10.05.2021

How to get over a breakup: three pieces of advice that scientists give

Parting is rarely easy. And we, alas, don’t always know how to deal with the fact that the person suddenly become so distant. To dig into the work? To arrange home parties three times a week? Cry into my pillow, watching a romantic Comedy? Or get a second degree to become even better? We are all individual, so that in each case are likely to work different approaches. But quite possibly, there is some universal solution.

Researchers from the University of Missouri-St. Louis looked at three strategies that people usually use to recover from a difficult breakup or “reboot” after the just-ended relationship.

The experiment involved 24 people aged 20 to 37 years, who recently broke up with their partners, and this relationship has lasted for at least 30 months. The participants were divided into four groups, each of which was to use one of three popular mechanisms to bridge the gap. The fourth group was a control, i.e., not doing anything special.

The first group was asked to be hostile to their ex-partners. The second is to accept what happened and to admit that “incredible love”, which they are now experiencing is a normal part of the process of separation. The third group focused on things not related to their couple, including Hobbies, shopping and physical activity.

After this, the volunteers were asked to fill in a questionnaire with which the researchers measured their emotional attachment to their former partners. To understand how truthful the participants were in their statements, the researchers additionally tracked the activity of their brain at a time when they were shown pictures of their ex.

As reported in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, in the end, the research group found that all three strategies worked to reduce the emotional response to the ex-partner in the future. However, there are some reservations.

The first group, for example, even though he felt less love for the former, but also ended up in the worst mood, compared to control group. The second group didn’t feel better or worse, but their love was preserved in the former. As for the third group, she was happier in General, however, the approach did not change the emotions that they felt towards their past partners.

Thus, the study shows that all three methods are quite effective in the sense of overcoming an unhealthy attachment, which is typical for almost all in the first time after the break. On the other hand, even these methods should not be regarded as a long-term solution. “Love, fortunately or unfortunately, does not work as a switch. And to let people go permanently, retaining his fond memories, you will need time and patience,” concludes in an interview with TIME, the study’s lead author Sandra Langeslag (Sandra Langeslag)

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