The contrast between men and women’s mode of breaking up and responding to a split is starting. If ever you were looking for divergence in gender behavior, you’ve found it here!

A great deal of the confusion surrounding breaking up can be dispelled with exposing the unique mindsets and maneuvers of both men and women. It is time for everyone to go on the alert, get the inside scoop, and understand the games people play when severing relationships. Doing so will avert harm to yourself, to others, and to future romantic hookups.

Who Has a Harder Time Breaking Up?

Women find the decision-making process of whether or not to break up excruciating. Once they make up their minds, however, they move forward with less game-playing than men. And more often than not women are the ones who call it quits on a bad relationship.

Nonetheless, if a women in her 20s or 30s gets dumped, she has a harder time getting through a breakup than men. Guys simply tell themselves Okay it’s over. She’s dumped me. Women, however, sit and analyze the relationship to death its demise and her role in it.

Men’s Breakup Inadequacy

Harry, a 30-year-old ivy-league grad working in Washington, D.C., accurately assessed his peers and admits Breaking up is not something most men do particularly well. The very nature of it brings out the worst in us. The bottom line is, women are sometimes treated abominably by men when they break up. I know guys who treat people awfully in this situation. It is simply a fact.

Harry is not a guy without blame or a conscience. At least he added I felt crappy when I was trying to break up with someone and wasn’t being completely honest.

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Inside Men’s Minds.

When a guy decides to break up either because he is no longer is interested in the woman or he simply wants to regain his highly prized freedom, why can’t he just say it?

The problem is, men are captive to four preconceived notions. Each influences and plays a part in how he decides to get out of the relationship. Consider the following:

1. In the Name of Chivalry. The need to gain social acceptance is plugged into men’s breakup scenarios, say psychotherapists. They are programmed from youth to be good little boys who should lie rather than hurt someone’s feelings.

Therefore, men go to unbelievable lengths to protect their self image and spare women’s tears. If they had their druthers, they would prefer to be thought of as a partner in a lousy relationship rather than be exposed as a louse who dumped a woman after leading her on.

2. Guilty in Quicksand. Men jump into relationships, spout I love you, make love, and then realize Oops, I changed my mind. I don’t want to be with this woman.

He knows he’s going to look like a jerk; he knows the woman is going to be madder than hell to find out he doesn’t like her as much as he thought he did. He feels guilty as can be.

3. Confrontations Are Ominous and Should Be Avoided. Confrontation makes men extremely uncomfortable. They can’t stand to see a woman cry. They can’t stand to be the object of her wrath. They don’t want to deal directly with a woman’s accusations, particularly if they are true. Confrontations may be more difficult for men because they lack the ability to verbalize emotions and feelings as well as women.

4. Words Won’t Work. Men don’t trust straight talk. It is a lesson they think they learned out of experience. The best way to explain this is to use 30-year-old Josh as an example:

Women just won’t believe you, Josh said. If I break a date, come down with a three-day illness, or act bored, the woman will complain that I don’t treat her right. She’ll say she isn’t happy with me, that I am selfish. I am not selfish. I don’t want to be with her. I will tell her that this is who I am. I can’t say I don’t like you because she will argue that of course I do, I am just tired and should take a nap. They don’t want to believe you. You can’t tell them in words. Actions speak louder.

Male Maneuvers

The male mindset sheds a bright spotlight on his breakup maneuvering. Here’s how he goes about accommodating these preconceived ideas.

Complete Honesty and Forthright Explanation of Feelings. This is by far the least called upon maneuver. Most men admit they don’t have the courage to do it. Granted, the less involved you are with a woman the easier it is to be honest and forthright. Some men, however, pull it off admirably.

Kyle had just gotten out of a long-term relationship. He met Kathy shortly thereafter and was attracted to her in a romantic way. He thought he was prepared to go forward with a fresh romance but realized he was not yet himself. He began to worry that he might be projecting a poor side of himself to Kathy and told her the truth. She admitted that she was pretty much in the same boat. They opted to keep seeing each other, not as lovers, but for now as friends.

Total Avoidance. Plenty of guys use this, but it is not number one on their list. Avoidance is harsh and cowardly. Men either never call back, skip out the back door, or disappear without a trace. This hardly appeases the need to be chivalrous, but it certainly takes care of avoiding any discussion or witnessing any tears.

Playing the Precipitous Trump Card. This is the preferred plan of action. Guys of all ages use it, acknowledge it, and perfect it. The object is to create a situation or atmosphere that causes the woman to do the breaking up. That way he can alleviate his guilt, think he is protecting her feelings, and make himself look better.

How Men Cause Women to Break Up

If a man deliberately makes a woman dissatisfied enough with a relationship that she does the leaving, he thinks he has chivalrously spared her feelings. It may take weeks or months. It doesn’t matter. He is willing to wait. To accomplish his goal he suddenly:

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Picks fights

Makes himself less available

Becomes more distant sexually

Purposely does annoying things

Does not exhibit respect

Revokes his emotional support

Shows up late

Breaks dates

Calls less

Acts moody

Is not cooperative

Ignore her needs

More Than Meets the Eye

Aside from escaping a woman’s wrath or acting under the pretense of chivalry, setting a woman up to go for the break:

Women’s Maneuvers and Mindsets

Women display a different breakup mindset than men. They have their own gender-related attitudes and maneuvers. Here are some of the basic viewpoints widely expressed by females:

Women are confused and look for answers to problems in their relationships. Breaking up provides the clarity they are searching for.

Women don’t go in for elaborate schemes like men do.

Women more often rely on honest and direct verbal exchanges to express their desire to break up.

Women feel guilty and express concern over men’s feelings.

Women will use avoidance tactics to break up but not as often as men do.

Women prefer to get the breakup over with quickly.

Women opt most often to do it face to face.

Women are generally more emotional than men when they break up.

Women require closure.

Women report that after they initiate a breakup they feel sad but are relieved and empowered.