It’s easy for most people to imagine girls binge eating ice cream and watching Netflix to cope with a devastating relationship breakup. However, a new study suggests that men actually have a harder time recovering after a breakup than women.
The new study conducted by researchers at Binghamton University and University College London surveyed a pool of 5,707 men and women. The participants averaged 27 years old and were from 96 different countries.
On a scale of 1 for no pain and 10 for unbearable, women averaged a score of 6.84 for emotional anguish after the dissolution of a romantic relationship while men scored slightly less at 6.58.
However, the researchers found that while women undergo extreme emotional grief immediately after a breakup, it takes men a longer amount of time to recover. That is, if they ever do. The researchers explained that men never completely get over their breakups but rather ultimately just “move on” to another person. In such a scenario, men are forever haunted about where things went wrong with their exes.
Craig Morris, a research associate from Binghamton University and lead author of the study, explains that women suffer more from dating the wrong person. That is because women have a higher risk of biological investment if a romantic encounter leads to a nine-month pregnancy and child rearing. Therefore, women are more selective of their mates and the loss of a “high-quality” mate is more devastating for a woman.
On the flip side, the loss of a “high-quality mate” for a man may not be as painful initially. Morris elaborated:
“The 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 worst still, come to the realization that the loss is irreplaceable.”