If you are thinking of patching up with your former boyfriend, shedding a few tears may not really work. Men consider a nice a gesture or receiving sexual favours as the best form of apology, says a new study.
If a man wants to make amends with his girlfriend after an argument, he should dedicate quality time and also cry while asking for forgiveness, according to the findings published in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science.
These findings are consistent with previous studies that showed that men prefer a partner who is sexually accessible.
"Women may thereby use sexual favours as a way to reconcile with their male partner," said lead researcher T. Joel Wade of Bucknell University in the US.
"Doing so may communicate to their male partner that they are still sexually accessible and as such do not want to end the relationship," Wade added.
Overall, the researchers found that showing emotional commitment is the best way of reconciling a conflict between romantic partners, but that there are systematic differences in how men and women prefer this to be put into practice.
The study was done in two parts. Participants were first asked via an online questionnaire to nominate specific actions that men and women engage in to reconcile with their partners after a fight.
These were then grouped by the researchers into 21 categories of possible reconciliation behaviours.
The options given by the participants in the first part of the study were then given to an additional group of men and women to ascertain which methods were preferred (most effective).
Men, compared to women, rated a partner doing nice gestures and giving sex/sexual favours as more effective, the findings showed.
It was further found that women held it in high regard when a partner spent time with them after a conflict, apologised and even cried to show their remorse.
"Women may rate spending time together more highly because this behaviour signals a partner's willingness to invest effort and limited resources into their romantic pair-bond," explained Wade.
"Such actions by a man may signal the likelihood of a potentially high parental investment which women prefer," Wade added.