7 Signs He Is Hurting After The Breakup

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Been through a breakup? Wondering how your ex actually feels? Here’s 10 signs he is hurting after the breakup – plus, what it means, and what you should do. So let’s start from the top.

Signs He Is Hurting After The Breakup

Let’s jump straight in with the 10 key signs he is hurting after the breakup.

1) He Can’t Stop Speaking To You

First up, one of the most obvious signs he’s hurting after the breakup, is if he can’t stop talking to you. He’s texting, he’s calling, he’s trying to find reasons to meet up.

Perhaps he’s even said about missing you or wanting to get back with you.

Ultimately, he’s unable to fully accept and move on from the breakup – and when a person’s trapped in this phase, they are most certainly still in pain.

2) He’s Had To Completely Cut You Off

On the flip side, he could have completely cut you off – deleted you off social media, deleted all your friends and family, deleted all past posts and photos, blocked you – the lot.

Now this is a tricky one, because we actually recommend removing exes from social media (and blocking if needed, to reduce the temptation to “stalk!”)

It simply makes the breakup process easier. So it could be that he’s done this for the same reason.

Recommended Read: What To Do If Your Ex Blocks You

However, it’s the more extreme behaviour that you want to look out for – like the posts and photos. Particularly if the two of you ended on good terms. Maybe he also refuses to see, speak or even have to think about you too! 

This indicates that there’s more hurt there than you perhaps may have realised.

Also consider what other signs there are, that you recognise in this post. As those combined with this, equate to more significance. It’s really about piecing it altogether.

Recommended Read: 10 Signs Your Ex Is Over You
Recommended Read: 10 Signs Your Ex Hates You
For Full Clarity: 10 Signs He’s Never Coming Back

3) He Jumps Into Another Relationship

Now I know what you’re thinking – THIS is one of the signs he is hurting after the breakup?! Really?! Well yes, actually it is. See, we can expect a meaningless rebound, we’re not necessarily surprised if we hear he’s back on dating apps within the following days / weeks.

But if he jumps into something new, with someone else, too fast – it hits even harder. The thing is, it may not always mean what you think. See, it’s easy to assume he no longer cares.

The truth is? It could just be a coping strategy. He’s unable to be on his own, he thinks a “replacement” will take away the hurt, longing and emptiness. And maybe it will, to some degree, but only for a while. He’s essentially just covering over the cracks.

The pain is still there. It doesn’t mean he’s not still hurting. And it’s likely to resurface. 

Did he go back to an ex? Has he jumped into something that’s familiar? Is it really different with this person? Is there really something there? Or is he just looking for an escape, a quick fix?

Recommended Read: What To Think & Do When Your Ex Moves On Quickly
Recommended Read: How To Deal With Your Ex Moving On

4) He’s Speaking Badly About You

Breakups can bring out an ugly side of people. For some, they’re able to let go with respect and dignity. For others, all that bitterness and resentment results in – well – pretty nasty behaviour.

So if you hear about your ex slating you, or speaking badly about you to others, it’s likely that, in actual fact, he is still hurting after the breakup. There’s more emotion bubbling underneath the surface than you may think.

As a result of this, he may also have created a completely different narrative for the breakup – about what happened or why it didn’t work. He’s not just kidding others, but also himself. As it’s his way of trying to deal with it. The truth hurts, as they say.

Signs he is hurting after the break up

5) He’s Nasty To You

Going one step further, you may find he becomes pretty bitter and angry. He may do things to try to get to you or say things that he knows will be upsetting.

You thought you wanted revenge? Well this guys stepping it up a notch – and boy, do you rarely recognise him now!

Maybe he does things to try to make you jealous, to get back at you, to hurt you (because he feels uncomfortable feeling hurt now himself!)

Uh huh, he’s lowered himself. Big time. And yes, behaviour like this may fundamentally link back to the fact that he’s hurting, but it’s no excuse. Don’t forget that.

6) He’s Not Himself

Moving on now then, another of the key signs he is hurting after a breakup, is if he goes “off the rails”, starts doing things out of character. 

He may become reckless, careless and you’ll find his friends and family will start to worry about him… maybe reach out to you because they’re so worried about him.

On the flip side, he may goes in on himself. Shut people out. Or not give anyone new a chance. His walls have gone UP because the pain is very much real.

He may even spiral into depression and stop doing the things he usually would, lose his buzz, his spark spark. Depression (to a degree) is natural in the initial stages after a breakup. Click here to read more about the grieving process. There’s been a big loss, a big change. 

But if time goes on and he’s still struggling, it means he’s stuck at the point of hurt and sadness and this breakup has hit him hard.

Let’s Go One Step Further: Here’s 10 Signs Your Ex Is Miserable (+ What To Do)

OR: He’s Sunk Back Into Himself

Another sign he’s hurting after the breakup – especially if you seemed to have a positive influence on him, and brought out the best sides – is if, now that you’re apart, he slips back into his former self, slips back into his bad habits. 

So maybe he was a heavy drinker – he’ll likely go back to that. Or perhaps you calmed him down, but now you’ve broken up you hear about conflicts or fights he’s had.

He’s struggling to cope and feels like he has nothing to fight for anymore, so “why not?!” In his mind, he’s lost what he wanted, and “what else is there to lose?!”

Signs he is hurting after the break up

7) He Can’t Express How He Feels

If he is hurting after the breakup, like we said – not only may he close in on himself or shut people out, but he will most definitely not be expressing how he feels.

He puts on an act, uses distractions, avoids talking to you or about you completely. Because the truth is: it’s just too painful to bring up. He wants to push you aside, avoid facing up to it.

As a result, he may also ACT like he’s over you, but there will be little indications that he isn’t…

Recommended Read: Signs He’s Pretending To Be Over You

Why does he do this? Well it all comes back to that pain again. He’s hurt, his trust (in himself as much as you / others) is gone. And so the “safer” option is to just close off until he can figure it out and regain control over his mind and emotions.

Is He Hurting After The Breakup?

Overall, if you want to know the signs he is hurting after the breakup – just look at him, how he behaves and what that’s likely to mean. After all, you’re likely to know him better than anyone.

What “vibes” are you getting off him? What behaviour patterns do you notice? Does he seem genuinely happy, or is it all a bit of an act?

Whats more, I also want you to consider WHY you care so much. Why does it even matter?

  • Do you want him to be hurting after the breakup? And if so, why? Is it because you are?
  • Or maybe you just don’t want to feel like the relationship was one-sided, like he meant more to you than you do to him? It’s partially an ego thing? It makes you feel better to know it’s not just you struggling right now?
  • It could be that you want him to “pay”? He hurt you and so you want him to be hurting right now…
  • Or maybe you miss him, and so you want him to be hurting, because you think you’re then more likely to have a shot at getting back together?

What To Do If He’s Hurting After The Breakup

As you start to piece it altogether, then comes the question of what it means and what you should do.

  • Does your ex regret the two of you breaking up, or regret any mistakes he made on his part, which led to the breakup? Is that why he’s still hurting after the breakup?
  • Does he wish he could go back, change it? And does that mean he wants to get back together?
  • Should you reach out to him? Get back with him?
  • Where does this leave you? What should you actually do?

Well, before you make any decisions, it’s certainly worth taking a step back.

Sometimes the hardest thing, and the right thing, are the same thing.

Right now, you’re looking for an escape – an escape to your pain and an escape for his. But just because you’re both hurting, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re meant to be together.

I know it’s hard. I know all to well. But the best thing you can do when things are still so raw – is give it time, give each other space and focus on yourselves.

Things will get easier, I promise you. Day by day, it will start to get better.

Want to speed up this process? Want to fully heal? And heal faster? Then click here for breakup coaching. You’re not alone, you’re not helpless. And there are things you can do.

Sending all my love and encouragement. Take care!


Signs he is hurting after the break up
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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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