The Science of Falling Out of Love

Exploring Different strategies for dealing with heartbreak.

The Science of Falling Out of Love
Image: Pixabay

Romantic breakups are an inevitable and painful part of a relationship. Most often, it leads to potential health problem as well including reduced immune functioning, insomnia and depression. Although the symptoms depend on the strength of the romantic relationship.

According to the triangular theory of love, romantic couples can advance through various sorts of affection throughout a relationship. Means, the sentiments that outcome from fixation can be altogether different from what individuals in a long haul relationship may understanding. It suggests the enthusiastic torment after a separation can be altogether different also.

A new research enlights specific strategies that people use to overcome heartache by looking at romantic relationships and breakups. Those strategies involve terms like negative reappraisal of the relationship, reappraising the emotion itself, and distraction.

According to study, if focusing on negative qualities of ex-partner, it is regularly conceivable to diminish love sentiments and feel better after the separation. Moreover, it can also help to think about the negative features of the relationship.

Another way involves learning to accept the emotions that come with it. And remaining third strategy include distraction. People often found it easy by throwing themselves into some activity that fills their time.

For testing these strategies from a neuroscience perspective, scientists employed 24 participants ranging in age from 20 to 37 who had recently experienced a romantic breakup. Scientists tested them by a questionnaire round about their relationship including how long it had lasted, the quality of the relationship. They also asked about the love feeling the participants felt on the scale of 1 to 9.

Each participant provided the researchers with 28 digital pictures of their ex-partners while answering.

During the next phase of the study, every member had their brain waves measured utilizing an electroencephalograph under four separate conditions. The conditions were a negative appraisal of the ex-partner, reappraisal of love feelings, distraction, and a control condition.

In each condition, scientists showed a question or statement to stimulate one of the coping strategies. During negative appraisal, participants were presented with the questions about negative qualities in their ex-partner.

With the reappraisal of love feelings condition, prompts included statements such as ‘Many people still love their ex’. The distraction condition included questions such as ‘What is your favorite song? Why’. And for the control condition, there was no regulation strategy used.

The EEG findings suggest that all three strategies appeared to decrease ERP (event-related potential) amplitude when participants saw pictures of their ex-partners. The ERP amplitude measured motivated attention, this suggests that love regulation strategies work by desensitizing people to stimuli that can trigger strong emotions.

Scientists noted, “This kind of desensitization also makes recovery from heartbreak easier by making people better able to handle situations.”

“Negative reappraisal seems to work best in decreasing unwanted love feelings and can be useful in a range of different ways. Not only can it help in a breakup but it can also help people deal with unwanted infatuations such as a one-sided crush or the attraction a married person could experience for a non-spouse. On the other hand, reappraising the emotion may also be used to increase love feelings in a fading relationship people may want to preserve.”