If your ex wants to stay friends with you, you may think it's because they value you enough not to want to lose you. But a study published in May 2016y that recently resurfaced suggests that your ex's desire to stay friends with you might reveal something dark about them.
Researchers Justin Mogilski and Lisa Welling at Oakland University asked 860 people about their relationships to their former flames and to give their reasoning as to why they wanted to stay friends with them. Options for reasons included innocuous ones like, "I couldn't imagine my life without them" or more insidious ones like, "I wanted to make their new romantic partner jealous."
Participants were also asked questions to find out if they had so-called "dark personality traits," which included anything from narcissism, duplicity, psychopathy, and Machiavellian traits.
Their findings were that people who stayed friends with their exes often did so because they could benefit from it, whether it's for financial reasons, a late-night booty call, or simply to fluff up their ego. This is consistent with many findings about narcissist and sociopaths, who often see people as tools to get what they want.
While it may seem appealing to keep up a relationship with a former flame, it can actually have some pretty scary effects. Not only could you possibly be maintaining a friendship with someone who is using you, but, studies also have shown that exes are less emotionally supportive, less helpful, less trusting, and less concerned about the other person's happiness than friends who have never been romantically linked.
It's great to want to be cordial with your ex, but if they seem a little too keen on having you around them, it might be best to limit your interactions to some awkward hugs at parties.
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