Is You Ex Trying To Befriend You? They Might Be A Psychopath
The Debrief: There might be more to your ex wanting to be friends that just friendship.
The jury’s out on whether ex-partners can ever really be friends.
There's plenty of reasons you shouldn’t be friends with them. Like the fact that it’ll probably get messy at one point or another; typically when there’s an alcoholic drink involved. Then there’s people who argue that you shouldn’t trust someone who’s not friends with their exes. Basically: it’s your call.
New research now suggests that there might another, more sinister reason that people want to be friends with their exes: that person might be a psychopath.
A total of 861 participants over two studies were questioned about whether they got on with their ex after a breakup and their reasons for remaining friends. They also filled out questionnaires which werre designed to help identify whether the person had ‘dark personality’ traits; the triad of narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy.
They found that the main reasons people gave for wanting to stay friends were because their ex was reliable, trustworthy or there was a strong sentimental attachment. On average, men rated pragmatism and sexual access slightly higher than women.
On top of that, they found that when people scored highly for dark personality traits, they were more likely to say that practicality and the chance of hooking up were their reasons for wanting to stay friends. Meaning that their reasons for staying friends was for strategic benefits.
‘Although a break-up nominally marks the end of a romantic relationship, the current research suggests that resource exchange between ex-partners can extend beyond relationship dissolution,’ the researchers Justin Mogilski and Dr Lisa Welling explained. In this way the continued relationships ‘permit continued exchange of desirable resources'.
So if your ex is pushing to be friends, it might be worth considering why they're so keen to do that.
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