Men Hurt Most
Love break ups are harder for young men than young women, according to new research which ditches the idea of men –young men anyway – are more stoical and resilient when it comes to affairs of the heart.
A study of nearly 2000 Miami men and women aged 18 – 23 found rocky relationships take a far greater toll on young men than young women.
But the differences seem to average out with age, with older married men showing similar distress levels to women when faced with emotional strain. Scientists are still trying to decide if this is because of social factors, or if Gen Ys have different attitudes to love.
Over the last decade scientists have found men and women express emotional stress in different ways — women by becoming anxious or depressed, men by abusing alcohol or drugs — have shown that marital discord has an equally unkind effect on both sexes.
The Girlfriend Factor
Young men it appears, need more support than their older brothers, and are more harmed by bust ups.
One suggestion is that young women have more girl friends they can turn to for sympathy, while young men rely heavily on women for emotional support and so lack closeness when the relationship ends.
Another is that women cry moan and then move on, while men tend to deny there is anything upsetting them and then months later are still coming to grips with the loss.
Biology could also be at work. Helen Fisher, author of Anatomy of Love, says because women can only reproduce so many times, they have dramatic time constraints that men don’t have. “A breakup means the loss of very valuable reproductive time.”
Gals Get ‘Over It’
Sydney Morning Herald blogger Ask Sam reports a “case in point – my mate Jed, who six months after his break-up began to wonder why the heck he ended things with his girlfriend of two years in the first place.
“In his head, he began to reminisce about all the great times they had together, the regular sex that he was no longer getting and the emotional support she provided for him that he was now without.
He hadn’t heard from her in a while and so he decided to make contact and see where she was at, hoping things could perhaps be rekindled. No such luck.
“I’m over it Jed,” she told him on the phone. “You’re too late. I’ve met someone else and we’re moving to Melbourne. Please don’t call me again.” Suddenly it was his turn to mourn the relationship, and he had no idea how to do it.
Says Sam: “That’s why it’s always good to have another guy on the side,” a girlfriend recently told me. “Unless you’re going to marry the guy, you just never know. And in the end they show no remorse. Or at least not initially. So you’ve got to have someone in the wings to take the pressure off when things go bust.”