Curiouser and curiouser: a University of Michigan study found that straight guys consider women more desirable if they'd been rejected, rather than the rejector, in their last relationships.
Women, however, are the opposite: we prefer that a prospective suitor be the dump-er. Why? It's the usual: we might be conditioned to like assertiveness in a man, but they find the same quality in a woman intimidating, at least according to head researcher Christine Stanik. "One thing I can speculate is that a man initiating a breakup might be keeping up with the idea of dominance that is inherent in gender roles but when a woman does that . . . men might find that woman too picky, too high maintenance."
I wonder if it doesn't play into other social norms too: the myth of "taming" a man that's the theme of every drugstore romance and half the tabloids. Then too, maybe men are scared of being left? Or maybe it's just that we trust other women's instincts, while men don't have that issue.
Study: Men Like Women Who Were Dumped [Digital Journal]