By Alisa Hrustic
Forget getting physical—women might not want sex after a heated argument, according to a new study from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.
Researchers surveyed 74 men and women to name five specific actions or behaviors they thought they or someone of their own sex would use to make things right after a fight.
Then, they split that list up into categories and had a separate group of 164 men and women rate the behaviors on how effective they would be in reconciling an argument.
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When it comes to guys, the results weren’t entirely shocking. Men found makeup sex more effective at extinguishing a fight than women did. Guys also liked it when their partner performed nice gestures, like doing chores or paying compliments.
But those actions weren’t entirely up to par for women, who found it more effective when their partner spent time with them, apologized, and even cried to show remorse after arguing.
That’s because taking the time to hang out with her after an argument shows that you’re willing to invest extra effort into your relationship, explains lead study author T. Joel Wade, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Bucknell University in a press release.
Plus, apologizing offers emotional support, since it puts the conflict back on you rather than your partner, he explains.
As for shedding a tear or two? Crying demonstrates that you’re invested and genuinely feel sad about clashing in the first place.
“Prior research shows that men who cry are viewed positively and as in touch with their emotions, but not feminine,” the study authors write.
So, let her know you’re sorry in whatever way works best for you, whether that be through your words or just making her some dinner and watching a movie—it might mean more to her than a night in the sack.