Sometimes, the worst part of a breakup is the feeling of rejection afterwards. And that date that didn't go so well? Knowing that he actually wasn't that into you can leave you feeling down for days, or even weeks. But it's not you—there's actually a genuine reason why you're left questioning yourself and your relationships after a rejection.
Psychologist Dr. Guy Winch explained to Bustle that evolutionary learned behaviors about survival are to blame for that ache in your stomach:
"In our evolutionary past, when we were hunter-gatherers and living in tribes, if we were ostracized from the tribe or if we were kicked off the island, we would die. We couldn't survive alone. So, we developed this early warning mechanism of rejection. If you experience rejection as painful, you're more likely to change your behavior, correct it, and be less likely to be kicked out of the tribe."
The author of Emotional First Aid added: "You should know that when you're hurting, it's not because the person that rejected you is that great or that you're a loser. We are wired that way—our brains are wired that way,"
Depending on your personality type, you could be suffering more. Psychologist Dr. Alice Sohn explained: "People who are not well differentiated may be more sensitive to rejection, because they're still very enmeshed with people around them and taking their cues about their value and own self worth from other people."
Their advice? Go easy on yourself. It's okay to feel down, but try to remember that how other people treat you can't always be controlled. Once you realize that you're not overreacting, you might just feel a bit more optimistic.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.