“Throughout the ages love has been rendered as an excruciating passion. Ovid was the first to proclaim: “I can’t live with or without you” (Amores III, xi, 39)—a locution made famous to modern ears by the Irish band U2. Contemporary film expresses a similar sentiment: as Jake Gyllenhaal’s character famously says in Brokeback Mountain, “I wish I knew how to quit you.” And everyday speech, too, is rife with such expressions as “I need you” and “I’m addicted to you.” These widely-used phrases capture what many people know first-hand: that when we are in love, we feel an overwhelmingly strong attraction to another person—one that is persistent, urgent, and hard to ignore.”Addicted to love: What is love addiction and when should it be treated?
Brian D. Earp, Olga A. Wudarczyk, Bennett Foddy, and Julian Savulescu
Getting over your ex is hard. There isn’t a helpful way to put it beyond the cliches including….
“There are more fish in the sea.”
“Time heals all things.”
“They aren’t worth your tears.”
“Everything happens for a reason.”
“It wasn’t meant to be.”
“When one door closes another one opens.”
These generalities are technically true but they don’t necessarily make the heart hurt any less. Companionship, love, romance, is not hard to forget about once it’s gone. This is because the emotion of love technically changes brain chemistry.
Why do break ups hurt so much?
Love is similar to an addiction. Many recent studies show that love interacts within the brain much like an addiction complete with the withdrawal symptoms. Brian D. Earp, Olga A. Wudarczyk, Bennett Foddy, and Julian Savulescu have researched into this exact phenomenon to find what that exactly means and how to help.
“So numerous are the superficial similarities between addictive substance use and love- and sex-based interpersonal attachments, from exhilaration, ecstasy, and craving, to irregular physiological responses and obsessive patterns of thought, that a number of scientific theorists have begun to argue that both sorts of phenomena may rely upon similar or even identical psychological, chemical, and neuroanatomical substrates” explains their paper, “Addicted to love: What is love addiction and when should it be treated?”
How to cope with a break up?
Knowing that break ups are hard also doesn’t help. Knowing that your heart and brain are going to hurt for a little bit is still hard. There are steps that you can take to feel better.
- Know that you are good enough as you are now.
- Don’t ignore your emotions, try to understand them.
- Recognize when you need outside support.
- Be around friends and family that care about you and make you happy.
- Make sure to provide yourself with adequate self care.
- Remember that the end goal is to move on to bigger and better things.
How do I reach out for support? Who do I reach out to for support after a breakup?
The pain is real but hopefully these metal covers can help bring the emotions to the forefront to continue to process them. If you need additional support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to loved ones or mental health programs. Here are some support systems ready for you if you need them.
Available to all Canadians seeking support. Visit Crisis Services Canada for the distress centres and crisis organizations nearest you.
If you’ve thought about harming yourself, please call the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566 (24/7) or text 45645 (4 pm to 12 am ET).
This is available 24 hours a day to youths that need it. Call 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text CONNECT to 686868.
This line is availabel to all indegenous people needing immediate crisis help with experiences and cultrually sensitive counsllors. Call 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free) or connect to the online Hope for Wellness chat.
What music is helpful after a breakup?
Music is catharsis. Though there isn’t a specific list of healing songs, we did our best to bring you some that will help. Belt these out and remember who you are and what you want.
#1 “Someone You Loved” Acoustic Cover by Teddy Swims, Originally by Lewis Capaldi
#2 “Someone Like You” Acoustic Cover by Boyce Avenue, Originally by Adele
#3 “Unsteady” Acoustic Cover by Jessa, Originally by the X Ambassadors
#4 “Breakeven” Acoustic Cover by Paul Bakker, Originally by The Script
#5 “I’m Not Okay” Acoustic Cover by Joseph Hunter Duncan, Originally by My Chemical Romance
#6 “The Scientist” Acoustic Cover by Chase Eagleson, Originally by Coldplay
#7 “Crash And Burn” Acoustic Cover by Alessio Proietti, Originally by Savage Garden
#8 “Dancing On My Own” Acoustic cover by Hope, Originally by Robyn
#9 “Torn” Acoustic Cover by Dave Winkler, Originally by Natalie Imbruglia
#10 “Dreaming with a Broken Heart ” Acoustic Cover by Brae Cruz, Originally by John Mayer
Remember stay strong. Don’t text your ex.
Earp, B. D., Wudarczyk, O. A., Foddy, B., & Savulescu, J. (2017). Addicted to love: What is love addiction and when should it be treated?. Philosophy, psychiatry, & psychology : PPP, 24(1), 77–92. https://doi.org/10.1353/ppp.2017.0011
Burkett JP, Young LJ. The behavioral, anatomical and pharmacological parallels between social attachment, love and addiction. Psychopharmacology. 2012;224(1):1–26. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
Fisher HE, Brown LL, Aron A, Strong G, Mashek D. Reward, addiction, and emotion regulation systems associated with rejection in love. Journal of Neurophysiology. 2010;104(1):51–60. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]