Love + Sex, Love

My first love promised he’d never do this to me, until the day he did

Men and women have emotions, and some people have a harder time dealing with them than others.

My first love once told me, “One of us can get really hurt in the end; and trust me, I do not want that to happen.

His words were so similar to the lyrics Adele sings in her heart-wrenching song, Someone Like You: “Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.”

His words frightened me and made me insecure. For the rest of our relationship, I had a constant fear that I was going to get hurt – and I did. It was very, very painful.

Trust me, I do not want that to happen. Click To Tweet

My relationship with this man always surprised me.

Our intimate conversations had so much to do with his past – the pain he experienced in life, his sensitivities, and the heartbreak. Based on what I learned about gender relations while growing up, usually, women are the most prone to pain and hurt. But his troubled past completely flipped that coin for me.

I felt like I was the man in the relationship, to be quite frank.

Growing up, I learned that men were the real heartbreakers, and women were so fragile and weak that they were more likely to get their hearts torn apart. However, learning about my ex during this relationship completely changed my perspective on the way this whole “love” thing works.

The intense depression he fell into, and the extreme pain that he was inflicted with when girls cheated on him proved to me that there is no real difference in how much pain one can feel.

Growing up, I learned that men were the real heartbreakers. Click To Tweet

In a poll taken by 501 singles in the UK, 25% more men than women have suffered more pain after a breakup. In an explanation by Psychologist Wiebke Neberich, “Men have a propensity to overestimate a woman’s interest, meaning that they also get brushed off and suffer from an unrequited love more often.”

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There is a societal assumption that women are more emotional creatures than men. People think women have a more difficult time handling their emotions than men because of the accumulation of mental layers that cloud their rational thinking. But I beg to differ.

This gender stereotype can add pressure on women in relationships to be more firm and harsh, instead of soft and loving. It can also cause insecurities and make a woman feel like she cannot express how she honestly feels about certain things.

I remember being criticized by him for being manipulative and unlike “the woman he has gotten to know,” just for expressing myself in a way that he found wrong.

Unfortunately, I was revealing my emotions in a way that made him uncomfortable because I myself was insecure and unsure of how to share my feelings with him. I was put under pressure to figure out how to communicate how I felt, and that was constantly tormenting because it made me afraid to say anything.

There is a societal assumption that women are more emotional. Click To Tweet

The reality that I see now, on why I was in those circumstances, to begin with, is because some men do not know how to handle a woman’s intense emotions. Their own fears and insecurities make them unable to endure the difficult emotions that come with a relationship – that they must deal with in a fragile manner but often fail to do so.

The article 5 Reasons Why Men Handle Heart Break Worse Than Women offers a clear explanation for why men may suffer more than women or are equally vulnerable to heartache.

First, men are taught from a young age to be tough and dance around pain by expressing anger and frustration. This leads to a vulnerability in not knowing how to handle emotions when a man’s heart gets broken.

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Second, men feel a sense of protection when it comes to their romantic partner. If she were to disappear, this loss will be tormenting for him. He will feel as though a part of him, his most prized possession, is gone.

Third, men are used to their habits. If there comes a time when they must completely break out of a certain routine, it will be hard for them to quit. It’s like a drug, I suppose.

Fourth, men get attached very easily – as do women. Attachments prove just how hard a person can fall for another.

And lastly, the potential of a woman getting hurt by a man who just wants to “hit it and quit it” is far greater than it is for a man.

These experiences that women go through have developed in them thicker skin that allows them to be prepared for what may come next. Whereas, men may not necessarily have a nagging fear that a woman will sleep with him and disappear the next day.

Some people have a harder time dealing with them than others. Click To Tweet

Men and women have emotions, and some people have a harder time dealing with them than others. But this does not divide us in the context of gender – it does so only in matters of the heart pertaining to the individual be it a man or a woman. The mental capacities we assign to both sexes in heartbreaking circumstances are detrimental.

We allow both genders to dwell in expectations and in believing that, both sexes are at a loss.

Marwa Abdelghani

Marwa Abdelghani

Marwa Abdelghani works at the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) as the Community Outreach Fellow, and is also an advisory board member of NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change.

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