There are many stereotypes about how heterosexual men and women deal with breakups, and one of the most common stereotypes is that men move on faster than women. But do they actually move on faster?
According to relationship and body language expert Katia Loisel, men and women are wired differently when it comes to dealing with breakups. Men commonly use distraction and denial as a way to cope with their emotions when going through a breakup. Women, on the other hand, tend to talk about their feelings and emotions more – they really feel them as opposed to suppressing them. There is also research that shows women may remain celibate for a period of time after a breakup, whereas men are more likely to sleep with someone sooner.
And then there’s a 2015 study by Birmingham University, which suggests that women feel pain on a different level after a breakup. The study of over 5000 participants suggests men still experience emotional pain but as a bit of time goes on, they feel they must ‘start competing’ all over again to replace what they lost.
Hookups and casual relationships can also release feel good hormones including dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, which give the emotional illusion of dulling the pain of heartache. This is a short-term ‘fix’ though, and because of how men are wired, they tend to opt for this instead of facing their emotions head on and working through them.
So if your male ex has started to date someone else, don’t take it as a sign they aren’t in pain or they don’t care. It doesn’t mean they’ve moved on from the relationship faster. As science has shown, it may just be a coping mechanism that men are more prone to than women.
At the end of the day, no one can really know the true extent of someone’s pain, and the best way forward is to turn inward and focus on your own mending process. If you find yourself stuck in the comparison game with your ex, just remind yourself of this quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”