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Can we decide to stop loving? The science answer

Can we decide to stop loving? The science answer
Anyone who experiences a breakup (whether through divorce, death, or other reasons) knows that it's not easy to recover and that it can take years to love again. Being able to stop loving someone seems crazy, but it can be a process in our own hands.

As the New York Times reports, Dr. Helen E. Fisher, a biological anthropologist and senior fellow at the Kinsey Institute in New York, said that "we can work towards it." Fisher studies the anatomy of love and in 2005 studied the brain imaging of 100 people using MRI to find the circuits associated with romantic love.

The doctor discovered that the area of ??the brain called the ventral tegmental area, or VTA, that stimulates hunger and thirst, is activated when we are in love: so trying to stop falling in love is a bit like stopping being hungry or thirsty, so a very difficult thing.

However, there is a way to overcome it: that is to treat the situation as if we were trying to overcome an addiction. Just as we would do with cigarette packs if we want to quit smoking, we should throw away the papers and memories associated with that person and not keep in touch or ask mutual friends how that person is doing.

The study conducted by Professor Sandra Langeslag may also help. She has developed a method against the wounds of love: generating negative thoughts about the person followed by a dose of distraction.

Her research, published in Plos One, found that with this method people were able to deliberately reduce their love, if not completely erase it. The average recovery time, according to survey data collected from her subjects, was six months, although recovery time depends on several factors, including the length of the relationship.