Wednesday Jul 20, 2022
New findings show that men find healthy ways to cope with heartbreak — such as by using self-help resources or spending time with their loved ones.
People often mistake men for lacking emotion and not needing any help post-breakup, but two authors of a new study from the University of British Columbia found that men find creative ways to seek help.
Dr John Oliffe, the senior author of the study and professor of nursing, said he believed most men only sought professional help, such as from a counsellor. But the study, in which 47 Canadian and Australian men were interviewed, proved men “creatively” used other strategies to cope.
“About a quarter of the men said they did a lot of internet searches for blogs, coaches and other resources,” said Dr Oliffe in a university release.
“These guys typically were younger or their relationships had shorter durations. They reached out to friends or family members, not necessarily to find a solution, but to chat things through, or they read self-help books.”
On the other hand, men who had been in longer-term relationships were more likely to seek out “community-based help” like a local single dad’s group with members who had similar experiences.
About half the men also sought professional help, like counselling. Normally, these men had a pre-existing mental illness.
“This paper disrupts the stereotype that men do not go to the doctor and they don’t want help. It shatters the trope that men aren’t emotional and aren’t affected as much as the rest of us by a breakup,” said Mary T. Kelly, research co-author of the study. “We also tend to think that men don’t do introspection or vulnerability, but a lot of the men were really engaging in that deep kind of work.”
The study was published in Qualitative Health Research.