Break-ups don’t break us up as much as we expect, a study finds. Researchers at Northwestern University followed 70 romantically-entwined freshmen over 9 months, regularly asking them to update a survey analyzing their current feelings and how they imagined a break-up would feel. The pain of eventual splits was milder than they had foreseen, and they beat the blues twice as soon as predicted, LiveScience reports.
The subjects’ emotional wounds generally healed in about 10 weeks, the study finds. And the students who’d felt most in love, along with those whose partners ended things, were the poorest predictors of their post-break-up feelings. “People are really resilient,” said one researcher. They immediately turn to defense mechanisms they don’t know they have, such as focusing on an ex’s flaws.