Why do guys go cold after breakup?

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Why do guys go cold after breakup?

You will not heal by going back to what broke you.”


Generally, when a guy goes cold after a breakup, it is his way of saying, I need some space and time, and you should be mature enough to respect my wishes


Pestering a guy that wants nothing to do with you after a breakup doesn’t put you in a positive light. You sell yourself short by insisting on having a relationship with your ex. Let him be! At least give him time to heal. By doing so, you also give yourself a chance to heal. If he eventually reaches out to you, well and good. If he doesn’t reach out, life moves on. It is not compulsory for exes to remain friends after breaking up. 


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If you are worried that his cold attitude might lead him to do something sinister to himself, you could reach out to someone close to him to check on him. However, do not insist on being close to a guy that acts cold after a breakup. 


We’ve divided this topic into three subsections;

  • The reason why guys act cold after a breakup
  • Is every guy cold after a breakup?
  • Other factors that contribute to guys handling breakups so coldly.


Before you read further, did you know that guys are more likely to be dumped, while ladies are more likely to do the dumping? Check these interesting charts below by YouGov.com. So many guys are not having it easy in the relationship space. It is not surprising that they go cold after a breakup. Dumpees are usually the most hurt in a breakup.

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Why do guys go cold after a breakup?

We’ve already established why guys act cold after a breakup. They want space and time to heal. However, several things about you or the things you do encourage guys to act coldly towards you after a breakup.

1. Excessive calls or texts. 

Calling and texting a guy after a breakup is never ideal. In most cases, you sell yourself short when you insist on communication often with an ex after a breakup. 


He may not have the courage to tell you to back off because he doesn’t want to hurt you more than you already are, and therefore his next best alternative is to act cold towards you, enough to discourage you from getting closer to him.


It is only ok to be in close communication with an ex who is ok with you keeping in touch with him. Most guys feel uncomfortable with their ex calling them often, except if they and their ex are still nursing some romantic feelings for each other or are friends with benefits. 


If your boyfriend dumped you and you still feel strongly about him, check our article “What to say to an ex you still love.” You’ll find so much truth in this article that people aren’t willing to tell you. 

2. Butting into his business a lot.

Even if an ex agrees to remain friends with you after a breakup, he might be doing it reluctantly while hoping that you gradually learn to let him go. However, if you keep asserting yourself on him, he will be forced to act cold towards you. Some exes forget that they are exes and act like lovers. In the best interest of your friendship, it’s a good idea to set good boundaries for yourself and your ex after a breakup. For example, avoid prying into his love life or telling him about yours. 


The best way to avoid butting into your ex’s business is to communicate less often. Minding your business will earn you some respect in his eyes. But if you insist on communicating with him, avoid intruding into his personal life. 

3. Bring up the past in conversations often. 

When you constantly bring up the past in conversations, your ex, who wishes to move on with his life, might become cold towards you. No one wants to be guilt-tripped or dragged back to something they wish to move on from. Whatever your reason for bringing up the past, he’ll go cold towards you if he is tired of your antics. 

4. Confiding in many people about him and putting him in a negative light.

When a relationship ends, we often feel the need to confide in people we think know enough about our relationship. We confide in them because we want them to either liaise with our ex or make them reason with us. However, this very act can be damaging to your ex. Your friends and family can give him grief because he walked out of the relationship. When you make him an enemy with people he cares about, he’ll be very cold towards you. 

Is every guy cold after a breakup?

Nope, not every guy is cold after a breakup. However, no guy is willing to watch their ex wiggle back into their life if they want nothing to do with her. Various factors determine how a guy handles a breakup or rejection. These factors include; his personality, perspective on breakups, past experiences, how and why the breakup happened, new sexual interest, and duration of the relationship. We’ve expanded on these factors below.

Why do guys handle breakups so coldly?

Let’s start by saying that people’s decision to stay away from their ex does not necessarily reflect their maturity, goodness, or badness. It is just their decision.


Seven main factors contribute to why guys go cold after a breakup, and they are;

1. Personality. 

The first reason a guy acts cold after a breakup is his personality. Some guys tend to withdraw from people when they go through relational problems. Withdrawing from people helps them process their emotions better and heal at their own pace. It could also be their best alternative to being aggressive towards their ex. Usually, guys that withdraw from people tend to struggle with issues of trust, self-esteem, rejection, and some anxieties. 


Secondly, a guy that is usually a cold person will continue to be cold after a breakup. If your ex is someone that isn’t a social bird per se and keeps to himself often, don’t expect him to be freer around you after a breakup. 

2. One directional perspective on breakups.  

Many guys don’t believe in being friends with their exes after parting ways. Their lack of interest in communicating with an ex has nothing to do with the type of person their ex was in a relationship with or how they generally feel about their ex. Their lack of interest stems from a general dislike to cling to the past. They believe that if people end a relationship, they have nothing beneficial to give to each other by being in contact.

3. Experiences with exes. 

The third reason why guys go cold after a breakup is the experience they’ve had with their exes post-breakup. Guys who have had a series of negative outcomes with their exes will not want the pattern to continue. They wouldn’t want to rekindle old flames they are certain won’t last, nor deal with a clingy ex who keeps ruining their chances of having a fruitful relationship with other women.  

4. Lack of forgiveness due to circumstances surrounding the breakup.

A guy going cold after a breakup has a lot to do with the breakup’s circumstance and his challenge forgiving you. The first circumstance is why the relationship ended, and the second is how the relationship ended. It is unlikely that guys would want anything to do with an ex who cheated on them or betrayed their trust terribly. Or a toxic ex that puts them in harm’s way to get back at them. They would sever any ties with such exes to regain their sense of respect, security, and trust. If a guy acts cold after a breakup, he feels betrayed by you and wants nothing to do with you because he is struggling to 

5. How the breakup happened. 

Funny enough, how a relationship ends is equally as important as why a relationship ends in many situations. Some breakups are so messy that they leave a party scarred for a long time. If a guy acts cold after a breakup, he is unhappy about how the relationship ended. For example, if you ghosted a guy and showed up months or years later, don’t expect him to act friendly towards you. Secondly, if the breakup caused him public shame or embarrassed him in front of people that mattered to him, he’ll most likely act cold towards you. 

6. New intimate partner. 

When guys act cold after a breakup, they are possibly seeing another person and have moved on long before the relationship ended. Their cold attitude towards their ex is their way of avoiding situations that might complicate things for them in their relationship. If your ex acts cold towards you, he wants to close the chapter with you and commit to the new lady with a clear mind. He sees your presence as a threat to his new relationship.

7. He wants you to desire him. 

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. If a guy acts cold after a breakup, he wants you to miss him more. He either thinks you take him for granted or are emotionally vulnerable around him. He is confident that you’ll be more attracted to him when he gives you the cold shoulder.

Frequently asked questions.  

1. Can heartbreak make a person cold?

Yes, heartbreak can make a person cold. A person who is tired, annoyed, and disappointed with the actions of their ex will less likely want to be in the space with their ex. Many guys act cold when acts of betrayal, cheating, public humiliation, lies, and sabotage have been committed by their ex. 

2. How can you tell if a man is heartbroken?

When a man is heartbroken, you’re going to notice one or more of these signs;

  • Lack of interest in many things he loves.
  • Often distracted by his thoughts. 
  • Visibly looks stressed.
  • Withdrawn from people
  • Excessiveness of behaviors, e.g., excessive drinking, smoking, womanizing, competitiveness, etc. 
  • Forgetfulness 

3. How long does it take for a man to get over a broken heart?

There is no timeline for a man to get over a broken heart. Although society expects men to be tough and deal with their emotions quicker than ladies, many men only end up bottling so much until they explode again. 


Men could mourn the loss of their relationship for weeks, months, or even years, depending on the level of intimacy they had with their ex.


When guys act cold after a breakup, let them be. It is their way of saying, ‘I don’t want you around me’. You might be feeling emotional about the breakup and wish to work things out with him or even explain yourself, but his hostility should not be rewarded with a show of affection. He is not willing to interact with you by being cold toward you. Focus on yourself.


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