Men Find You More Attractive After This Life Event, According To Research

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Ladies, if you recently went through a breakup, congratulations! You just got more attractive. The 2011 findings published by the University of Michigan say that men find women who got dumped by their last boyfriends super sexy. What is it about a broken-hearted woman that attracts men?

The study examined how past relationships affect your love life in the future. Researchers showed 198 participants fake online dating ads and gauged their responses. Participants rated the ads based on shallow information and on how that person's last relationship ended. They were also asked whether they wanted a long-term relationship with the person, or whether they just wanted intimacy.

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Here's where things got really interesting.

For men, the woman's relationship history mattered only when he wanted a serious relationship with her. But if he was only interested in hooking up, he didn't care who did the dumping. Ironically, women preferred men who initiated their last breakup. As long as they're single, it's fair game.

Although the eloquently-titled study "Rejection Hurts: The Effects of Being Dumped on Subsequent Mating Efforts" didn't explore why men found scorned women more attractive, lead researcher Christine Stanik from the Department of Psychology offered her own theories.

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Like many people who rely heavily on conventional dating wisdom, Stanik didn't anticipate the study's results.

She said, "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) [risks] breaking up with someone [for the sake of finding] a relationship that is more suitable for them."

It's crazy that whether or not you did the dumping determines how attractive you are.

Stanik speculates that when a man initiates a breakup, his actions reinforce the male dominance that is synonymous with (outdated) conventional gender roles. Therefore, knowing his prospective girlfriend got canned reassures him that he'll be the one in control.

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Sounds a little bit like a red flag?

On the other hand, when women leave their boyfriends, guys man consider them high-maintenance and picky. This also makes them worry that she will eventually reject him as well. Talk about insecurity! Meanwhile, women may prefer guys who initiated their last breakup because it suggests that he isn't hung up on their ex, and are less likely to cheat.

Go figure.

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Denise Ngo is a freelance web writer and editor specializing in love, dating, and relationships. She is the Managing Editor of Loverish and a writer for PopSci.