Ladies, we have good and bad news on the breakup front. The good news: You'll probably get over the split faster than your male ex. The bad news: You'll feel more pain in the meantime, according to a new study published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. Researchers asked 5,705 people in 96 countries to rate the emotional and physical pain of a breakup on a scale of one (what pain?) to 10 (agonizing pain) via an online survey.
Women reported greater pain emotionally—a 6.84 compared to 6.58 in men—and physically—a 4.21 versus 3.75 in men. The differences may seem small, but they're statistically significant, reports Fusion.
And there's an evolutionary explanation: "Women are evolved to invest far more in a relationship than a man" since it could result in pregnancy, says lead author Craig Morris in a press release.
They're "choosier about selecting a high-quality mate" so a loss hurts more. Men may feel the breakup less at first, but Morris says "the man will likely feel the loss deeply," perhaps for months or years, "as it 'sinks in' that he must 'start competing' all over again to replace what he has lost—or worse still, come to the realization that the loss is irreplaceable." Here, women have the advantage.
When they realize it's time to move on, they "recover faster and more fully," Morris says, per the Courier Mail. And recover we all must, according to Morris, a professor at Binghamton University in New York: He says the average person goes through three breakups before he or she hits 30, at least one of which is painful enough that it lowers his or her quality of life for weeks or months.
The study authors note that lack of communication "was the most prevalent breakup cause" and that women were more likely to initiate the breakup. (It turns out you can die of a broken heart.)
This article originally appeared on Newser: Study: Women Are Hurt More by Breakups, But...
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