Women re­cover bet­ter from break-ups

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Variety -

Women en­dure more emo­tional pain when a re­la­tion­ship ends but once re­cov­ered, they could be in bet­ter shape than their for­mer other halves.

“Put sim­ply, women are evolved to in­vest far more in a re­la­tion­ship than a man,” says Craig Mor­ris of Bing­ham­ton Univer­sity in the US. “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.”

Although men feel less pain, they never fully re­cover, ac­cord­ing to the study, they sim­ply move on. It’s a ques­tion of bi­ol­ogy, says Mor­ris, re­mark­ing that women have more to lose by dat­ing the wrong per­son.

“It is this risk of higher bi­o­log­i­cal in­vest­ment that, over evo­lu­tion­ary time, has made women choosier about se­lect­ing a high-qual­ity mate,” says Mor­ris. Hence, the loss of a re­la­tion­ship with a high-qual­ity mate hurts more for a woman.

Work­ing with 5,705 par­tic­i­pants span­ning 96 coun­tries, Mor­ris and his team asked them to rate the emo­tional and phys­i­cal pain of a breakup on a scale that rep­re­sents no pain at one and as­cends to 10, at which point the pain is un­bear­able.

Women re­ported higher lev­els of emo­tional pain, av­er­ag­ing 6.84 on the scale, while men only av­er­aged 6.58.

Women’s phys­i­cal pain av­er­aged 4.21 while men’s was only 3.75. As for men, their evo­lu­tion has led them to com­pete for women’s ro­man­tic love, which Mor­ris be­lieves di­min­ishes their pain upon los­ing a high-qual­ity mate.

“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 worse still, come to the re­al­i­sa­tion that the loss is ir­re­place­able,” he says. Most of us will ex­pe­ri­ence three breakups by the time we turn 30 years old, with at least one of them bring­ing a level of pain sig­nif­i­cant enough to de­crease our qual­ity of life for some time.

The study was pub­lished in the jour­nal Evo­lu­tion­ary Be­hav­ioral Sciences.

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