Neuroscience perspective on rejection and/or breaking up with someone you're still in love with

Discussion in 'Loneliness' started by Don Gately, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. Don Gately

    Don Gately Fapstronaut

    I just read this article and it gave some seriously cool insights about the process of recovering from a breakup.

    "This brain imaging study of individuals who were still 'in love' with their rejecter supplies further evidence that the passion of 'romantic love' is a goal-oriented motivation state rather than a specific emotion" the researchers concluded, noting that brain imaging showed some similarities between romantic rejection and cocaine craving. "The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that romantic love is a specific form of addiction."

    The study also helps to explain "why feelings and behaviors related to romantic rejection are difficult to control" and why extreme behaviors associated with romantic rejection such as stalking, homicide, suicide, and clinical depression occur in cultures all over the world, the researchers wrote.

    "Romantic rejection is a major cause of suicides and depression. We have known very little about it. Understanding the neural systems involved is extremely important both for advancing our basic knowledge of intense romantic love in general and of response to rejection in particular," said Dr. Aron. "The specific findings are significant because they tell us that the basic patterns seen in previous studies of happy love share key elements with love under these circumstances; they also tell us that what is unique to romantic rejection includes elements that are very much like craving for cocaine."

    "It shows that intense romantic love seems to function much like an addiction," Dr. Aron said.

    The study also provided some evidence that "time heals all wounds." Researchers found that as time passed, an area of the brain associated with attachment -- the right ventral putamen/pallidum area -- showed less activity when the participants viewed photographs of their former partners.

    I had a really devastating breakup about 7 months ago, and I still think about it a lot more than I'd like to. I've done a lot to try and push through, and I think I'm making progress, but knowing that the brain does appear to have some plasticity, and that the cravings of lost love are very real, helps some.
    Rob Lupus, Headspace and WaRLocK_0_0 like this.
  2. Kurmutziku

    Kurmutziku Fapstronaut

    Man this relates to me as well. It's been 2 months since my ex dumped me and I still have crazy feelings for her. I reacted very poorly to the breakup (probably because my cocaine was being taken away from me!) so it pushed her away even more. She doesn't have feelings for me, I'm sure, but I still can't get rid of this feeling. Even if she wasn't the best for me, I still crave her. The correlations between that and cocaine addiction seem real. I been feeling so depressed without her. Wow. This article gives great insight thank you.
    Mr. E and Don Gately like this.
  3. Don Gately

    Don Gately Fapstronaut

    Wild, right? I mean I don't want to over-dramatize things and act like it's all out of my control, because I think we have some ability to choose how we form our brains. On the other hand, seeing that the brain really does get physically attached to a partner makes so much sense. I never would have thought that I would still have this on my mind so much later, but the pain is still real sometimes, even though it has turned into sort of a tide instead of a tsunami.
    Mr. E likes this.
  4. Rob Lupus

    Rob Lupus Fapstronaut

    Hopefully I'm better off as I haven't had my love reciprocated to begin with before I became depressed.
  5. Don Gately

    Don Gately Fapstronaut

    On and ever onward.

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