This is officially the worst kind of way to break up with someone
Science says so.
Breaking up is always hard to do - but it turns out there's one kind of break up in particular that is worse than others.
And it's sadly unsurprising.
It turns out that splitting up because of someone else hurts a lot more than being rejected when there's no third party involved.
A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin from Cornell University asked 600 people to undergo experiments to find out what kind of rejection hurt the most.
Researchers used four kinds of experiments to look at two types of rejection - one where there were three people involved, and one where there was nobody else.
In the first experiment, men were paired with two women who were secretly working with the researchers.
One woman would be told she could choose a partner to help her solve a puzzle.
Sometimes she picked the other woman, while others she decided to work alone.
Other experiments involved testing how people reacted in larger groups, when they recalled times they had previously been rejected and hone they imagined being rejected in different scenarios.
But every time, people said they felt worse when someone was chosen over them compared to when nobody else was chosen.