Does anyone out there think your current partner is the love of your life? If that person were to break up with you, would you be devastated? How long would it take for you to get over it?
Last week the subject was housework (or the lack thereof); this week the focus is a study that says “breaking up may not be so hard to do.” Basically these researchers took a group of college students, had them fill out questionnaires every two weeks, and drew conflusions from those who broke up with their girlfriend/boyfriend during the six month time frame.
[They] studied young lovers — especially those who profess ardent affection — to see if their predictions of devastation matched their actual angst when that love was lost. […]
“People who are more in love really are a little more upset after a breakup, but their perceptions about how distraught they will be are dramatically overstated when compared to reality,” Finkel said.
“At the end of the day, it is just less bad than you thought.”
What bothers me about these studies is how they take one group of people, and without telling us the kind of questions that were asked or how long these people had been in their relationship (it had to be a minimum of two months), they conclude that breaking up with someone isn’t as difficult as you thought it would be. College students are notorious for maintaining short relationships. If they wanted to make such a conclusion, shouldn’t the data have been drawn from a more representative sample?
Sure, we’re human, and humans are known for our ability to adapt. But every situation is different. Not only every situation, but the people involved will feel differently, based on their personality and how committed they are to their relationship. The study said that a person’s perception of how upset they’re going to be after a breakup is usually worse than the actual reality. I’m sure that can sometimes be the case. For example, maybe there’s a female who likes to go from one relationship to another; the safety is in having someone — anyone, not so much the man himself. That kind of person would be less likely to despair after a breakup, knowing there were other opportunities right around the corner. But there are just as many people who are in despair for long periods of time after breaking up with someone.
[Read the rest of this post at BlogHer]