Matt De Groot: 'Why guys actually suck at breakups.'

Matt de Groot

He's not just Fitzy and Wippa's newsreader or a panelist for The Morning Show, FOX Sports, and the ABC – Matt de Groot is also Be's newest columnist. He'll be taking us on a deep dive into the world of dating and relationships... from a guy's perspective.

Men and women approach the post break-up period from entirely opposite directions.

They really do - and I'm largely referring to the person who has done the break-up here.

Before sitting down to write this, I'd expected the stats to reflect that men are more likely to do the breaking-up. I'm not sure why I thought that, perhaps because I've done more (though definitely not all) breaking-up in my life, but as it turns out - statistically - it's equal.

So it stands to reason that men and women should handle the first weeks and months following the break-up similarly. But that's not so. In fact - their approach couldn't be more different.

Men and women deal with break-ups differently. Source: Getty

Let me talk you through it for a guy:

Stage 1: Break-up happens. The first few hours are gripped with genuine sadness at the split, but reasonably quickly we transition to Stage 2.

Stage 2: Relief and excitement at our newly-reclaimed freedom. This tends to start as early as that night, when the boys rally and demand you join them at the pub; all of a sudden every girl is blanketed in the warm and familiar haze of 'possibility.'

All the dating apps are reinstalled on your phone, the gym takes on a new and purposeful focus, and MKR becomes gleefully replaced by the Xbox, movies and Sunday morning loops of Fox Sports News.

Men instantly feel free after a break-up. Source: Getty

This period can last anywhere from three weeks to two months.

Stage 3: It now goes pear-shaped. Two things happen here; we have realised the 'possibility' of meeting girls is second to the 'improbability' they feel the same way, and we remember we don't have the courage to do anything about it anyway.

We also realise that we miss our ex. A lot.

Time has shrouded the mental scars, and all we can picture are the cosy nights we had on the couch, cooking dinner together over a glass of red, and grabbing a coffee on the way to somewhere pleasant.

Sunday shopping ventures to Target are now remembered fondly, and my god, we can recall how good they looked naked.

Sunday shopping venture to Target are now remebered fondly, and my god, we can recall how good they looked naked. Source: Getty

We recoil into the empty shell of a home that only weeks earlier we held as the centre of our free-man-universe; we unrelentingly seek matches on dating apps that won't be actioned in a bid to fill some inner need for validation, and we even start to catch up on the reality shows.

In a nutshell, we're a wreck; we can't differentiate between whether we've made a mistake or we are just lonely, but it inevitably leads to us picking up our phone and texting her that unmistakably notorious SMS, "Hey…"

The problem is, this message is sent at the same time the girl is in Stage 3, which is a vastly different place for women.
As best as I can understand, the 'three stages' for women look something like this:

Stage 1: The break-up occurs. This leads to an undefined period of genuine sadness; any appetite appears to diminish, tears are never far away, there are predictions of eternal singledom, and a true willingness for reconciliation still exists.

Stage 2: Gradually Stage 2 is entered, where the mindset shifts to a recognition that the break-up was actually and probably for the best.

Words like "I can't believe I was in it for so long," "We all knew it wasn't right" and "He's really was a bit of a dick" get uttered with increasing frequency.

Girlfriends have played a key part here, especially in the destruction of memorabilia, numbers and texts; there's been a resolution to focus on one's self, one's work, and there are lots of healthy breakfast-dates with rarely-seen friends featuring granola and yoghurt.

True Freedom comes at Stage 3, and feel liberated from the depths of the former poisonous relationship. Source: Getty

Stage 3: True freedom. They are completely liberated from the depths of the former poisonous relationship.
A fresh outlook - and possibly fresh hairstyle - are front and centre as the girl enthusiastically powers into the future. They don't need no man to be happy. Ironically, they also realise there are lots of nice looking single men around and are open to dating again.

Memories of the past relationship are as distant as they are cold.

Which is why at this exact moment, when she looks down at her phone to see a lonely text that simply reads "Hey…" She could not be less interested.

So lads, when you are in the depths of a breakup, and all you can picture are the good times, just remember she couldn't give a stuff about you.

A Stage 3 man trying to woo their Stage 3 ex is a battle more lopsided than David and Goliath, and it's daftness to even try.

A Stage 3 woman, meantime, well they wouldn't even bother with their ex.

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