Your friend, Samantha, is very worried about her relationship with her boyfriend, Michael. She is afraid that Michael is losing interest in her. She…

Your friend, Samantha, is very worried about her relationship with her boyfriend, Michael. She is afraid that Michael is losing interest in her. She explains her fear to you in the following way: 

First, Michael has been spending less time with Samantha in the past few weeks. He explains this in terms of the unusual amount of work he has, but Samantha remembers that her old boyfriend behaved this way before breaking up with her. Second, she has noticed that he seems to be dressing better and looking quite happy and distracted, all of which she sees as signs that he is in love…with someone else. Third, she has observed that many couples break up when they are at the end of their last year of college, as she and her boyfriend are. Finally, Samantha asks Michael if they can have dinner that night. Even though he declines because he needs to stay home and study, she calls him and finds he isn’t there. She sees this as supporting her idea that he is avoiding her. 

As a good friend, who knows a lot about the psychology and the kinds of biases involved in thought and decision making, how might you sooth her fears?

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