After a particularly painful split, we’ve all heard an ex want to “be friends,” and we’ve all pondered what that actually means. Psychologists obviously wondered the same question, and they discovered a fairly startling solution.
Researchers at Oakland University have recently shown a strong link between negative personality characteristics like psychopathy and narcissism and a person’s motivation in preserving past connections.
In other words, narcissists and psychopaths are the persons who are most likely to maintain a friendship with an ex.
The study also identified the reasons why individuals with these negative characteristics would be more inclined to desire to keep up friendships with ex-partners. The group’s surveys revealed that they were inclined to keep in touch with ex-friends for sexual or practical reasons.
In essence, it’s not because these people genuinely care about their ex; rather, it’s because they want to utilize or continue to be able to influence the ex.
“This research builds upon literature examining CSFs and suggests that [post-relationship friendships] are functionally similar insofar as they permit continued exchange of desirable resources,” the researchers said.
Particularly narcissists will cling to failed relationships due to their dislike of feeling “lost.” They frequently believe they can retain their overall social position and “win” the breakup by maintaining that individual in their social group. The study also demonstrates that those who are acquainted with their ex are more likely to desire to utilize that ex for any resources they may possess.
Both narcissists and psychopaths cannot handle the thought of their ex-partner being with someone else or reclaiming total control over their life. Therefore, many individuals who fall into both of these categories will continue to have relationships with an ex in an effort to manipulate or exert even more control over them.
Most love gurus advise avoiding maintaining friendships right away after a breakup for a good reason.
Maintaining a friendship with an ex is typically not recommended or even all that feasible.
The moral of the story is don’t accept that ex’s invitation to be buddies. Without him, you’d actually be better off.