According to a recent study, breakups might take larger tolls on women than they do on men. However, despite the fact that women might suffer somewhat more intensely after a breakup, it seems that men will take a longer time to cope with the loss of a partner.
Getting over a breakup is extremely complicated from a psychological standpoint because it implies an abrupt change of massive proportions in regards to a person’s habits, sense of security and calm and also the vast majority of social interactions. If a couple takes part in a series of social activities on a regular basis, then being part of these activities alongside the partner becomes the standard of social normality.
Therefore, when the couple breaks up, this entire series of activities is suddenly interrupted, leaving both partners in an odd social background that they must cope with without the support offered by the former partner. And naturally, the two former partners will use different methods to overcome this series of lifestyle changes and will manage to do so in different time frames.
A team of researchers from the University College London and Binghamton University decided to analyze the process of coping with the break-up and so they conducted a massive survey that a whopping 5,700 people took. In order to get an extensive understanding of the breakup coping process, the team included study participants from 96 different countries. They were asked to rate the emotional pain that they felt after a major breakup, but the physical pain as well, on a 0 to 10 scale.
The results of this massive survey revealed that the average emotional pain quota that the female participants reported was of 6.84, which is slightly higher than the average 6.58 that the male subjects reported. The term “emotional pain” included all the negative feelings that the participants experienced after a breakup, ranging from mere sadness to major depressive episodes.
As for the results regarding the physical pain that the study participants experienced after a major breakup, the female participants reported an average of 4.21, while the male participants reported an average of 3.75. The term “physical pain” refers to all the distress caused by the traumatic event of the breakup, that may include alternations of the sleeping and eating patterns of the participants, that in turn may lead to a wide range of physical issues, ranging from significant weight gain or weight loss, to eating disorders, insomnia, panic attacks and many more diverse issues.
The researcher explain that women might usually have a harder time getting over a breakup because they are more selective in the process of finding a suitable partner. The sociological explanation for the nature of this process is that women take a longer time to find a suitable partner due to the fact that he must be a good candidate for fatherhood. Therefore, the loss of this partner that was considered suitable for this long term task implies another lengthy process of finding another.
The men however, seem to take a longer time getting over the loss of a partner, because this signifies that they are obligated to compete with other males all over again, so that another females chooses them.
“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 (…)or, worse still, come to the realization that the loss is irreplaceable” explained the lead author of the study, Craig Morris.
Men and women grieve the loss of partner in different ways, and may take different amounts of time to get over the loss of a partner that they regarded as highly suitable on the long run.
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