Breaking up is never fun for anyone, but stereotypes have long portrayed women as more emotionally unstable after a breakup or more likely to fall apart. As it turns out, men are not as emotionally strong as we like to think and take breakups way harder than women. 

A new study from researchers at Lancaster University found that men endure ‘more emotional pain’ after a breakup. The study, which was orchestrated by a team of psychologists, started to discover the core problems of relationships. After going through over 184,000 responses in the anonymous survey, researchers found common trends. 

The number one trend was lack of communication. One in five respondents said they have trouble discussing issues with their partner. A shockingly one in eight respondents said both they and their partner have trust issues. 

“As we were conducting the study, we realized that this was an important opportunity to put a lot of common ideas about gender differences in relationships to the test. For example, are men truly less emotionally invested in relationships than women, or is it the case that men are simply stigmatized out of sharing their feelings?” said Dr. Ryan Boyd, lead researcher for the study.

Researchers found during the study that it was men who were more likely to open up about the emotional trauma they endured in a breakup than women. Male respondents referred to their breakups using terms like: 

  • regret
  • heartbroken 
  • cry 
  • breakup

Researchers found this extraordinary considering the typical perception is that men are not as invested emotionally in relationships as women. 

“Notably, the fact that the heartache theme was more commonly discussed by men emphasizes how men are at least as emotionally affected by relationship problems as women,” explains Charlotte Entwistle, the lead author of the study.

Most men carry the stigma that having emotions is weak and feminine, so they first disclaim them. They act recklessly and irrational, which leaves their feelings stuffed away. Women can also act irrational, but their emotional sides are just as big of their personality as any other side. It’s like a built-in function that helps them decide how to make decisions and how best to express themselves. Women are not afraid to cry and let out their emotions when they are having an off-day or when someone has upset them or even a prime example of the point, during breakups. Women are used to wearing their hearts on their sleeves and being real people. They can often see signs of a toxic or even just not compatible relationship faster than men. 

Other studies on the emotional differences between genders had similar findings. Men showed less emotion than women but felt stronger emotions when they would respond to the same scenarios. The group was compiled of 15 fathers and 15 mothers who got presented with funny and heart-felt images and videos to record emotional responses. Researchers used skin conductance electrodes to measure participants’ reactions. 

A strong woman knows how to keep her life in line. With tears in her eyes, she still manages to say, ‘Nah, I’m fine. -Anonymous

In Canada, another study from McGill University found that men and women don’t remember the pain the same way either. When it came to previous agonies, women were more likely to forget them, while men remembered. With women forgetting and men remembering. Men reported being more “stressed and hypersensitive” to the painful memories, which could explain why men take breakups harder. Women don’t want to carry the burden of the pain and look to put it past them. Men relive it in their minds more. 

Men live by society’s standards to which they have to appear less emotional than they are, damaging their mental health. So remember, ladies, you are tougher than men when it comes to emotional pain because researchers have proven it

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