Men May Take Breakups Harder Than Women, New Research Finds

Based on their analysis, it would appear that men may actually experience more emotional pain than women when their relationships get rocky—or at least, they’re more likely to talk about it online.

The findings showed men posted about heartbreak online “significantly” more than women, which goes against widely held gender stereotypes of men being less emotional. This include using language related to regret, breaking up, crying, and heartbreak.

“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,” Entwistle says.

According to lead researcher Ryan Boyd, Ph.D., the findings suggest men may not be less emotionally invested in relationships than women are after all; rather, he says it may be the case that men are simply “stigmatized out of sharing their feelings.”

“Traditionally, women are more likely to identify relationship problems, consider therapy, and seek therapy than are men,” he adds. “When you remove the traditional social stigmas against men for seeking help and sharing their emotions, however, they seem just as invested in working through rough patches in their relationships as women.”

Additionally, the analysis found that communication problems were the most frequently reported relationship issue, with almost 20% of people saying they had a hard time communicating about problems with their partner. About one in eight mentioned trust issues in their relationships. The most common theme reported across all types of problems was emotional pain or heartache they caused.

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