One thing that isn’t spoken on enough is the male perspective on going through heartbreak. We don’t read enough about it and don’t have a good grasp on how a guy heals through it all. So I got some insight from some wise friends of mine who I thought would be gracious and transparent enough to share their experiences. There aren’t enough of these accounts nowadays– especially from black men. Hopefully this will provide a more nuanced view of how we as men deal with heartbreak.
How did heartbreak change how you viewed dating?
Talaune, 28: “I altogether stopped thinking about romance and soulmates. I started thinking a lot more about casual sex. It became about me looking for one night stands and looking to find people who didn’t want to be involved with any emotional connection. I began thrill seeking with no expectations of finding anything romantically charged. It was my revenge so to speak, that I’d change my intimate nature with women to become selfish for a time and spare myself any future heartache.”
Tristan, 29: “It made me trust women a lot less. You could say that I was naïve and this was definitely a reality check of sorts.”
Carl, 28: “Heartbreak really taught me to be more considerate of the other person I’m dating. There is a tendency to think of yourself first (and only) when dating and it can significantly hinder you from appreciating what you have.”
What did you love about that partner?
Talaune: “After all our time together she remained mysterious, there was a mystique to her. She was mature beyond her years. I recall her taking college classes in high school to graduate early. She was highly self-motivated and always had a meticulous plan for her life no matter the challenges. She was the most passionate lover I had ever been with. Our conversations knew no bounds. I was able to talk with her in depth on literally any topic we touched on. You name it, we could go on the phone for hours. I was in awe of her overall, and enough to be intimidated at times. She matured me.”
Tristan: “She made me happy and she gave me those weak feelings in my stomach. She was my happy place; my peace. I had no idea how happy a day could truly be ’till I met her.”
Carl: “At the time, the person I was dating really understood my viewpoint of the world. She was new and refreshing. Weirdly, she also has some awesome friends. I had recently gotten out of a long relationship and she was the polar opposite of my previous girlfriend. The previous relationship was a great one, but it run its course and we grew apart.”
Where did things go left?
Talaune: “We had been together for about five years on and off and she wanted to get married since she was going to the Navy. We would have gotten a slew of benefits. However, I wasn’t ready and months later she married someone else.”
Tristan: “She got curious with an ex. The reality of that really sucked and it took some time to come to grips with. To me, whether I wanted to accept it or not, it was the beginning of the end…or the end as I knew it to be.”
Carl: “Things went left when I didn’t want to commit. We dated for a long time and I was nowhere near committing to her. She was an amazing person but I myself wasn’t ready to fully commit myself to another relationship. She had all the reason to be upset at me for it.”
Did you feel comfortable expressing yourself to your friends as you healed?
Talaune: “Not at all. I had two close friends that knew but I was embarrassed and damaged beyond repair, or so I thought. I never shared fully what transpired between us to my friends. I was admired by my friends and this was too heavy for me to wear and come around them comfortably as I had times before. I worried they wouldn’t see me in the same light as they did before.”
Tristan: “I only felt comfortable expressing anger. I didn’t know any other way to express myself at that time in my life.”
Carl: “No way, bro. My whole crew still doesn’t know entirely what happened. I don’t think I felt right telling it because the ordeal wasn’t my best moment. It also was just a moment of weakness for a guy. The whole ‘guys don’t cry’ thing today is a little more acceptable but you still don’t want to show that side of you because you never know when it will be used against you (whether jokingly or not).”
When did you know you were over it?
Talaune: “When I began to romantically chase women again with the same vigor, if not more from times prior to that heartbreak. When I realized the greatest happiness I had possessed came while being single, I realized it came through my personal accomplishments. I became satisfied with understanding that this was a lesson in life to be learned and to better prepare me for the next conquest in the world of love.”
Tristan: “I was over it when I realized that the person really didn’t care anymore. I figured that I better get to figuring myself out since it seemed like she had a clear idea about who she was and who she wanted.”
Carl: “It took me a while to get over it, but I knew I was over it when I found myself happy to hear she was with someone else. Losing her as a lover wasn’t what took me so long to get over her, it was losing her as a friend.”
What you see here is a very varied view of what fellas may go through as they experience heartbreak. We feel things as men, and going through heartbreak– especially the first time– can really make us go into a shell. Ask your dude what those experiences were like. It would help to know if he ever truly healed from past experiences. As you can see above, we may not always feel we have an outlet to express that for one reason or another.
Addressing past issues can help in the long run, even if it means you as a woman should leave. It probably bodes well for you ultimately as it isn’t your job really to heal anyone. I think every man should be on a journey of self-discovery on their own. It’s a humbling experience that allows us to be even more cognizant of what women go through. Special thanks to the guys who opened up, and I hope we can encourage more men to be okay with coming to grips with heartbreak in general. It’s imperative to our growth.
Written By: Kahlil Haywood
Follow Kahlil on Instagram: @damnitpops