This Is Why Men Move on Faster After a Breakup

Sophie Miura

Gender stereotyping is abundant in discussions about heterosexual relationships, but there's serious scientific evidence to suggest that when it comes to a breakup, men and women are wired to respond differently. If you've ever been hurt by an ex who has moved on faster than you have, relationship and body language expert Katia Loisel points to new evidence that explains why this happens and, more importantly, what it means. 

"Men are more likely than women to use distraction or denial as a coping mechanism in the wake of a stressful event and after a breakup that can mean jumping straight into a casual hookup or relationship," Loisel told Body and Soul. "In fact research shows that whilst women may remain celibate for a period of time after a breakup men are more likely to engage in sexual relationships following a breakup."

Her comments are in line with a 2015 study by Birmingham University, which suggests that women feel pain more acutely after a breakup. "Put simply, women are evolved to invest far more in a relationship than men," says research associate Craig Morris. His study of over 5000 participants suggests men still feel emotional pain associated with a breakup but realise "as it ‘sinks in’ that he must ‘start competing’ all over again to replace what he has lost," he explains.

If your former S.O. has started dating again, Loisel says it doesn't mean they have recovered from the relationship faster. "Jumping into a hook up or casual relationship releases an intoxicating mix of neurotransmitters and hormones including dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, which can seemingly (and temporarily) dull the pain of heartache," she explains.

She continues, "If you haven’t dealt with your past hurts and issues from previous relationships, more often than not they’ll show up in your life and new relationships." The take-home? Don't stress when you see a picture of your ex with someone else. If science is to be believed, it doesn't mean they're over you. 

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