Breaking up is always hard to do as the saying goes, and after all is said and done, the time then comes where you have to start moving on in some form. But while we’re perhaps inclined to think that it’s the lads who may get over these things quicker, according to new research, this isn’t the case. So, we have good and bad news. The good news first: Women will get over their male exes quicker. The bad news is that women will feel more pain in the long run even though men could also feel the loss of a relationship “for years afterwards.”
This is according to a new study published in Evolutionary Behavioural Sciences. Researchers asked 5,705 people in 96 countries to rate the emotional and physical pain of a breakup on a scale of one (what pain?) to 10 (agonising pain) via a survey. Women reported greater pain emotionally—a 6.84 compared to 6.58 in men—and physically—a 4.21 versus 3.75 in men. The differences may seem small, but they’re statistically significant.
“When [women] realise it’s time to move on, they recover faster and more fully than men.”
And there’s an explanation for this, according to Fusion: “Women are evolved to invest far more in a relationship than a man since it could result in pregnancy,” says study author Craig Morris. They’re “choosier about selecting a high-quality mate” so a loss hurts more. Men may feel the breakup less at first, but Morris says “the man will likely feel the loss deeply,” perhaps for months or years, “as it sinks in that he must start competing all over again to replace what he has lost—or worse still, come to the realisation that the loss is irreplaceable.” Here, women have the advantage. When they realise it’s time to move on, they “recover faster and more fully.”
So women may hurt more, but in short, they are well capable of bouncing back.
“Men, on the other hand seem to react badly and in some sort of self-destructive/angry fashion often combined with depression,” Morris continued. “This can last for months or years. Then they just sort of ‘move on,’ usually via another relationship.” In the modern world, this phase is what’s commonly known as the “excessive Tinder stage.”
The results are certainly intriguing, but this does of course leave one thing; regardless of being male or female, breakups are hard for anyone and everyone. Morris believes this is how it should be. “Breakups should hurt, so we have evolved to avoid them! If breakups didn’t hurt, we’d invest very little in relationships,” he said. A good point. What do you think of the results?