What’s more attractive: saying you dumped your ex or your ex dumped you?

Both sexes look bad if they say they got dumped or refuse to answer.

Women look bad if they say they dumped their ex-boyfriend.

Women are more attracted to men who say they dumped their ex-girlfriend.

Robert Kurzban, author of Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocritesums up the results of a study:

So, if you’re a woman, should you tell a prospective mate that you’ve been dumped? Probably not. Men were less interested in either a “serious relationship” or “dating” the person in the ad after they found out that the person’s last relationship had ended in their being dumped.

Ok. Well. Suppose you’re a woman, and you did the dumping in the prior relationship. Should you mention this to prospective mates? Nope. Men’s ratings of women were lower after they learned that she did the dumping.

Hm. Ok. So, being the dumper or the dumpee both leads to lower evaluations by men. So maybe you shouldn’t say anything. To look at this, Stanik included a condition in which subjects saw that the target had chosen not to answer the question about how their prior relationship had ended. In this case, men’s evaluations of women also decreased.

So, men’s evaluations of women decreased if they did the dumping, were dumped, or chose not to answer the question. (Men do better if they say they did the dumping, by the way.) For women, it’s a catch-33. (50% worse than a catch-22, since all three options are bad ones.)

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