Self, Heartbreak

Men And Women Handle Breakups Way Differently, Says Study

Photo: WeHeartIt

We've all got at least one breakup story to tell; one story that seems to have defined how we look at love and how we handle future breakups. Sometimes I think my breakup story is my only story — the one story that has everything anyone needs to know about me. Breakups are difficult, painful, and almost always take time to recover from.

A recent article from the Huffington Post suggests something that we all suspected — that while heartbreak is both universal and specific, the experience differs in regards to gender. 

Researchers from Binghamton University and University College London did a study to find out if women handle PRG (Post Relationship Grief) differently than men.

The main component of the study was an online survey of 5,705 English speaking men and women from 96 different countries. 75 percent of them reported that they'd been through a breakup and 75 percent of those reported multiple breakups. Three times as many females as males responded.

Of the 98 percent of the participants who said they'd experienced a breakup, 96 percent reported emotional trauma (such as anger, depression and anxiety,) and 93 percent physical trauma (such as nausea, sleep loss and weight loss.)

The intensity of the PRG was similar between males and females. However, the expression of PRG varied between genders across a series of recurring themes; females focused on broad self-esteem and trust issues, while males reflected more narrowly on the actual intensity and duration of the PRG.

PRG levels were lower in individuals who initiated the breakups than in those who did not. And women were more often the ones doing the breaking up. Surprisingly, the most common reason for breaking up was lack of communication.

In the end, breakups are common and PRG comes along with most of them — giving us all at least one great heartbreak story about the one true love (or maybe not) who got away.