Ever have one of those breakups where your ex seems like he's killing it, while you can barely get from bed to couch? If your ex is a guy, there's scientific proof you'll likely be better off in the end.
Researchers from Binghamton University and University College London asked 5,705 people in 96 countries to rate their emotional and physical pain after a breakup. They found that women tend to get hit harder both physically and emotionally immediately after a breakup, but all that changes once time passes.
The study, published in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, found that once women have time to heal, they more fully get over the breakup than men do, regardless of whether the relationship was same-sex or opposite-sex. The researchers say that there might be an evolutionary basis to it; our female ancestors had more to risk when it came to getting into a relationship, so the loss of it hurts more initially. But once men realize they have to compete for a woman's attention again, the emotional impact really sets in.
But this isn't exactly a win for feminism. The Washington Post points out that gender norms hurt men, too, especially when they're feeling emotional. Men bottle up their emotions because they're supposed to act tough, and they don't have the kind of support system women have to deal with breakups. Instead, they don't really have any mechanism to deal with their pain, and sometimes never really feel closure because of it.
So next time your guy friend goes through a breakup, sit him down with some wine and Ben & Jerry's. He needs it more than he'll admit.
By Megan Friedman
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