How You Handle a Breakup Says a Lot About Who You Are as a Person

“I’m so thrilled the guy I love broke up with me,” said no one, ever—so it’s understandable that it’s tough to get over it when your S.O. says they no longer want that title. But new research has found that the way you explain a breakup to yourself has a direct impact on how easily you can move on.

The research, which was published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, involved a series of five studies in which researchers asked 891 people about their personalities, as well as how they handle romantic rejection (real and hypothetical). Participants were also asked to report how their view of themselves changed because someone broke up with them.

"New research has found that the way you explain a breakup to yourself has a direct impact on how easily you can move on."

Scientists discovered that those who think people’s personality traits are set in stone (and think a personality trait had a role in their breakups) had a hard time moving on after a relationship ended. They also felt more haunted by past breakups, up to five years after they happened.

Even worse: Those feelings of rejection can even cause problems in future relationships, since researchers discovered that some people believe being rejected reveals a flaw in their personality. As a result, they are permanently worried that this flaw could mess with their next relationship…and the one after that.

Basically, if you’re going through a breakup and are struggling with it (fair enough), it’s important to remind yourself that these things happen. Just because you didn’t work out as a couple doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. It just means you weren’t a good fit—but someone else will be.

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