31 January 2007

Breaking up is hard to do - for men

Women have bigger hang-ups about relationship break-ups right? Maybe not.

Women have bigger hang-ups about relationship break-ups right? Maybe not, a Reuters report says.

Women who were asked about previous break-ups, saw no difference between a break-up where they were dumped or where they did the dumping. Men, however, saw things differently.

More scheming…
According to researchers at Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina, men believe there was much more scheming on the part of their partners, less finality in the relationship and less working together during the break-up if they were dumped than if they ended the relationship themselves.

Women don't tend to see break-ups differently based on whether they were the protagonist or the target, the report says. When rating how much scheming went into the break-up, "females don't differ much," Dr Mike Jordan told Reuters.

"The males, on the other hand - if they're the ones who did it, they thought 'Oh, there was no plotting on my part or anything.' But there was a lot if she broke up with them," he added.

Men felt the break-up was much less pleasant if it was forced upon them. Besides feeling there was more scheming behind a break-up when a women did the deed, men also felt that there was less collaboration and less finality when their partners dumped them than when they started the break-up themselves.

Dr Jordan explains that this may be why after a female partner ends a relationship, that men will continue to pursue their former partners - phoning them, or showing up where they work.

Doing the dumping ain't that bad
Dr Jordan believes that in general, women perceive break-ups as a negative experience overall, whether or not they initiate the process.

"Females just saw it as kind of bad all the time," he told Reuters. However, for men, dumping a partner may not be so bad, the researcher added.

"The males are not bothered if they end the relationship - it's not threatening to them," Jordan explains in the report. "But if they are the target - this is highly threatening to them, and they don't take well to it," he said.

Jordan and his team presented the findings at the American Psychological Society's annual meeting last Saturday.



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