Men are more worried about heartbreak than heart health – and will stop dating to avoid heartbreak, survey reveals

BRITISH men are more concerned about heartbreak than heart heath – and will stop dating to avoid upset, according to research.

A study of 2,000 men aged 25-40 found 71 per cent believe love, romance and companionship are the key to a healthy heart. 

But sadly, the average millennial male has had his heart broken as many as eight times, with nine in 10 suffering some sort of major upset by the time they reach 40.

The main causes of heartbreak among young men include a break-up and unrequited love, with one in five now even choosing to avoid dating entirely, purely to ward off future upset. 

Almost two thirds (61 per cent) of men believe it is important to guard against heartbreak – and over a third believe putting up an emotional wall helps protect them. 

While one in six men admit to ghosting their love interests, with a further 15 per cent choosing never to say ‘I Love You’, according to the research commissioned by the California Almonds.


1. The death of a loved one

2. A breakup

3. A pet passing away

4. Mental health

5. Unrequited love

6. Losing a pet

7. Arguments with friends/family

8. Finding out you had been cheated on

9. Job loss or financial difficulty

10. A friend being disloyal

11. Having to say goodbye to someone special when leaving somewhere

12. Watching your favourite sports team lose in a cup final

13. Missing out on a job opportunity

14. Losing/winning a lot of money

15. A pet getting sick

16. Moving out of the family home

17. Physical stressors (a muscle sprain, a broken bone or major surgery)

18. A frightening medical diagnosis

19. Domestic abuse

20. Public speaking

However, while modern men are in touch with their emotional heart health, 68 per cent are unconcerned about developing problems physically – despite heart complications continuing to be the number one cause of death for men in England and Wales.

Love Island alumni and A&E doctor Alex George, who is no stranger to physical and emotional affairs of the heart, says a heart-smart diet is one of the easiest ways for young men to safeguard against potential heart conditions. 

He said: “While we know ways to protect our heart emotionally – ghosting people, avoiding dates, and never going for that drink we promised – we don’t know how to look after our heart health. 

“The good news it’s much easier than matters of romance. 

“Start by learning what your food contains; you should be looking for foods with healthy fats. 

“Almonds, for example, are packed with healthy unsaturated fats, and have been found to significantly reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol which can build up inside our blood vessels.”

The study found the average man suffers heartbreak for the first time at the tender age of 16 years.


Get heart-smart about food: try to incorporate more whole, unprocessed foods with healthy unsaturated fat, like almonds, into your diet. Almonds have a wealth of research to support their heart health credentials, and they contain the fatty acid, linoleic acid, which contributes to normal cholesterol levels.

Self Care is key: it comes in many forms and can have a really big impact on your physical and emotional health. With one in four millennial men (24 per cent) already prioritising self-care to protect their hearts, making heart-smart changes is a great step towards helping you to futureproof your physical health and nurture your mental health, so that you’re feeling prepared to cope with life’s challenges, like heartbreak.

Create Habits that last: modern life pulls us in all directions and many of us are busier than ever, which is why incorporating healthy habits into your life is so important. Whether it’s going for a walk, making your own healthy lunches, or swapping in healthy snacks, the key is sticking to these small changes in a manageable and sustainable way, to keep reaping the benefits.

Exercise to feel good: Most of us like the feeling of a new top or piece of clothing fitting well but aesthetics is often a poor motivator for exercise in the long term. Exercise for the benefits to your physical and mental health, ultimately for how it makes you feel. Find something you genuinely enjoy, whether its hiking, yoga, tennis, swimming, team sports, solo sports.  Regular exercise and activity can dramatically reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

But while the vast majority of anguish is caused by relationships ending or loved ones passing on, 11 per cent report being left inconsolable by their team losing a cup final.

However, 23 per cent of men believe they don’t need to worry about heart-related illness because they are ‘too young’.

And nearly three quarters don’t choose foods with cholesterol in mind, unaware that men who experience high cholesterol in young adulthood can be at increased risk of heart attack, stroke or heart failure in later life.   

The research also revealed confusion about what is and isn’t good for you, with 30 per cent of younger men wrongly associating red meat and cheese with good heart health.

Two thirds admit to being confused about really constitutes a ‘good’ fat compared to a ‘bad’ one, according to the OnePoll research.

And fewer than one in three are concerned about having heart issues in the future, preferring to live in the now.

Dr Alex added: “Red meat and cheese are actually high in saturated fat, which can increase cholesterol levels and put your heart under strain. 

“Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats like those found in almonds contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels, helping keep our hearts healthy.”

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