It’s Not Your Fault: Science Says We’re Wired to Break Up

Apparently, it’s human nature for relationships to have a shelf life.

New research has shown that, by nature, humans are wired to break-up and move on (though doing so may be more difficult for some than others).

Apparently, natural selection has designed our brains so that we’re programmed to pull through tumultuous times (aka: a broken heart or guilty conscious), recover, and move onto the next roller coaster.

There are even scientific terms for the whole process.

Primary Mate Ejection = the process of falling out of love and breaking up. 

Secondary Mate Ejection = the process of moving on to develop new romantic relationships.

But the triggers for a break-up – aside from simply falling out of love, that is – are different for men and women. Apparently, the guys will kick a woman to the curb if she has been sexually unfaithful. As for the ladies, they’re more likely to initiate a break-up if their partner has been emotionally unfaithful (because that’s so ‘a thing’). 

It all comes down to evolutionary psychology.

While men are more likely to “claim their territory” and break-up over infidelity, women are naturally designed to avoid the loss of resources – like emotional and financial help in raising kids and physical protection – than their mates.

Of course, people also break up when a relationship naturally runs its course.

The research also revealed something else: brain imaging of people who claimed to be in love offered insight as to why some people are better at dealing with breakups than others. MRIs showed an increase in the pleasure parts of the brain – the neuronal activity – that are also activated with cocaine use. 
So being in love really is an addiction.

And falling out of love, then, is similar to asking a cocaine addict to break their habit. Which is why it’s more difficult for some to break-up than others – and why you may still be having sex with your ex.

The good news is that once you’ve accepted that it’s over, the brain is programmed to repair itself so that it (and your heart) can fall in love with someone new.


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