Ladies, if you were recently broken up with, congratulations: you just got more attractive. New findings published by the University of Michigan say that men prefer women who were dumped by their last boyfriends, while women prefer men who initiated their last breakup. Disappearing: The Kindest Way To Break Up?
To study how past relationships affected future efforts, researchers gauged the responses of 198 heterosexual participants to fake online dating ads. Participants were asked to rate the ads based on shallow information and on how that person's last relationship ended. Researchers also asked subjects to note whether they wanted a long-term relationship with the person, or whether they just wanted sex. For men, the woman's relationship history mattered only when he wanted a serious relationship with her. When it came to trysts, he didn't care who did the dumping.
Although the eloquently-titled study "Rejection Hurts: The Effects of Being Dumped on Subsequent Mating Efforts" didn't explore why men were more attracted to scorned women, lead researcher Christine Stanik, from the Department of Psychology, offered her own theories. Like many people who subscribe to conventional dating wisdom, Stanik was surprised by the study's results.
"Initially, I was expecting that everyone would like the person who rejected their last partner more because it's an indication perhaps that the person is of high status (or) is willing to risk breaking up with someone to find a relationship that is more suitable for them," she said.
She speculates that when a man initiates a breakup, his actions reinforce the male dominance that is inherent to gender roles. Therefore, knowing his prospective girlfriend was dumped reassures him that he'll be the one in control. On the other hand, when women leave their boyfriends, guys man consider them high-maintenance and picky, which could also make them worry that she will eventually reject him as well. Meanwhile, women may prefer guys who initiated their last breakup because it suggests that he isn't hung up on his ex. Is Getting Dumped Easier If Your Partner Comes Out Of The Closet?
Do you agree with the results of this study? How have your past relationships affected your current one (or lack thereof)?