A study examining how the effects of rejection from a romantic partner affect the individual has discovered the same neural pathways are affected when dealing with cocaine addiction.
Not only did the study create the link between romantic rejection and addiction, it also found that those tested exhibited an emotionally chaotic, motivated state, post-breakup.
These findings lead to the conclusion that being still ‘in love’ post breakup is less an emotional state as a goal oriented state.
The goal being the winning back of the mate.
Such findings could explain the difficulty with which grieving partners have in moving on after a breakup, thus prolonging their pain and giving credence to the urban logic of the ’90-day no contact rule’ if one wishes to gain a partner back.
In a further twist, the study also highlights the areas of the brain affected by romantic rejection are mammalian (all mammals, not just human).
With specific regard to romantic rejection working similarly to addiction, the study states:
“The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that romantic rejection is a specific form of addiction.
“The perspective that rejection in love involves sub-cortical reward gain/loss systems critical to survival helps to explain why feelings and behaviors related to romantic rejection are difficult to control and lends insight into the high cross-cultural rates of stalking, homicide, suicide, and clinical depression associated with rejection in love.”