Healing after a breakup takes time. And it doesn't matter if you were dumped or did the dumping or that everyone is telling you that you will eventually start feeling better, you can't help but think that no one could have ever experienced the things you went through. So give yourself the green light to get over it your way.
Bored Panda has compiled a list of ways people are dealing with their exes and it proves that there is no perfect recipe. From passive-aggressive gestures to constructive conversations, scroll down to check out the entries and upvote your faves.
Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D., a Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said there’s very little scientific evidence on that emotional limbo in which separated couples find themselves. However, one recent study by psychologists David Sbarra and Jessica Borelli does stand out.
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The researchers explored the question of which partners are able to reorganize their sense of self during the separation and which are not. The 89 adults who participated in the study (two-thirds female) were separated for about 3 months from their partners. Their marriages had lasted on average 14 years and they were about 40 years old. Roughly half had initiated the separation. Also, the participants were tested more than once. A few months after completing the initial study, they returned to allow the researchers to evaluate how they were adapting to their separations throughout the time.
The follow-up showed that attachment style and emotional self-control did, in fact, influence self-concept outcomes. "The partners whose sense of self remained in disarray were the ones who were high in attachment avoidance (i.e. who preferred to remain distant) and who also had difficulty regulating their emotions while completing the lab task measuring their distress when talking about their partner," Whitbourne explained the results. "In contrast, the avoidantly attached who could control their emotional responsiveness were able to reorganize their sense of identity more successfully over time. Attachment anxiety, somewhat surprisingly, did not play a significant role in determining the adjustment to separation."
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When you think about it, if a person is high on avoidance, why should he or she suffer any ill effects at all during a separation? Wouldn’t the person who tends to remain cold and distant do OK after the relationship ends? "This is where emotional control comes into play. If you can keep your closest relationship from penetrating your sense of self, you can survive the breakup, but only if you can also keep thoughts about your partner and the relationship out of your awareness," Whitbourne said. "Otherwise, they’ll haunt you, threaten your sense of self, and prolong your sense of distress. The only way that a highly dismissive person can survive a breakup is if that person can also “deactivate” or turn off all thoughts of the partner."
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Basically, the study suggests that people high in attachment avoidance don't really make great marital partners. "They can be cold and distant, especially - as we’ve just learned - if they can also switch their emotions to the off position when things become stressful."
Once the breakup happens, however, this research shows that it’s vital to find a way to put the pieces of your identity back together. "If you can’t find a way to incorporate the breakup into your sense of who you are as a person, moving on will become even more challenging than it might otherwise be. As distressing as your thoughts may be, by allowing them to filter back into your consciousness, perhaps ever so slowly you will be able to move on and emerge with a new – and stronger- sense of self."