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Dumper Or Dumpee: Which is Hotter?

Who’lda thunk it – I have something in common with David Brooks. We’re both utterly fascinated by social science research.

A couple of days ago he wrote about a bunch of mildly bizarre, recent studies. One of which caught my eye.

Would you rather date someone who dumped his or her last partner or someone who was the dumpee? For an article in Evolutionary Psychology, Christine Stanik, Robert Kurzban and Phoebe Ellsworth found that men will give a woman a lower rating when they learn that she dumped her last boyfriend, perhaps fearing they will be next. But women rated men more highly when they learned that they had done the dumping, perhaps seeing it as a sign of desirability.

This, I must say, would never occur to me. I don’t think I’ve ever asked a guy about HOW his previous relationship(s) ended. Was he the dumper or the dumpee?

Who asks these things?

Do people really care?

Do you?

Well, let’s see. The he cited was a male/female thing, but honestly, I don’t find that the least bit interesting.  I’m more interested in hearing WHY you would care. So please, if you have a moment and feel like sharing…

Would you rather date someone who dumped his or her last partner or someone who was the dumpee?

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15 to “Dumper Or Dumpee: Which is Hotter?”


  1. Man-shopper says:

    This is a fascinating question, and I, too, have never even given it a moment’s thought before in my life! I can’t even answer the poll. I just have no idea. I can’t seem to wrap my head around what difference it would make to me. Maybe it depends on how much I like the guy…

    • Simone Grant says:

      Phew. I thought is was just me (as it so frequently IS just me). If I found out I guy I was dating had been dumped by every single woman he’d ever been in a relationship with – then maybe I’d care. But not if I liked him A LOT. And how would a person find something like that out?

  2. Sandy says:

    thinking about it abstractly, i’d rather date somebody who dumped his last partner. this is for purely practical reasons. i can be insecure at the beginning of relationships and i think if he did the dumping, it’s less likely that he’s still hung up on the ex. in practice, i more often am drawn to men who were dumped. i don’t know why, but i could probably come up with a few reasons: i don’t end relationships myself because i give endless second chances and i look for partners with the same qualities (understanding, forgiveness, etc.); i’m a clingy relationship person and i want somebody who will cling back to me (and this type of guy is more likely to have clung onto his ex also). i don’t know if there’s a big difference personality-wise between dumpees and dumpers, but i think it would explain a lot if there were.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I suffer a similar affliction – I have been known to give 5 or 6 (or 10) second chances (but dammit, I am hoping that’s in my past).
      HOWEVER, I never thought of myself as clingy. Maybe I should?

  3. G/W says:

    I don’t have much of a preference but I’d rather have him be the dumper just because it usually means there aren’t any lingering feelings left.

  4. Prutha says:

    i think i share the same feeling as you and Man-shopper. i just never thought of asking the guy as it seems a bit (lot?) irrelevant to me. in the past, i have been the dumpee at time and the dumper at other, and it never mattered to the guys i dated. it seems strange to ask the guy AND THEN decide if he is date worthy? shouldn’t it depend primarily on whether you like each other enough to make it work?

  5. Sandyvs says:

    I don’t think that just because one person was the dumper that there would be no lingering feelings. I have dumped guys that I care about VERY much, but know that the relationship is not good for ME, and I don’t do things that aren’t good for me.

  6. catherine says:

    Really interesting question and I guess I hadn’t thought about how men and women might be different in their preference. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I always want to know how the last relationship (or multiple relationships) ended. I think it helps you understand who that person is in the contexts of a relationship.

  7. Neil Ward says:

    I agree with the findings of the study. I would much rather date a girl that dumped her last boyfriend as this shows ‘strength’ in her character that she wasn’t willing to put up with whatever shortcomings he had.

    However, I wouldn’t bother to ask the question of “who dumped who?” As to me, it’s irrelevant. And to be completely honest, it wouldn’t make a huge difference to wanting to date her anyway.

    Neil,

  8. bobbyboy says:

    I voted other as we all have our own experiences and people are different. Dumped or dumpee depends on the situation and the people involved I believe.

    p.s. I just saw that there’s a website called Idump4u or something like that. Seems they will dump your partner for you for a small fee, imagine?

  9. I used to always prefer to think it was better to be the dumper (having only ever been dumped myself for the first 6 years of my dating life, i conferred some kind of success/strength of character element to the dumper). Having lately been the dumper myself after a few lovely but going nowhere dates, I’m even more convinced that it’s better to date a dumper. It means that:
    - if it’s not working with you they will break it off rather than continue and waste your time when their hearts not in it
    - they are a strong enough character to make difficult decisions
    - they probably understand that it’s more important to be with someone you care about than just someone because you don’t want to be by yourself.

    All of which are pretty good attributes for a potential partner in my eyes…

  10. Jenny Jen says:

    I’d want him to be the dumper. I care because I want to have the certainty that his feelings aren’t lingering and that he knew it wasn’t working for whatever reason. Being the dumpee would make me curious if the ex changed her mind, if he’d go back.

  11. Brooke says:

    I’d rather date the dumped, perhaps not right away, but in my opinion he would be looking to improve himself and go for the hot girl next… if I’m not looking for anything serious, would be nice to be the hot girl :)

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