Have you gone through a bad breakup? Did you have to put up with a cheating spouse for months, causing much heartburn and bad blood? Turns out a woman who has lost her unfaithful partner to another woman will eventually be the real winner.
Lead author Craig Morris from the Binghamton University said that their thesis is that the woman who ‘loses’ her mate to another woman will go through a period of post-relationship grief and betrayal, but come out of the experience with higher mating intelligence that allows her to better detect cues in future mates that may indicate low mate value.
Morris added, “Hence, in the long-term, she ‘wins.” The ‘other woman,’ conversely, is now in a relationship with a partner who has a demonstrated history of deception and, likely, infidelity. Thus, in the long-term, she ‘loses’.
Researchers from Binghamton University and University College London conducted an anonymous online survey of 5,705 participants in 96 countries; this was the largest-ever study on relationship dissolution, particularly as regards to cross-cultural experiences and age variation.
Their findings show that there are consequences of female intrasexual mate competition that may be both evolutionarily adaptive and also beneficial in terms of personal growth, and that may expand beyond mating and into other realms of personal development.
Morris has highlighted how certain breakups seem to hit people very hard in past research. This new research highlights the ways in which humans -- women, in particular -- have adapted to cope with breakups.
The study is published in The Oxford Handbook of Women and Competition.