Guys Start to Miss You after a Breakup?

After a breakup, guys usually feel relieved at first. They may think they made the right decision or that it was for the best.

However, after some time passes, often a few weeks or months, they start to miss different things about their ex-girlfriend. 

They might suddenly miss having someone to talk to every day. Or they might see something that reminds them of a funny memory with their ex, and they miss laughing with her.

Guys start to think about both the big things and the little things they enjoyed doing with their girlfriends. 

Even if the relationship had problems, guys still tend to get used to having their girlfriends around.

So when she’s no longer there, it feels strange, and it can be lonely. The silence and space left from the breakup eventually get to them.

That’s usually when guys start to truly miss their ex. They realize no one knows them as well or shares as much history with them.

The time it takes for guys to begin missing their ex can vary a lot based on the person and the relationship.

But more often than not, it will happen a few weeks or months down the road as the reality of the breakup sinks in over time. The thoughts and memories start flooding back little by little.

Do all Guys Become Cold After a Breakup?

When a romantic relationship ends, people can react differently. Some guys might want to talk things through right away and remain friendly.

Others need more time alone to deal with sad or frustrated feelings before talking to their ex. 

It’s not accurate to make broad claims that “all” guys respond one single way after a split up. Every person is unique in how they handle the pain or confusion breakups often bring.

There are some common reasons a guy might pull away or act distant:

  • Feeling embarrassed about the reasons the relationship failed
  • Needing private time to understand his emotions  
  • Not wanting to get talked into giving the relationship another try
  • Assuming space will make getting over the breakup faster

But those reactions aren’t universal for all guys going through a split. Some ex-boyfriends remain in regular contact and work hard to keep a friendship. 

So don’t assume all guys cut off communication completely when an intimate relationship ends.

It depends a lot on the reason for breaking up, how long you dated, and the personalities involved. But calling or texting just to say “hi” post-split isn’t unusual or impossible, even if romance faded.

Key Takeaway

Breakups with guys can sometimes feel like a confusing rollercoaster. At first, they act super loving as your boyfriend. But if you split, they may suddenly go ice cold and distant on you. 

As this article explained, guys withdrawing for many reasons after heartbreak is actually pretty common. Even if their silence hurts, it’s not about you.

Guys often go into hiding mode because THEY get flooded with too many big, painful emotions all at once.

So rather than taking it personally or worrying you did something wrong, let him be for now.

Give space for his feelings to settle down so he can ultimately make peace with what happened. Respect his coping methods, take care of yourself, and trust your strongest self will shine through any temporary dust storms that arise.

The key is having patience with your ex’s process while also standing up independently. Let time work its magic!

Focus on self-care. And have faith that you will thrive again when the heaviness lifts, with or without this guy back in your life down the road.

Hey there, I'm Khursheed Alam! I started the Deeplines blog to help people benefit from my content. I really believe in loving yourself and being kind, so my goal is to spread that message everywhere. In my free time, I read novels, self-development, and writing books.

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