Men or women: Who gets over a break-up faster?

Every person moves on from a breakup or love affair at their own pace, and these situations are invariably complex. But according to science, men and women experience heartbreak in different ways, and they also have different coping mechanisms. It’s interesting to note that although women tend to move on faster than men after a breakup, they nonetheless endure greater mental and physical anguish.

These are all the details of a study that was conducted on the topic.

 1. The study

This study was done on a massive scale and got published in the Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences journal. The researchers from the Binghamton University and University College London interviewed 5,705 participants from 96 countries and asked them to rate the emotional and physical pain of a break up on a scale of one (none) to 10 (unbearable).

2. How females respond to a heartbreak

The study indicated that women get more negatively affected, both emotionally and physically, by a heartbreak. Women participants rated their ‘emotional anguish’ to be 6.84 post break up and whereas, the figure turned out to be 6.58 for men. Further, women rated their ‘physical pain’ to be 4.21 on an average and men’s was 3.75.

Men or women: Who gets over a break-up faster?

3. The upside

While women suffer more on an emotional and physical level after a break-up, but they also tend to recover more fully and come out stronger from this experience.

4. What about men?

While women constructively channelise their emotions and tend to understand themselves and their needs from a relationship better, men have a completely different way to deal with the situation. The study says men either ‘experience nothing’ or may resort to alcohol, drug abuse or violence, and are less likely to come up with any kind of personal realisations.

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5. Men take longer to move on

The research indicates that men take longer time than women and struggle more to move on. In fact, the researchers observed that many male participants suffered from PRG (Post relationship Grief) at the time of the study even if they had parted ways more than a year ago.

6. The evolution theory

The researchers explained how biology plays a role in this situation and suggested that women are evolved to invest more in a relationship than men. Craig Morris, lead author of this study shared, “A brief romantic encounter could lead to nine months of pregnancy followed by many years of lactation for an ancestral woman, while the man may have ‘left the scene’ literally minutes after the encounter, with no further biological investment. It is this ‘risk’ of higher biological investment that, over evolutionary time, has made women choosier about selecting a high-quality mate. Hence, the loss of a relationship with a high-quality mate ‘hurts’ more for a woman.”

7. Why both the sexes react differently

Interestingly, for men, who have evolved from competing for female attention, losing a ‘high-quality’ mate might not ‘hurt’ initially. However, they start feeling the pain once they realise their loss. Craig explain, “A man will likely feel the loss deeply and for a very long period of time 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.”

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