A therapist has shared four reasons why a situationship breakup may feel more painful than the end of long-term relationship.
Stina Sanders shared her thoughts on TikTok, stating that there’s a genuine psychological reason why the end of a short term fling can be so hard.
The first is that your brain has to catch up with reality.
She said: ‘[Cognitive dissonance] is when your beliefs don’t align with our actions and in turn this causes psychological discomfort.
‘So in a short term relationship the dissonance is the initial optimism of “yay this person could be the one” to the reality of the quick-ending breakup.’
Essentially, your brain still believes that your feelings about your situationship being The One are real, which is why it’s so uncomfortable to have to accept that you’re wrong.
#stitch with @Guullikk this is why break-ups from a short term fling hurt way more rhan a long teem relationship!
Next is the fact that shorter relationships are often much more intense than long-term relationships.
Stina said: ‘[This is] because we’re still in the honeymoon period.
‘Which is why when a short-term relationship ends we get left with this sense of unfinished business or feelings of “what if?” and curiosity of what might have been.’
On top of that, she said, when a short-term relationship ends, we often don’t get the same closure as we would in a longer relationship.
She added: ‘Again, this leaves us with unanswered questions and a sense of ambiguity.’
Finally, Stina noted, there’s a societal pressure to treat short-term relationships and situationships as less serious than long-term relationships, but this isn’t always the case.
She said: ‘This actually invalidates our real, strong feelings of pain and emotions about the relationship, which is probably why you have really intense feelings of loneliness.’
How to get over your situationship
In her next video, Stina shared her three tips for getting over a heartbreak.
They included going no contact – including no social media stalking and deleting old photos and videos of them off your phone.
This is because, Stina explained, ‘visual reminders create dopamine surges which lead to feelings of craving and withdrawal,’ prolonging the heartbreak.
How to use neuroscience to get over heartbreak 💔 #breakup #heartbreak #neuroscience
She also suggests using ‘replacement therapy’ to get the dopamine and oxytocin you would have gotten from your ex from healthier places, including exercise, hobbies, friends or even dating apps.
Finally, she suggests writing your ex a letter without actually sending it to them, and then write up your own version of their response.
‘This might sound really weird, but actually replying to your letter as them is really cathartic and might even give you the closure that you need.’
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