Why Is This Important?
Because you need to stop hanging out with your ex.
Long Story Short
A new study has found that those who stay friends with exes tend to exhibit higher degrees of dark personality traits, such as narcissism and psychopathy.
We’ve all been there. You break up with your girl and you think, “She’s a great lady. Let’s stay friends.” You hang out for about six months, you have drunken sex a bunch of times (which is kinda like the post-relationship equivalent of drunk-eating McDonalds), and then you decide there’s a reason you broke up in the first place. And it’s those same reasons you shouldn’t be friends with them now.
And then you look at other people, exes who stay friends forever and basically never leave each other’s side. It’s like fuck buddies, in reverse. And you wonder, why can’t I be like those guys? Why aren’t I a big enough person to let bygones be bygones and embrace the fruits of a new stage of friendship? Obviously their relationship was built on real friendship and trust and all those nice things.
Thing is — and I hate to break it to you — those people aren’t necessarily more mature and satisfied with their lot in life. Actually, they’re probably just psychos. That’s the result of a new study from Oakland University that found those who stay friends with exes tend to exhibit higher degrees of dark personally traits, such as narcissism and psychopathy.
The researchers wanted to investigate the trading of desirable resources between ex-partners, be it information, money, love or sex.
For the research, psychologists conducted two studies. The first asked 860 participants to describe what makes them stay in touch with a former partner. They were then given a survey to assess who of them exhibited dark personality traits. Past research suggested narcissists and psychopaths choose partners and friends for very strategic reasons, so the Oakland researchers wanted to see if former lovers were kept around for specific purposes as well.
It turns out they were.
Some ex-partners were kept around because the person possessed desirable traits such as trustworthiness and reliability. Understandable. But those with elevated dark personality traits also ticked a creepy box that said “practical and sexual reasons.” Whether that’s because you like to bone or because you don’t want your old plaything being picked up by someone new is not entirely clear.
Either way, it’s a scary thought, particularly if you’re involved in one of these sham arrangements. Which is not many of us, and science says that’s fine. And why would you? All those painful reminders of what once was.
Painful unless you’re a psycho, of course.
Own The Conversation
Ask The Big Question: : Does social media play a role here? Are people more inclined to stay friends with exes in the modern age?
Disrupt Your Feed: So were Jerry and Elaine psychopaths? *Thinks about it* Yes.
Drop This Fact: In an NBC.com poll, 48 percent of people surveyed said they stayed friends with an ex after a breakup, while 18 percent said they tried the friendship thing, but it did not work out.