1) Focusing on someone new:
The present research demonstrates that focusing on someone new may help anxiously attached individuals overcome attachment to an ex-romantic partner, suggesting one possible motive behind so-called rebound relationships. A correlational study revealed that the previously demonstrated link between anxious attachment and longing for an ex-partner was disrupted when anxiously attached individuals had new romantic partners. Two experiments demonstrated that this detachment from an ex can be induced by randomly assigning anxiously attached individuals to believe they will easily find a new partner (through bogus feedback in Study 2 and an ease of retrieval task in Study 3). This research suggests that for anxiously attached individuals, focusing on someone new can be an adaptive part of the breakup recovery process.
Source: “On the Rebound: Focusing on Someone New Helps Anxiously Attached Individuals Let Go of Ex-Partners” from Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 35, No. 10, 1382-1394 (2009)
2) Deep-seated hatred:
Using a subliminal priming lexical decision task, the present research investigated whether individuals who show negative implicit evaluations of an ex-partner immediately after a break-up show superior post-break-up emotional adjustment. As expected, individuals whose reaction times indicated negative implicit evaluations of their ex-partner showed reduced depressive affect immediately after the break-up. Individuals who did not initiate their break-up demonstrated less negative implicit evaluations of their ex-partners as well as more depressive affect. Finally, increased negative implicit evaluations of ex-partners over a one-month period were associated with corresponding improvements in adjustment. The findings demonstrate a critical role for implicit evaluations in post-break-up adjustment.
Source: “Implicit negative evaluations about ex-partner predicts break-up adjustment: The brighter side of dark cognitions” from Cognition & Emotion
3) Write about it:
They found that those who focused their writing on the positive aspects of their break-up (factors leading up to the break-up, the actual break-up, and the time right after the break-up) reported experiencing more positive emotions regarding their relationship’s end and did not experience an increase in negative emotions. The increased positive emotions included feelings of such as: comfort, confidence, empowerment, energy, happiness, optimismism, relief, satisfaction, thankfulness, and wisdom.
Writing about positive writing aspects of a break-up was most effective, particularly if the break-up was mutual, while those in the negative and neutral writing conditions only increased in positive emotions if the break-up was initiated by the participant. Writing was equally effective for males and females.
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