Men View Their Ex-Partners More Favorably Than Women Do

Ursula Athenstaedt, Hilmar Brohmer, Jeffry A. Simpson, Sandra Müller, Nina Schindling, Adam Bacik, Paul A.M. Van Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Our research deals with the question how people look back at their ex-partners—those with whom they were once romantically involved? Such views are important because they may shape our views of current relationships or new (potential) partners. Across three studies (total N = 876), we find that men hold more positive attitudes towards their female ex-partners than women do towards their male ex-partners. Gender-related variables provide further insight into this phenomenon. Ex-partner attitudes correlated positively with more permissive sexual attitudes and the amount of social support that individuals perceived from their ex-partners (both higher in men), whereas the ex-partner attitudes correlated negatively with attributions of greater responsibility for the breakup to ex-partner or relationship itself (both higher in women). Both men and women reported more positive ex-partner attitudes if they were single or had lower breakup acceptance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-491
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • attitudes
  • ex-partner
  • gender difference
  • romantic relationships


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