People everywhere are breaking up, just in time for the holidays. And the more couples I see parting ways, the more I notice that the girl always seems more miserable. This raised a few questions in my head.


1) Do boys tend to break up with girls more than the other way around?

Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything on this really, but if so that could be a possible explanation for my next question.

2) Why are girls seemingly more upset than guys? And why does it also seem to take girls longer to get over the relationship?

There are quite a few different explanations for this, but a few of my favorite can be found in this article. The one I hadn't thought of that really seemed like a "duh" moment for me is the first: Guys are typically pressured to go out and explore their options by friends much sooner than girls. This can speed up the healing process for them. Also, because they're afraid of judgement from friends, males will tend to put on a braver face so that it seems like they're moving on... even if they're not.

Another thing that I know I have at least thought of is the fact that guys will use a rebound to make themselves feel better and move on, as a writer in the Huffington Post says. Since they can't cry to their friends or family about it because it would "ruin their macho image", they decide that they have to move on quickly to avoid seeming like their break up is bothering them (which it, in fact, is).

A theory that was presented to me by a friend that actually makes some sense, though I can't find any evidence of it, actually relates the speed of moving-on to our primal instincts. Males animals, for example, are destined to just reproduce. Many will move from female to female without even sticking around for the birth of the offspring. Females, on the other hand, are born to nurture, to care. Even female animals that are with a mate that moves to different people will often only stay with that original mate (and will not mate again if that one dies). These are their survival instincts and what keeps the species alive. In the case of break-ups, humans could possibly have the same subconscious instincts.

Is there any evidence of this being possible? Do YOU think it's possible? I'm not sure, but it would make me feel a little bit better to know that when I'm falling apart, there's an actual scientific reason why the guy isn't.


I do agree with your saying us women are much more caring and are designed to nurture. Afterall, we give birth and usually care for our children as much as we can. In terms of breakups, any that I have ever seen atleast, the girl is always really sad at first, while the guy is partying and having a grand old time. I just tried to find a picture that I saw before that relates to this article perfectly. I cant find it but basically it has a picture that says: "day after break up" and it has the girl crying and the guy out having fun, totally not caring about what just happened... and then the picture below says "Six weeks after a break up" and has the girl out having fun, totally over the situation...then the guy is finally sad, crying and trying to aplogize. I feel as though the picture is really accurate of what happens. It seems that emotions and break ups hit us girls quicker, but for boys the reaction time is a lot different. It kinda screws them over in the long run, because if they start caring and want the girl back eventually, she is likely gone and over it!

I just read something interesting written by family therapist Roger Gil. Apparently, we are hard-wired to fear rejection. This makes sense, as when our ancestors were ostracized from the tribe, they were left to fend for themselves and likely die. While that outcome is much more dramatic in the scope of modern society, the instincts still remain. We want to feel wanted, simply put. Roger did a study in which "participants were presented with a series of unfamiliar faces and were asked to predict whether they would be liked by the other person. Following each judgment, participants were provided with feedback indicating that the person they had viewed had either accepted or rejected them." The general result of the study is that our transient heart rates were altered when we faced unexpected rejection, proving there is a sort of biological mechanism for why we hurt when we face a break up. Of course, the question you propose of why there is a difference in gender is completely case dependent, however I agree that with our sample in State College your ideas seem to hold true. I personally believe that it is a result of the environment, and the outside views of everyone else that shape the behavior of guys and girls post-break up. Heres the link explaining the study and ways to help mitigate the stress after a break up if anybody is interested:

Speaking from personal experience, (my girlfriend and I broke up about 2 months ago) , I can say that it affected us in different ways. She seemed to shut down and become a bit depressed like you explained in your blog, while I on the other hand handled it differently. I was also pretty depressed at first but came to terms with it faster than she did. I completely agree with you when you say the girl is generally more caring and takes it way harder, but I believe the reason why the guy seems to take it better is because they want to reject the feeling of depression that they are having, rather than embrace it. I figured that I might as well have fun and put it in the past before it began to affect other aspects of my life, like school work. That being said, I was still not happy for a while there. I think that the guy tends to put on an act to show that he still possesses dominance when in reality, he is just as upset as the girl. This just goes to show you that people have many different ways of coping with stress.

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