Shifts in Past Self Perceptions to Preserve Well-Being After a Romantic Breakup

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  • I examined negative shifts in past self perceptions after a romantic breakup (i.e., toward thinking one's pre-breakup self was not as happy and not as positive of a version of themself as they thought at the time) as a means of preserving post-breakup well-being. I recruited 184 people who were in romantic relationships to complete satisfaction and self-related measures twice, four months apart (retrospectively at Time 2). Those who experienced a breakup between ratings indicated larger negative shifts in past self perceptions than those whose relationships remained intact and larger shifts were associated with greater post-breakup well-being. Secondary analyses suggested that these shifts may improve well-being in part by helping one disentangle their ex-partner from their self-concept. The results were inconclusive (due to methodological limitations) regarding whether they also do so by ameliorating emotional distress. Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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  • Copyright © 2019 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2019


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