Reason #478 to cut them off FOR GOOD.
Staying friends with an ex seems to be one of those never-ending debates in the world of relationships, but one side of the argument just got a little bit stronger. If your ex is playing the “But I still want to be friends” game, here’s yet another reason you should be VERY skeptical.
According to psychologists at Oakland University, people who want to remain friends with their exes are more likely to have “dark personality traits” — A.K.A. narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychosis.
The researchers conducted these new studies as a continuation of previous research that suggested that people with such traits are more likely to choose friends for strategic reasons and prefer short-term relationships. As it turns out, they’re just as calculating with it comes to their exes, too.
Each of the study's 861 participants filled out a questionnaire designed to test for “dark traits” and also listed their top 5 reasons for wanting to continue a friendship with an ex. After reviewing their responses, researchers concluded that most participants who scored lower for “dark traits” listed reasons that were rooted in emotion and attachment such as trustworthiness, reliability, and sentimentality.
However, those who scored higher on the questionnaire for narcissism and the like were MUCH more likely to seek post-breakup friendship for sexual access and for their ex’s “desirable resources.” In other words, their desire for friendship had little to do with their ex and a lot to do with what their ex could do for them.
So while it is possible your ex might genuinely want to keep you in their life out of genuine attachment, you should probably think twice before keeping the lines of communication open.