The biggest problem with love is that sometimes it doesn’t last. When love ends, the consequences of losing that person are devastating. There’s nothing more painful than losing the person you love (except maybe losing a limb; I’ve heard that can also hurt like nothing else), and then having to pick up the pieces and function in the world without them.
Whether you call it heartache or heartbreak, it always means the same thing: something is missing and that something will not come back.
A survey conducted by Elite Singles revealed that when it comes to lovesickness, men suffer the most. Among the 95 percent of people surveyed who admitted to being lovesick at some point in their lives, 25 percent more men than women experience heartbreak when a relationship ends . But why?
Why do men suffer more from lovesickness than women?
According to psychologist Dr. Wiebke Neberich, the cause could be linked to the fact that “it is more often women who break off the relationship, and men tend to overestimate a woman’s interest, which means that they are also pushed aside and suffer more often from unrequited love.
Men and women may suffer differently, but all agree that when it comes to a breakup, nothing is as profound as if the ending was due to another person. Eighty percent consider this reason to be the most painful cause of heartbreak, followed by 29 percent who believe that being placed second to their partner’s life is the worst, family disapproval and problems in the bedroom coming in third and fourth place respectively.
Lovesickness is a legitimate pain that can cause both emotional and physical problems. It’s not just a breakup, but a loss that takes weeks, months, and sometimes years to recover from. While we immediately think of a woman on her couch having sex with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, everyone deals with despair in their own way and, surprisingly, drowning in carbs isn’t at the top of the list .
Most, 61 percent of men and 76 percent of women, turn to their friends to cope with their sadness. It can be exhausting if you get that call, but don’t worry, you’ll be ready to fight at some point too. It’s inevitable.
For women who prefer not to burden their friends, their first choice is to grieve alone (54%), while men choose to keep their heads down and return to the grindstone (44%). Trying to eat their weight in mac ‘n’ cheese didn’t even emerge as a coping mechanism until after grieving alone, working and taking care of themselves. Of course it had to be there somewhere, otherwise every chick flick you’ve seen would have been a lie!
At the very bottom of the list of how people deal with lovesickness is revenge, cold, relentless, well-orchestrated revenge. An eye for an eye, right?
Find out how men and women deal with grief in the Elite Singles infographic below.
The fact is, whether you’re suffering from a breakup now, have experienced one in the past, or your next breakup is fast approaching, we’ve all been there. Not a single person will be able to live their entire life without experiencing it at least once. Isn’t it nice to know you’re not alone? It’s especially nice to know that people are handling the situation the same way you are. Misery really loves company.
How do you deal with lovesickness?
Amanda Chatel is an essayist and editor on intimate health for Yourtango, Shape Magazine, Hello Giggles, Glamor and Harper’s Bazaar.