Those who forge friendships with an ex more likely to be psychopaths, experts say
People who can maintain a friendship in the aftermath of a break-up are more likely to be manipulative, narcissistic and psychopathic than those who cut ties with their ex, according to new research.
The study, conducted by researchers at Oakland University, revealed that those with darker personality traits are more likely to maintain friendships with their former lovers for the chance to trade valuable resources such as information, money and sex.
The study involved more than 861 subjects who had recently been through a break-up and quizzed them about their current relationship with their ex. The researchers also gave the subjects a personality test, which concluded that those who maintain contact with their exes display traits that can stretch to narcissism, as well as Machiavellian and psychopathic traits.
Studies have also shown that people who display darker personality traits are more likely to form friendships for strategic reasons and advancement.
The research found that those who enjoyed a friendship with their ex said they stayed in touch because they were trustworthy and there was a strong sentimental attachment between the pair.
In the report, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences authors Justin Mogilski and Dr Lisa Welling write: “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.
“Across two studies, we identified reasons for remaining friends after a break-up and outlined how the importance of these reasons varies with sex and personality.
“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.”