Why Men Move On So Fast After Breakups

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Struggling to make it through December? Love trouble ruining your Christmas and promising a sad-and-lonely New Year's Eve? Let Ask Dad sing some sweet carols and "Auld Lang Syne" to your frozen heart. Tell me your troubles.  

Why do men move on so fast after a breakup? I had a recent breakup from a seven-year relationship, and my ex was in a new one just two months later and was married within two years while I was still mourning. Why didn't he take time to get to know himself as a single man?

First, know that this is not a universal male thing. Many of us need months, even years of playing sad drunken songs on dark bar jukeboxes, wandering a dirty apartment with a bare, chicken-wing stained chest, and many, many viewings of many, many sci-fi trilogies before we dream of another real relationship. (That's what you meant by getting to know yourself as a single man, right?)

And there are plenty of ladies who have barely put the period at the end of "it's not you it's me" before they're getting freaky on the dance floor with some wax-chested hunk of manmeat.

But I think your situation is the norm. And I think I know why. It's mostly a mommy thing.

As I said in my thinking-about-sex post a few weeks back, many men think of women as medicine. When they're ailing, be it physical, mental, emotional, or nautical, the thing that sounds best is a nice conversation with a nice new lady. Ideally at 2 a.m. in a motel room. 

After my last big breakup a much older, much-more-manly man told me, "Distractions are a good thing. And the best distractions wear skirts." After months of wondering where I could find Buffalo wings and video games with skirts on, I realized he was talking about women.

That's most likely just what your man was doing: seeking distractions with skirts, or mom jeans, or jeggings, depending on his taste in ladies. So I wouldn't look at his quick rebound as a sign that he got over it quicker than you. The new lady is his way of dealing with it. It could even be that the hurt ran so deep that he had to immediately cover it with a cute Hello Kitty Band-Aid and vow to never rip the little lady off. And his relatively quick marriage either means he's so afraid of his own mind that he doesn't want to look into it even briefly, or he's simply found the perfect woman-medicine, and he's addicted. Sometimes it's the person, not the circumstances.    

The flip side of this is that for a lot of ladies like yourself, the very thought of romance sounds awful when you're feeling down, and you want to wait until you've had a complete emotional makeover before you even started poking around at Match.com. This is the more sensible, responsible path of course, but maybe you should take a little from men, it might be liberating. Seek out some distractions with shirts. Or without them.


Image via Flickr/Jesslee Cuizon

breakups, divorce, marriage, sex