The Cheated Wins: A Research on Mate Loss

The long-term effects of relationship dissolution have not been seriously studied as the previous research which only focused on mate loss’ short-term consequences, such as post relationship grief and emotional distress. Researchers from Binghamton University and University College London conducted the largest-ever study on the eventual consequences of women who lose their unfaithful mate to another woman.

This new research talks about the ways in which women have adapted to cope with mate loss.

Craig Eric Morris, research associate at Binghamton University and lead author says:

“Our 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. 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.'”

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The researchers conducted an anonymous online survey of 5,705 participants across 96 countries on mate loss. According to their findings, there exist consequences of female intrasexual mate competition that are beneficial to the cheated women in terms of personal growth. The consequences can be easily adapted and expanded into other realms of personal development.

“If we have evolved to seek out and maintain relationships, then it seems logical that there would be evolved mechanisms and responses to relationship termination, as over 85% of individuals will experience at least one in their lifetime),” said Morris.

In conclusions, Morris says women can learn that they are not alone, and that they will eventually get through it.

Craig Eric Morris, Melanie L. Beaussart, Chris Reiber, and Linda S. Krajewski. Intrasexual Mate Competition and Breakups: Who Really Wins? – The Oxford Handbook of Women and Competition. DOI:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199376377.013.19. Published online Apr 2016.
MedicalNewsToday: largest-ever study on relationship dissolution

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