Sex Differences in Reconciliation Behavior After
T. Joel Wade
#Springer International Publishing 2017
Abstract Prior research shows that patterns of mate selection,
attraction, and expulsion are the product of evolved sex differ-
ences in computational adaptations. Within long-term romantic
relationships, men typically prioritize information relevant to a
mate’s reproductive (i.e., sexual) value whereas women more
often prioritize a mate’s willingness to invest romantic (i.e.,
emotional) resources into a stable pair-bond. Although these
differences in preference are well established within mate se-
lection and relationship maintenance literature, relatively fewer
studies have examined differences in how men and women
reconcile after romantic conflict. Using an act nomination pro-
cedure, the present research tests the prediction that men and
womendifferbywhichpartnerreconciliation behaviors they
evaluate as most effective in resolving a romantic conflict. In
study 1, participants nominated common reconciliation behav-
iors which were subsequently sorted into 21 distinct actions. In
study 2, participants rated each behavior by how effectively it
would resolve conflict if performed by their romantic partner.
Overall, acts suggesting emotional commitment were expected
to be rated as most effective. Men were expected to rate actions
which signal sexual accessibility as more effective compared to
women. Women were expected to rate acts which signal emo-
tional accessibility as more effective compared to men (study
2). Results were largely consistent with our predictions, though
notable deviations are documented and discussed within the
context of contemporary romantic relationship research.
Keywords Reconciliation .Sex .Sexual accessibility .
Conflict between partners sometimes occurs within romantic
relationships. In some instances, this conflict leads to mate
expulsion (i.e., breaking up with a partner; Wade and Brown
2012). Mate expulsion allows individuals to extract them-
selves from relationships that may compromise their well-be-
ing, the well-being of their offspring, or their reproductive
opportunities, and can provide opportunity for personal
growth and change (Slotter et al. 2003; Slotter, Gardner, &
Finkel, 2010; Tashiro & Frazier, 2003). Nevertheless, mate
expulsion may entail costly outcomes such as increased psy-
chological distress (Field et al. 2010;Morrisetal.2015;
Sbarra 2006), decreased life satisfaction (Rhoades et al.
2011), lowered offspring well-being(AmatoandKeith
1991), and economic hardship (Avellar and Smock 2005).
Furthermore, mate expulsion may introduce novel challenges
such as a retributive ex-partner and stalking behavior (Lukacs
and Quan-Haase 2015; Perilloux and Buss 2008), cyclic rela-
tionship renewal (i.e., on-again/off-again relationships; Dailey
et al. 2009), friendship loss (Schneider and Kenny 2000),
family disapproval (MacDonald et al. 2012), and substance
abuse (Larson and Sweeten 2012). Lastly, mate expulsion is
physiologically painful (Fisher 2006) because rejection from a
partner involves subcortical reward/gain loss areas of the brain
that are crucial for survival (Fisher et al. 2010). To compen-
sate, individuals may engage in mate retention behaviors to
mitigate these negative consequences. Specifically, individ-
uals may use positive mate retention strategies such as giving
A version of this paper was presented at the 7th Northeastern
Evolutionary Psychology Society Conference, Lebanon Valley College.
*T. Joel Wade
Department of Psychology, Bucknell University,
Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA
Oakland University, Rochester, MI, USA
Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, USA
Evolutionary Psychological Science
more affection, giving in to a partner’s demands, debasement,
sexual inducements, and appearance enhancement (see Buss
1988b; Buss and Shackelford 1997; Kaighobadi et al. 2010).
Individuals may also resort to negative forms of mate retention
such as concealment, vigilance involving knowing where the
partner is at all times, and derogation of the mate (see Buss
1988b; Buss and Shackelford 1997;Kaighobadietal.2010).
Another way individuals can forestall the possibility of
mate expulsion is via reconciliation strategies for preventing
relationship dissolution and minimizing the costs associated
with it (Mearns 1991;Seiffge-Krenke2011;PappandWitt
2010). Certainly, not all romantic conflicts lead to mate expul-
sion. Lesser conflicts such as spats and lovers’quarrels also
occur within relationships, and individuals are often able to
resolve these issues without relationship dissolution. Indeed, it
is possible that a small conflict such as a lover’s quarrel could
enhance a relationship (e.g., Berry and Willingham 1997;also
see Cialdini et al. 1973). Specifically, an individual may feel
more attracted and attached to their partner when the partner
removes or attenuates the negative arousal associated with the
spat/quarrel (Barnes et al. 2007; Creasey et al. 1999). Post-
conflict reconciliation between partners is common insofar as
prolonged rumination over wrongs and clinging to conflicts
can have negative psychological and physiological conse-
quences (Witvliet et al. 2001). Engaging in forgiveness has
been linked to immediate and long-term cardiovascular health
improvement (Larsen et al. 2012), and individuals who for-
give have better self-reported health and health habits (Allan
and McKillop 2010). When accompanied by an apology, for-
giveness and reconciliation reduce the stress of an interper-
sonal conflict, and increase an individual’s perception of con-
trol over their life experiences (Witvliet et al. 2001). Forgiving
a partner can likewise maintain or preserve a relationship into
which an individual has already invested time and resources
Although both sexes may benefit from romantic conflict
resolution, men and women may differ with respect to how
effectively certain reconciliation tactics reduce negative out-
comes and experiences associated with that conflict, particu-
larly when conflict occurs over a partner’s sexual or emotional
availability. Men are more sensitive to costs associated with a
partner’s sexual infidelity (e.g., cuckoldry) whereas women
are more sensitive to cues of relationship divestment (i.e.,
emotional infidelity; reviewed in Sagarin et al. 2012). Prior
research shows that mate expulsion decisions can be driven by
a lack of sexual or emotional access to one’s partner. Wade and
whereas women are more likely to expel a mate due to a lack
of emotional access. This is unsurprising given that access to
these resources is paramount to men’s and women’smate
selection, respectively (Buss 1989,2006; Buss and Schmitt
1993). To date, no research has examined whether there are
differences in men’s and women’s reconciliation tactics after
romantic conflict. Given the benefits of forgiveness and rec-
onciliation, it is likely that reconciliation behaviors have been
shaped, to some degree, by natural selection to address recur-
rent adaptive problems that typically arise after relationship
conflict (e.g., interpersonal tension, aggression, resource loss).
Specifically, men may use emotional and commitment-related
actions to make up with their female partner, and women may
use sexual access-related actions to make up with their male
partner. The present research tested these predictions in two
studies. Study 1 focuses on determining the actions men and
women engage in to reconcile with a partner after a fight.
Study 2 focuses on which of the reconciliation actions delin-
eated in study 1 are perceived as most effective by men and
Participants (n= 74, 38 women, 36 men; age: M = 27.74,
SD = 11.43; range = 18–54) were recruited from the introduc-
tory psychology course at a private University in the north-
eastern USA, and from Facebook groups. Facebook partici-
pants did not receive any compensation for their participation
while those from the introductory psychology course received
research participation credit towards the course requirement.
The demographic characteristics of the sample were as fol-
lows: 75.7% White, 12.2% Black, 1.4% Asian, 5.4%
Hispanic, 5.4% Other; 89.2% had sexual relationship experi-
ence, 10.8% had never been in a sexual relationship; 56.8% of
the sample was currently in a relationship, 39.2% were single,
4.1% were unsure of their current relationship status; 44.7% of
the women were presently using birth control, and 55.3%
were not using birth control. Birth control usage was included
since prior research shows that hormonal birth control usage
affects women’s mate retention behavior (Welling et al. 2012)
and other parental investment theory-related perceptions (see
Geary et al. 2001; Wade and Fowler 2006).
Participants received an online questionnaire that included
demographic questions regarding age, sex, sexual orientation,
sexual history, relationship status, medication use, and birth
control use (women only). Following standard act nomination
procedures (Buss 1988a,b; Buss and Craik 1983;Wadeetal.
2009a;Wadeetal.2009b; Wade and Feldman 2016), partic-
ipants were given the following instruction:
Evolutionary Psychological Science
Please think of people you know of your own sex who
have been or are currently in a relationship. With these
individuals in mind, write down five acts or behaviors
that they have performed (or might perform) to recon-
cile (make up with) with their partner after they have
had a fight. Be sure to write down acts or behaviors. An
act is something that a person does or did, not some-
thing that they are. Do not say “he is sorry”or “she
feels guilty.”These are not behaviors. You should de-
scribe acts or behaviors that someone could read and
answer the questions: “Did you ever do this?”and
“How often have you done this?”
Following methodology used in prior research using act nom-
ination procedures (Buss 1988a,1988b;BussandCraik1983;
Wade et al. 2009a,2009b; Wade and Feldman 2016), the
responses men and women provided were separated into cat-
egories. Initially, all 220 responses given by participants were
compiled into one list. Next, these acts were examined by one
of the authors and one other individual, a psychology student,
and grouped into 21 individual categories. For example, nu-
merous participants listed “Apologize,”“Apology,”“I would
apologize,”. So, an Apology Category was created. Consistent
with act nomination research methodology, any discrepancies
were resolved via discussion. Next, a comparison was made
between males and females. The total number of females who
gave a certain response and the total number of males who
gave a certain response were calculated. In total, there were
157 female responses and 167 male responses. To adjust for
the differences in sample size, each female total was divided
by the total number of female responses, and each male total
was divided by the total number of male responses. Table 1
shows the adjusted scores for men and women. The most
common responses given by women were apologizing, com-
munication, gifts, affection, and sexual favors. The most com-
mon responses given by men were gifts, apologizing, nice
gestures, sex/sexual favors, spending time together, and com-
munication. Additionally, men reported giving gifts and doing
nice gestures more often than women did while women re-
ported giving more communication, and giving more affection
compared to men.
Men’s results were consistent with prior mate expulsion re-
search showing that women are more likely toexpel a mate for
being emotionally inaccessible/uncommitted (Wade and
Brown 2012). In terms of specific actions nominated by
men, “giving gifts”and “doing nice gestures”may have been
nominated frequently because they are altruistic acts and
women find altruistic men appealing (Arnocky et al. 2016;
Phillips et al. 2010).
Wom e n ’s actions, overall, and in terms of the specific act of
“communication,”can be explained via the prior research on
love acts. Wade et al. (2009a) and Wade and Vanartsdalen
(2013) show that the most effective love acts for both men
and women are actions that are indicative of emotional com-
mitment. Since emotional commitment actions are perceived as
effective indicators of love by men, women use such actions to
also reconcile with their partners, and such actions are seen as
effective. Women may have frequently nominated giving affec-
tion because giving affection may be viewed by men as a sign
of sex/sexual accessibility and men are more likely to stay with
partners who are sexually accessible (Wade and Brown 2012;
Wade and Mogilski 2013). While these nominations are con-
sistent with prior research, it is unclear which reconciliation
acts are most effective for each sex. To examine this, study 2
was implemented to investigate sex differences in the perceived
effectiveness of each act.
Based on prior research regarding effectively communicating
love to a partner (Wade et al. 2009a; Wade and Vanartsdalen
2013) and the results from study 1, actions suggesting emo-
tional commitment/emotional access should be rated as most
effective by both sexes. Additionally, sex differences are ex-
pected such that women should rate actions reflecting emo-
tional access and commitment as more effective than men do
while men should rate actions reflecting sexual access as more
effective than women do.
Participants (n= 164, 41 men, 123 women; M= 21.71,
SD = 7.10; range = 18 to 61) were recruited from social media
(e.g., Facebook) and an introductory psychology course at a
private University in the northeastern USA. Social media par-
ticipants did not receive any compensation for their participa-
tion while those from the introductory psychology course re-
ceived research participation credit. No individuals from study
1 participated in study 2. The demographic characteristics of
the sample were as follows: 87.4% White, 2.9% Black, 5.7%
Asian, 3.4% Hispanic, 6% Other; 86.9% had sexual relation-
ship experience, 13.1% had never been in a sexual relation-
ship; 47.4% of the sample was currently in a relationship,
Evolutionary Psychological Science
47.4% were single, 5.1% were unsure of their current relation-
ship status; 60.4% of the women were presently using birth
control, and 39.6% were not using birth control.
All materials were presented using online survey software.
Participants provided demographic information, and complet-
ed the short form of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability
Scale (Strahan and Gerbasi 1972)tocontrolforsocialdesir-
ability biases that are common to behavioral self-report re-
search (Podsakoff et al. 2003) which can mask the true rela-
tionships between variables (Ganster et al. 1983). Participants
were also provided the 21 consensus reconciliation acts from
study 1 and asked to read the following prompt:
Below are listed acts that someone might perform to
make up/reconcile with their partner. In this study, we
are interested in how effective you think each act is at
achieving this goal for you (if a partner did this to rec-
oncile with you). Please read each act carefully, and
think about its consequences. Then rate each act on
how likely the act is to be effective in reconciling
with/making up with you. Use the 7-point scale below:
a“7”means that you feel the act is very likely to be
effective in reconciling with/making up with you. A “1”
means that you feel the act is not very likely to be effec-
tive in reconciling with/making up with you. A “4“
means that you feel the act is moderately likely to be
effective in reconciling with/making up with you. Use
intermediate numbers for intermediate likelihoods of
effectiveness in reconciling with/making up with you.
Cronbach’s alpha (1951) revealed that the 21 reconciliation acts
were reliable, α= 0.75. A 2 (sex) × 21 (reconciliations) mixed
model ANCOVA with the social desirability scale sum score as
a covariate revealed a significant interaction, F(20, 143) = 2.88,
p< .0001, η
=0.29(seeTable2). Socially desirable responding
was not a significant factor, F(20, 140) = 1.53, p=.07,
= 0.18. Men rated the acts “give sex/sexual favors”
(t(162) = 4.15, p< .0001, d= 0.70) and “do nice gestures”
(t(162) = 2.14, p<.034,d= 0.41), as more effective than
women. Women rated the acts “spend time together”
(t(162) = −2.18, p< .031, d=0.38),“cry”(t(162) = −3.46,
p< .0001, d=0.62),and“apologize”(t(162) = −2.52,
p< .013, d= 0.41) There was also a main effect for reconcili-
ation acts, F(20, 143) = 65.73, p< .0001, η
= 0.90 (see
Tab l e 3). Pairwise comparisons with Bonferroni corrections
Tabl e 1 Relative percentage of
reconciliation acts nominated by
men and women
Act Women Men Difference
Gifts (flowers, etc.) 0.12 0.19 0.07
Nice gestures (favors, compliments, chores, etc.) 0.04 0.11 0.07
Say yes to anything/give in/give up 0.00 0.02 0.02
Give each other space/calm down 0.01 0.02 0.02
Spend time together 0.06 0.08 0.01
Wait for partner to apologize 0.01 0.02 0.01
Sex/sexual favors 0.09 0.10 0.01
Argue 0.00 0.01 0.01
Make them laugh/be silly 0.00 0.01 0.01
Drink alcohol 0.00 0.01 0.01
Forgive partner 0.01 0.01 0.01
Take the blame/admit you were wrong 0.01 0.02 0.01
Compromise 0.01 0.01 0.00
Pretend nothing happened/forget it 0.05 0.05 0.00
Ignore/avoid partner 0.02 0.01 0.01
Involve friend (venting, etc.) 0.03 0.01 0.01
Cry 0.03 0.01 0.02
Apologize 0.20 0.18 0.02
Cook/bake for partner 0.06 0.02 0.03
Affection (kiss, hug, etc.) 0.11 0.04 0.07
Communicate (talk, call, text, letter) 0.15 0.08 0.07
Note: Difference scores given in absolute value. Female and male scores are adjusted scores (frequency divided by
total number of responses)
Evolutionary Psychological Science
revealed that “Communicate,”“apologize,”“forgive your part-
ner,”“spend time together,”“compromise,”and “give a
kiss/hug/affection”were rated as most effective, in general.
Additional analyses did not indicate any significant interactions
with current relationship status, sexual relationship experience,
or birth control status (all p> .07).
In study 1, participants nominated actions that people perform
to reconcile with a romantic partner. In study 2, participants
rated these acts by how effective each would be in facilitating
reconciliation if performed by their current romantic partner, or
an imagined romantic partner. It was predicted that actions
which communicate emotional investment would be rated
highest on effectiveness by both sexes. This hypothesis was
supported. Communication, apologizing, forgiving one’spart-
ner, spending time together, and compromising were all rated
more highly than other characteristics. Overall, these actions
may be viewed as most effective by both men and women
insofar as these actions communicate romantic investment in a
partner (see Wade et al. 2009a; Wade and Vanartsdalen 2013).
Reassuring a partner that one still loves her/him after conflict
may facilitate mate retention (Buss and Shackelford 1997), and
maintaining one’s romantic relationship affords reproductive
and health benefits associated with forming a long-term pair-
bond (Braithwaite et al. 2010; Quinlan 2008).
We also found partial support for our prediction that men
and women would differ by which reconciliation tactics they
rate as most effective. Men, compared to women, rated a part-
ner doing nice gestures and giving sex/sexual favors as more
effective whereas women rated a partner spending time with
them, apologizing, and crying as more effective compared to
men. These findings are consistent with prior research show-
ing that men are more likely to expel a mate due to sexual
inaccessibility (Wade and Brown 2012; Wade and Mogilski
2013), and prefer mates who are sexually accessible (Buss
1989,2006; Buss and Schmitt 1993). Women may thereby
use sexual favors as a way to reconcile with their male partner.
Doing so may communicate to their male partner that they are
still sexually accessible and as such do not want to end the
relationship. By comparison, women are most likely to expel a
mate if that mate is emotionally inaccessible (Wade and
Brown 2012; Wade and Mogilski 2013) and women prefer
emotional accessibility in potential mates (Buss 1989,2006;
Tabl e 3 Mean perceived effectiveness of reconciliation acts
Act Mean (SD)
(a) Communicate 6.07 (1.11)
(b) Apologize 5.85 (1.22)
(c) Forgive your partner 5.62 (1.17)
(d) Spend time together
Give a kiss/hug/affection
Make you partner laugh/be silly
Take some space/give partner space
Take the blame/admit you were wrong
Do nice gestures (compliments, etc.)
Cook a meal or bake for your partner
Wait for partner to apologize
Give sex/sexual favors
Vent to a friend
Give in or give up
Argue with partner
Pretend the fight did not happen
Ignore or avoid partner
Higher numbers mean more effective; standard deviations are in paren-
theses. Superscripts denote significant differences, p< .05, e.g., mean for
row a, “communicate,”is significantly different from means for rows that
have an “a”in their superscript, etc. Comparisons were Bonferroni
corrected based on the number of comparisons computed. Comparisons
of all 21 means are not included in the table
Tabl e 2 Mean perceived effectiveness of reconciliation acts across sex
Action Men Women
Give gifts 4.20 (1.40) 4.05(1.55)
Do nice gestures 5.59 (1.08)* 4.77(1.43)*
Give in or give up 2.71 (1.68) 2.91(1.43)
Take some space 4.66 (1.15) 5.02 (1.28
Spend time together 5.29 (1.17)* 5.72 (1.07)*
Wait for partner to apologize 2.95 (1.69) 3.31 (1.57)
Give sex/sexual favors 3.90 (1.87)* 2.72 (1.47)*
Argue with partner 2.49 (1.49) 2.57 (1.27)
Make partner laugh 5.12 (1.25) 4.89 (1.42
Drink alcohol 1.83 (1.24) 1.55 (1.01)
Forgive your partner 5.63 (1.16) 5.62 (1.18)
Take the blame/admit being wrong 4.76 (1.63) 4.94 (1.48)
Compromise 5.27 (1.40) 5.70 (1.18)
Forget it/pretend it did not occur 2.34 (1.06) 2.27 (1.31)
Ignore/avoid partner 1.85 (1.06) 1.73 (1.09)
Vent to a friend 3.17 (1.40) 2.84 (1.39)
Cry 2.32 (1.49)* 3.25 (1.50)*
Apologize 5.44 (1.50)* 5.98 (1.08)*
Cook a meal 3.95 (1.66) 4.06 (1.47)
Kiss/hug/affection 5.15 (1.11) 4.93 (1.34)
Communicate 5.90 (1.04) 6.13 (1.13)
Note: Higher numbers mean more effective
*p< .05 (standard deviations)
Evolutionary Psychological Science
Buss and Schmitt 1993). Women may have rated “spending
time together”more highly to the extent that this behavior
signals a partner’s willingness to invest effort and limited re-
sources (e.g., time) into their romantic pair-bond. Such actions
by a man may signal the likelihood of a potentially high pa-
rental investment which women prefer (Trivers 1972).
Interestingly, women rated crying as more effective than did
men. Women may view male partners who cry after conflict as
men who are in touch with their emotions. Prior research
shows that men who cry are viewed positively, and as in touch
with their emotions, but not feminine (Labott et al. 1991).
Likewise, crying may honestly signal a mate’s emotional in-
vestment insofar as grief is a costly signal of relationship com-
mitment (see Winegard et al. 2014). Women also rated apol-
ogizing as more effective than did men. This is consistent with
Bevan et al. (2003) who report that apologizing is the most
common method used to reconcile with a partner. Indeed,
people are more likely to forgive a partner after romantic in-
fidelity if their partner apologizes (Gunderson and Ferrari
2008). In particular, women may find the act of their male
partner apologizing to be an effective reconciliation tactic be-
cause it is viewed as an altruistic act (Arnocky et al. 2016;
Ohbuchi et al. 1989). A man’s apology may redirect the cost
of romantic conflict to himself rather than to his partner and
thereby demonstrate his ability to provide emotional support
and incur personal costs for his partner.
Limitations and Future Directions
The present research examined the perceived effectiveness of
men’sandwomen’s reconciliation acts rather than the actual
effectiveness. Therefore, additional research is warranted. For
example, using observational methods, future research should
examine how effective these actions actually are for reconciling
with a partner. Likewise, future research could examine recon-
ciliation tactics within particular conflict domains. For exam-
ple, some tactics may be relatively more effective after conflict
over shared personal expenses (e.g., your partner makes a large
financial decision without consulting you) versus conflict over
jealousy (e.g., your partner is flirting with someone of the op-
posite sex). Giving sexual favors may be more effective for
alleviating conflict motivated by jealousy insofar as sexual con-
tact facilitates pair-bonding and confirms continued romantic
interest in one’s partner. By comparison, sexual contact may be
relatively ineffective at resolving financial disputes compared
to communication, gift giving, and compromise.
Evolutionary theory predicts a number of sex differences in mate
selection, mate retention, and mate expulsion. The present
research expands this literature by documenting systematic differ-
ences in which actions men and women perceive as most effective
in promoting conflict reconciliation within romantic relationships.
Compliance with Ethical Standards This research was reviewed by
the Institutional Review Board at Bucknell University and complies with
Conflict of Interest the authors declare that they have no conflict of
Allan, A., & McKillop, D. (2010). The health implications of apologizing
after an adverse event. International Journal for Quality in Health
Care, 22(2), 126–131.
Amato, P. R., & Keith, B. (1991). Parental divorce and the well-being of
children—a meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 110,26–46.
Arnocky, S., Piché, T., Albert, G., Ouellette, D., & Barclay, P. (2016).
Altruism predicts mating success in humans. British Journal of
Avellar, S., & Smock, P. J. (2005). The economic consequences of the
dissolution of cohabiting unions. JournalofMarriageandFamily,
Barnes, S., Brown, K. W., Krusemark, E., Campbell, W. K., & Rogge, R.
D. (2007). The role of mindfulness in romantic relationship satisfac-
tion and responses to relationship stress. Journal of Marital and
Family Therapy, 33,482–500.
Berry, D. S., & Willingham, J. K. (1997). Affective traits, responses to
conflict, and satisfaction in romantic relationships. Journal of
Research in Personality, 31,564–576.
Bevan, J. L., Cameron, K. A., & Dillow, M. R. (2003). One more try:
compliance-gaining strategies associated with romantic reconcilia-
tion attempts. The Southern Communication Journal, 68,121–135.
Braithwaite, S. R., Delevi, R., & Fincham, F. D. (2010). Romantic rela-
tionships and the physical and mental health of college students.
Personal Relationships, 17(1), 1–12.
Buss, D. M. (1988a). Love acts: the evolutionary biology of love. In R. J.
Sternberg & M. L. Barnes (Eds.), The psychology of love (pp. 100–
118). New Haven, CT, US: Yale University Press.
Buss, D. M. (1988b). From vigilance to violence: tactics of mate retention in
American undergraduates. Ethology and Sociobiology, 9(5), 291–317.
Buss, D. M. (1989). Sex differences in human mate preferences: evolu-
tionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and Brain
Sciences, 12(01), 1–14.
Buss, D. M. (2006). Strategies of human mating. Psychological Topics,
Buss, D. M., & Craik, K. H. (1983). The act frequency approach to
personality. Psychological Review, 90(2), 105–126.
Buss, D. M., & Schmitt, D. P. (1993). Sexual strategies theory: an evo-
lutionary perspective on human mating. Psychological Review,
Buss, D. M., & Shackelford, T. K. (1997). From vigilance to violence:
mate retention tactics in married couples. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 72(2), 346–361.
Cialdini, R. B., Darby, B. L., & Vincent, J. E. (1973). Transgression and
altruism: a case for hedonism. Journal of Experimental Social
Psychology, 9(6), 502–516.
Creasey, G., Kershaw, K., & Boston, A. (1999). Conflict management
with friends and romantic partners: The role of attachment and neg-
ative mood regulation expectancies. Journal of Youth and
Evolutionary Psychological Science
Cronbach, L. J. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of
tests. Psychometrika, 16(3), 297–334.
Dailey, R. M., Rossetto, K. R., Pfiester, A., & Surra, C. A. (2009). A
qualitative analysis of on-again/off-again romantic relationships:
“It’s up and down, all around”.Journal of Social and Personal
Relationships, 26(4), 443–466.
Field, T., Diego, M., Pelaez, M., Deeds, O., & Delgado, J. (2010).
Breakup distress and loss of intimacy in university students.
Fisher, H. (2006). Broken hearts: the nature and risks of romantic rejec-
tion. In A. C. Crouter & A. Booth (Eds.), Romance and sex in
adolescence and emerging adulthood: risks and opportunities (pp.
3–28). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Fisher, H. E., Brown, L. L., Aron, A., Strong, G., & Mashek, D. (2010).
Reward, addiction, and emotion regulation systems associated with
rejection in love. Journal of Neurophysiology, 104(1), 51–60.
Ganster, D. C., Hennessey, H. W., & Luthans, F. (1983). Social desirabil-
ity response effects: three alternative models. Academy of
Management Journal, 26(2), 321–331.
Geary, D. C., DeSoto, M. C., Hoard,M. K., Sheldon, M. S., & Cooper, M.
L. (2001). Estrogens and relationship jealousy. Human Nature,
Gunderson, P. R., & Ferrari, J. R. (2008). Forgiveness of sexual cheating
in romantic relationships: effects of discovery method, frequency of
offense, and presence of apology. North American Journal of
Kaighobadi, F., Shackelford, T. K., & Buss, D. M. (2010). Spousal mate
retention in the newlywed year and three years later. Personality and
Individual Differences, 48(4), 414–418.
Labott, S. M., Martin, R. B., Eason, P. S., & Berkey, E. Y. (1991). Social
reactions to the expression of emotion. Cognition & Emotion, 5(5–
Larsen, B. A., Darby, R. S., Harris, C. R., Nelkin, D. K., Milam, P. E., &
Christenfeld, N. J. (2012). The immediate and delayed cardiovascu-
lar benefits of forgiving. Psychosomatic Medicine, 74(7), 745–750.
Larson, M., & Sweeten, G. (2012). Breaking up is hard to do: romantic
dissolution, offending, and substance use during the transition to
adulthood. Criminology, 50,605–636.
Lukacs, V., & Quan-Haase, A. (2015). Romantic breakups on Facebook:
new scales for studying post-breakup behaviors, digital distress, and
surveillance. Information, Communication & Society, 18,492–508.
MacDonald, G., Marshall, T. C., Gere, J., Shimotomai, A., & Lies, J.
(2012). Valuing romantic relationships: the role of family approval
across cultures. Cross-Cultural Research, 46,366–393.
Mearns, J. (1991). Coping with a breakup: negative mood regulation
expectancies and depression following the end of a romantic rela-
tionship. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60,327–
Morris, C. E., Reiber, C., & Roman, E. (2015). Quantitative sex differ-
ences in response to the dissolution of a romantic relationship.
Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 9,270–282.
Ohbuchi, K. I., Kameda, M., & Agarie, N. (1989). Apology as aggression
control: its role in mediating appraisal of and response to harm.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56(2), 219–227.
Papp, L. M., & Witt, N. L. (2010). Romantic partners’individual coping
strategies and dyadic coping: Implications for relationship function-
ing. Journal of Family Psychology, 24,551–559.
Perilloux, C., & Buss, D. M. (2008). Breaking up romantic relationships:
costs experienced and coping strategies deployed. Evolutionary
Psychology, 6, 147470490800600119.
Phillips, T., Ferguson, E., & Rijsdijk, F. (2010). A link between altruism
and sexual selection: genetic influence on altruistic behaviour and
mate preference towards it. British Journal of Psychology, 101(4),
Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003).
Common method biases in behavioral research: a critical review of
the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 88(5), 879–903.
Quinlan, R. J. (2008). Human pair-bonds: evolutionary functions, eco-
logical variation, and adaptive development. Evolutionary
Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 17(5), 227–238.
Rhoades, G. K., Kamp Dush, C. M., Atkins, D. C., Stanley, S. M., &
Markman, H. J. (2011). Breaking up is hard to do: the impact of
unmarried relationship dissolution on mental health and life satis-
faction. Journal of Family Psychology, 25,366–374.
Sagarin, B. J., Martin, A. L., Cutinho, S. A., Edlund, J. E., Patel, L.,
Skowronski, J. J., & Zengel, B. (2012). Sex Differences in jealousy:
a meta-analytic examination. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33(6),
Sbarra, D. A. (2006). Predicting the onset of emotional recovery following
nonmarital relationship dissolution: survival analyses of sadness and an-
ger. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 298–312.
Schneider, C.S., & Kenny, D. A. (2000). Cross-sex friends who were
once romantic partners: are they platonic friendsnow? Journal of
Social and Personal Relationships, 17(3),451–466.
Seiffge-Krenke, I. (2011). Coping with relationship stressors: a decade
review. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21,196–210.
Silk, J. B. (2002). The form and function of reconciliation in primates.
Annual Review of Anthropology, 31(1), 21–44.
Slotter, E. B., Gardner, W. L., & Finkel, E. J. (2010). Who am I without
you? The influence of romantic breakup on the self-concept.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36,147–160.
Strahan, R., & Gerbasi, K. C.(1972). Short, homogeneous versions of the
Marlowe-Crowne social desirability scale. Journal of Clinical
Tashiro, T. Y., & Frazier, P. (2003). “I’ll never be in a relationship like that
again”: personal growth following romantic relationship breakups.
Personal Relationships, 10,113–128.
Trivers, R. (1972). Parental investment and sexual selection (pp. 136–179).
Aldine de Gruyter, New York: Sexual selection & the descent of man.
Wade, T. J., & Brown, K. (2012). Mate expulsion and sexual conflict. In
T. Shackelford & A. Goetz (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of sexual
conflict in humans (pp. 315–327). New York, NY: Oxford
Wade, T. J., & Feldman, A. (2016). Sex and the perceivedeffectiveness of
flirtation techniques. Human Ethology Bulletin, 31(2), 30–44.
Wade, T. J., & Fowler, K. (2006). Sex differences in responses to sexual
and emotional infidelity: considerations of rival attractiveness and
financial status. Journal of Cultural and Evolutionary Psychology,
Wade, T. J., & Mogilski, J. (2013). Mate expulsion decisions across sex: a
conjoint analysis. Presented at the 7
Psychology Society Conference. Lebanon Valley College,
Wade, T. J., & Vanartsdalen, J. (2013). The Big-5 and the perceived
effectiveness of love acts. Human Ethology Bulletin., 28(2), 3–12.
Wade, T. J., Auer, G., & Roth, T. M. (2009a). What is love: further
investigation of love acts. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and
Cultural Psychology, 3(4), 290–304.
Wade, T. J., Butrie, L. K., & Hoffman, K. M. (2009b). Women’s direct
opening lines are perceived as most effective. Personality and
Individual Differences, 47(2), 145–149.
Welling, L. L., Puts, D. A., Roberts, S. C., Little, A. C., & Burriss, R. P.
(2012). Hormonal contraceptive use and mate retention behavior in
women and their male partners. Hormones and Behavior, 61(1),
Winegard, B. M., Reynolds, T., Baumeister, R. F., Winegard, B., &
Maner, J. K. (2014). Grief functions as an honest indicator of com-
mitment. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 18,168–186.
Witvliet, C. V. O., Ludwig, T. E., & Laan, K. L. V. (2001). Granting
forgiveness or harboring grudges: Implications for emotion, physi-
ology, and health. Psychological Science, 12(2), 117–123.
Evolutionary Psychological Science