Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Date:
September 5, 2007
Source:
University of Alabama
Summary:
"Breaking Up is Hard to Do" is advice from a popular 1970s song, but older women going through a relationship breakup may have health problems to go along with their broken hearts, according to researchers. Older women going through a relationship breakup may have health problems to go along with their broken hearts when they return to the dating scene. These singles are also finding a new place to meet partners--often hooking-up at the grocery section of their local supermarket.

Women surveyed in the study often faced depression, lack of health information, and lack of social support after their relationships ended.
Credit: iStockphoto/Rasmus Rasmussen

“Breaking Up is Hard to Do” is advice from a popular 1970s song, but older women going through a relationship breakup may have health problems to go along with their broken hearts, a University of Alabama researcher has found.

Dr. Bronwen Lichtenstein, UA assistant professor of criminal justice who specializes in women’s issues, recently completed a study of the health risks women over age 35 faced when they returned to the dating scene after the breakup of a long-term relationship.

Lichtenstein was investigating the theory that after an older woman leaves a long-term relationship she may make risky dating choices. “Being in a relationship for 20 years means you have no idea what the dating scene is like today,” she said.

Lichtenstein surveyed women in the West Alabama area and found that these women – many of them like your mother or your grandmother – often faced depression, lack of health information, and lack of social support after their relationships ended.

How did they cope with starting over? Well, it may start with food, Lichtenstein found. “One of the most interesting things for me was that they told me they often meet people in grocery stores. There’s a whole dating scene for this age group going on in Wal-Mart and Publix,” she reports.

The hooking-up over food phenomenon may be happening because there are few, if any, places where older people can meet. “Young people have places to go to meet one another and that doesn’t exist for a lot of older people -- some may be embarrassed to go to church groups for singles or they may feel that the groups are for younger people,” Lichtenstein said.

Lichtenstein looked at how these women, who were recently divorced or widowed, were equipped with the proper health information about the spread of sexually transmitted diseases when dating. “Women are biologically more at risk for STDs at 50 than at 20, and most women don’t realize it,” the UA College of Arts and Sciences professor noted.

Almost all the women in the study reported being depressed after ending a relationship, and at least half the women had been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection. The women faced biological, emotional and personal issues, although the real problem is that the issues are not being addressed, Lichtenstein found.

“There is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety in returning to the dating scene – women ask ‘Am I attractive?’ and ‘What are the rules?’ – but nobody knows what the rules are because everything’s changed,” she said.

Who fares the best the second time around?

“Women who are confident and assured of themselves seem to deal with these relationship issues better. They may not be in a better place, but they find other things to do and find a satisfying life on their own.

“A good example of this is a 62-year-old woman who joined a motorcycle club and began a wonderful social life. Another example would be a woman who never married but owned her own business and had a lot of friends,” she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alabama. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alabama. "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831150021.htm>.
University of Alabama. (2007, September 5). Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831150021.htm
University of Alabama. "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831150021.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins