Go turn on Netflix or any other online streaming platform that you might have and head straight to the romance section. Try watching any movie or TV show that centers around relationships or breakups and it’s likely that there is one trend that will emerge out of all of them.
If the two main characters in the relationship actually break up, they will depict the guy as being okay; just hanging out with his friends and having a good time.
The girl is often portrayed as being completely distraught and broken up inside. She is often seen just lounging on the couch with smeared mascara and a tub of ice cream in hand. She is often portrayed as the one who is bearing most of the pain that stems from the breakup.
And yes, it is true that a lot of men will be completely devastated should they ever have to go through a breakup. But it would be completely foolish to think that men aren’t going to be as affected and impacted by breakups.
Studies have shown that yes, women do tend to feel immense pain and devastation from breakups whenever they first occur. But over the long-term, women tend to recover way faster than men do when it comes to bouncing back from a breakup. This is all based on the studies published in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences.
The lead researcher on the project. Craig Eric Morris, Ph.D., says that there are substantial studies and research projects that actually cover the idea of attraction and detachment in relationships.
“There is already a very robust body of literature on human pair-bonding from an evolutionary perspective: what cues attract us to a mate, strategies we employ to establish a relationship; what has been lacking is a detailed look at what happens when a relationship fails,” says Morris.
In order to come to more conclusive findings on the matter, Morris recruited a team of fellow researchers from the University College London and Binghamton University. The research team decided to survey 5,705 people who hailed from 96 different countries around the world.
The survey focused on the amount of emotional and physical pain that the subjects might have experienced after a breakup. The subjects were also asked to rate the pain that they felt on a scale from one to 10. But before doing so, the subjects were asked to recount special memories with their exes in an attempt to really grant authenticity to their feelings about the failed relationship.
When it came to both physical and emotional pain, women tended to rate their pain and agony much higher than how the men did. However, an interesting fact arose out of the study.
When the subjects were asked to recount their memories, the researchers actually found that women were more likely to admit that they had gotten over their failed romances and moved on. For the men, it wasn’t the same case. A huge bulk of the men that were surveyed actually admitted to still feeling a lot of negative emotions that stemmed from their breakups.
Morris said that this might be due to the fact that women are more receptive and responsive to how they truly feel. He says that they are more inclined to confront their feelings and that’s why it’s easier for them to process everything and move on.
“I feel that and this is a broad generalization, that women are more perceptive and responsive to their own feelings,” Morris claims. “I think women ‘know’ that the relationship is over (whether or not they initiated the breakup) much more quickly than men do. With men, we see a bit of emotional lag in registering the breakup.”
Morris also postulates that perhaps it’s because of men’s typical reluctance to really address the negative emotions that cause them to hold on to this emotional baggage for much longer.
They are often conditioned by media and those around them to just suck it up and ignore how they really feel when they should really be mustering up the courage to come to terms with how they feel. “Men, at least in our culture, seem taught to not express their feelings following a breakup,” says Morris.
“I think men don’t feel the pain initially, but they will eventually and this lag leads to a great deal of internalized suffering that is expressed as depression, anger, and self-destructive behavior rather than a tacit expression of ‘I had a rough breakup and am sad.’”
To put it simply, instead of just confronting their feelings head-on, guys will tend to sweep their emotions under the rug with the hopes that they will all eventually go away on their own.