05/10/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Breaking Up Ain't Hard To Do

Breaking up is hard to do, but not as hard as we think. New research suggests we overestimate the heart-crushing blow from a romantic split, and some of us make particularly inaccurate forecasts.

The new study, detailed in the May issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, shows that not only does life snap back to pre-breakup mode twice as fast as one would predict, that initial split is not nearly as crushing as expected. Several heartbreak helpers -- unbeknownst to us at the time -- apparently kick in to counter the blow.

The results shed light on a general human phenomenon -- we are bad at predicting the distress of emotional events, ranging from disappointing election results to lost football games.

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