When it comes to suffering from a broken heart, we all have to go through the ups and downs of an emotional rollercoaster equally, both men and women.
But is it possible that there are gender differences in the intensity of going through the painful stages of a break-up? Does one of them suffer more than the other in general?
According to a study that was published in an issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, this is very well the case. The study of more than 1,000 men and women of 18 to 23 years of age shows that a broken heart hurts men more than women.
An article at LA-Times summarizes that in even more detail. The researchers found that break-ups cause men more emotional grief, and that they feel their identity and self-worth threatened more.
I find that very contrary to popular belief that puts women, in general, into a more sensitive and vulnerable place.
My personal experiences in coaching hundreds of men and women since 2005 don’t substantiate any of these findings at all.
In my experience, men and women both suffer equally.
However, they both express their grief in different ways, have different belief-systems when it comes to their recovery and they both attach different weight to the various stressors in a break-up.
To name an example, men suffer more from the thought that their Ex could be with another man than they do from the notion the Ex could have moved on completely.
With women, it’s exactly the other way around. But the actual emotional pain is the same.
Whether or not you suffer a lot after a break-up, experience a loss of identity or have it more or less under control solely depends on your belief-system, your ability to adapt to new situations and the level of your emotional independence.
The common belief is also that women have a much bigger support-system they can turn to and have no problems communicating their innermost thoughts.
Whereas men don’t discuss such matters among themselves, as they don’t want to appear weak and “uncool”. Thus, a man cannot go anywhere for emotional support.
While this may or may not be true, it certainly inspires rather upsetting comments like one that followed the LA-Times article:
“Wow, they had to do a study to figure this out? For any woman who has had to listen to a man go on and on about his ex, this is old news. Women are much better adjusted and have friends to help us through. Just get over it dude!”
Having that comment in mind, and being interested in what everybody out there thinks about this problem, I’ve asked my twitter followers the following question:
“I’d like to know what you think: Who suffers more after a breakup? Men or women?”
Here are the best two opinions:
So the answer to the question who suffers more from a broken heart may strongly depend on whom you ask, and an answer can only come from their own personal experience – because who can assess the emotional pain of others?
But I think rather than asking who suffers more, the much better and more valuable question would be – who has the better basic prerequisite provided by society to get over a break-up faster, men or women?
We leave that for another time…
You can read the article about the conducted study here.
I’d love to know what YOU think. Please share in the comment section below.