Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris made headlines while they were a couple, from their PDA-packed Instagram pictures to attending award shows together. So, it’s no surprise that their breakup is playing out in the media.
She’s dealing with the split by (allegedly) jumping into a super intense relationship with British actor Tom Hiddleston, while he’s posting Snapchats of himself with beautiful women and shading Swift on Twitter.
However, relationship therapist Dr. Nikki Martinez told INSIDER that, when you strip away the celebrity aspect of their split, the two are coping with their breakup in totally normal ways.
“I see this in a lot of relationships when people break up,” Martinez said. “They’re each trying to convince themselves that they’re feeling a certain way, as well as convince the other person that they’re feeling a certain way.”
Swift is likely coping with the breakup by rebounding, which acts as a band aid for the pain and heartbreak associated with the end of a serious relationship, according to the expert.
The Hiddleswift relationship (if it is real) provides Swift with comfort during this difficult time, and also serves as a tool to show both Harris and the world that she is doing just fine.
“She wants people to believe, especially the person she just ended things with, that she’s just great. This didn’t affect her; she’s moving on with her life,” Martinez said.
However, Harris is doing “just the opposite.” He’s trying to show that he’s unphased by the relationship’s end (by frolicking around with other women), but can’t stop showing his true feelings.
“He wants the world to know he’s feeling a certain way, but he also doesn’t want to show that he’s too weak,”she said. “But he does obviously have this embarrassment, and also likely anger and hurt, under the surface, because he’s not able to hide it.”
The therapist said that these differing reactions are actually quite common for people going through breakups.
“People are either one way or another. You have people the people who can’t be alone, and so they immediately jump from one relationship to the next,” Martinez said.
And on the other end of the spectrum, you have people who actually try to deal with their pain immediately, and often can’t control their emotions, she added.
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