Christine Stanik of the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan conducted the study and, as CTV News reports
, she wasn't expecting the results she found.
"Women found men more desirable if they found they had rejected their last partner, but the opposite was true for men,” Stanik said.
"Initially, I was expecting that everyone would like the person who rejected their last partner more because it's an indication perhaps that the person is of high status (or) is willing to risk breaking up with someone to find a relationship that is more suitable for them,” she added
According to CTV News, Stanik has a theory as to why the analysis came to such results. "One thing I can speculate is that a man initiating a breakup might be keeping up with the idea of dominance that is inherent in gender roles but when a woman does that . . . men might find that woman too picky, too high maintenance," she said.
CTV News reports that Michelle, a “nearly 30-something”, isn’t too surprised by the results; she’s an example of the typical woman from the study.
"Because they've taken more time to think about the breakup, they may be less emotionally attached than if their partner broke up with them,” she reasons.
"You always may wonder if they're still thinking about that other person, wishing they were still together."
The study also found that the reason for the breakup was more relevant if a person was looking for a long term relationship as opposed to a sexual tryst.
"If a man is thinking about just having a sexual relationship with a woman, finding out she rejected her last partner didn't matter," Stanik said.
When a long term relationship was a possibility, women were more likely to be turned off than men by the how and why of the break up.
In CTV News’ report, Adam, a 29 year old business owner, is quoted as saying, "I think it's important you discuss that kind of stuff. I think it gives you a better feel for the person, you know where they came from…You learn what they learned from their last relationship."
The study, “Rejection Hurts: The Effects of Being Dumped on Subsequent Mating Efforts” is to be published in Evolutionary Psychology. The study was conducted with 198 participants and included heterosexual couples only.