Breaking Up is Hard to DoStill friends. This is what many claim after a breakup. But how many exes really maintain friendship?
This is what Stephanie Villella ’11, Fargo, N.D., researched in her study titled “Broken Up but Not Broken: Satisfaction, Adjustment, and Communication in Post-Dissolutional Relationships,” which she will present at the annual National Communication Association (NCA) convention in San Francisco.
Villella was surprised to receive such an honor.
“As an undergraduate student, I would have never expected to write a 30-page paper, much less fly to California to present one,” she says.
Villella wrote her paper as a part of Dr. Aileen Buslig’s research methods class last spring. All of Buslig’s students had their papers accepted to a conference and received top paper awards.
Villella received the Top Student Paper award for the NCA convention, which is no easy task.
“It is very impressive to be chosen at all, let alone get a top paper award,” Buslig says.
The results of Villella’s study showed that friendship helped post-relationship adjustment. She found that those who maintained friendship after a breakup were more satisfied than those who did not, though new romance changed communication.
“The frequency of communication between ex-partners decreased when either or both partners had moved on to a new romantic relationship,” she says.