Break-ups really do hit women harder
We’ve all heard the jokes about women taking to their sofas in their PJs, with a weepy movie on the TV and a mega bucket of ice cream clutched in their hands after a break-up. They spend hours pouring their hearts out to their friends, trying not to drunkenly dial their ex, before moving onto the angry stage of grief, before finally accepting things are over. Just look at Bridget Jones!
While it might seem like a load of sexiest nonsense, scientists now think women actually do suffer more than men when their relationship fails. According to a group of American researchers, ladies will feel higher levels of anxiety and anger during a break-up, and they’re also more prone to packing on the pounds.
However, they find is easier to talk about their issues to their nearest and dearest too, which means they tend to get over things quicker. On the other hand, men don’t ever manage to digest their feelings and instead just accept they are single. While this means they seem happier sooner, it can leave feelings of resentment for years and years.
Scientists looked at 5,705 people from 96 countries and came to the conclusion that biology is the issue, as women feel they have more to lose when a romance doesn’t work out. This is particularly the case if they are starting to think about having a family.
Those in the survey were asked to rank their heartbreak following a split, with zero being no sad feelings and ten total devastation.
Emotionally, women came out at 6.84 on average, while men reached 6.58. There was a bigger gulf when asked about physical anguish, with women on 4.21 and men at 3.75.
Women also reported increases in panic, insomnia and fear, with men claiming to feel depressed and as if they couldn’t focus on anything.
Craig Morris is a professor of anthropology at Binghamton University in New York and the study’s lead author. He explained that women’s friends help them cope, with men failing to show they feel completely “over” a doomed relationship.
“[The male reaction is] self-destructive,” he added in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. “This can last for months or years. Then they just sort of “move on”, usually via another relationship.”