Though more pained, women recover from breakups better

By: | Published: August 7, 2015 2:34 PM

Even though breakups leaves women in more pain, they tend to recover more fully than men, claims a new research.

Even though breakups leaves women in more pain, they tend to recover more fully than men, claims a new research.

Researchers from Binghamton University and University College London asked 5,705 participants in 96 countries to rate the emotional and physical pain of a breakup on a scale of one (none) to 10 (unbearable). They found that women tend to be more negatively affected by breakups, reporting higher levels of both physical and emotional pain. Women averaged 6.84 in terms of emotional anguish versus 6.58 in men. In terms of physical pain, women averaged 4.21 versus men’s 3.75. While breakups hit women the hardest emotionally and physically, women tend to recover more fully and come out emotionally stronger.

Men, on the other hand, never fully recover and simply move on.

According to lead author on the study, Craig Morris, women are evolved to invest far more in a relationship than a man. 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.

The man would 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 lost or come to the realisation that the loss is irreplaceable, he added.

The study is published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences.

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