Have you recently felt the need to contact your ex for a cup of coffee?
If the answer is yes, we have some disturbing news for you.
Lucky for us, but not so lucky for you, science is here to back us up. A recent study that was published by Justin Mogilski and Lisa Welling, both psychology professors at Oakland University, revealed that people with dark personality traits (manipulative, exploitative, and generally disagreeable) are more likely to engage in a post-relationship friendship with an ex for pragmatic and sexual reasons.
The researchers conducted an experiment with 350 people who were asked to come up with all the possible reasons for staying in touch with an ex-partner. They translated those reasons into 150 factors and divided them into certain categories like reliability/sentimentality, practical reasons or sexual access, romantic affection, children etc.
The usual “My partner listened to me when I spoke” would fall under the “sentimentality” category; “I wanted their money” would fall under the pragmatic category and “The sex was the best I ever had” would fall under the “sexual access” category.
Then another group of 500 people was asked to rate how important these 150 reasons are in staying friends with an ex-partner.
At the end of the test, the group of 500 people also took another test that measured their dark personality traits as well as their honesty and humility.
The results revealed that the participants who scored high on the measures of dark personality were more likely to use pragmatic reasons as an excuse to stay friends with an ex, while those who scored low on honesty and humility were more likely to maintain a friendship with an ex for in order to fulfil their physical, sexual needs.
Based on the study and research, here are 5 reasons why people usually maintain contact with their exes:
1. THEY ENJOY THE PERKS
Whether it’s money, the undivided attention or the desperate need to be in a relationship with someone, these people may be looking for someone they can manipulate or exploit.
“This (research) suggests that some individuals may maintain a friendship after a break-up for reasons that depart from what some might typically expect from a friendly ex,” says Mogilski.
2. THEY ARE IN DESPERATE NEED TO CONTROL
The participants who scored high on the dark, narcissistic personality type are usually in for the ride with an ex-partner because they simply need a person they can control. They need a slave. Someone who would be 24/7 at their service.
Especially if they just ended another relationship where they lost all sense of self-control.
3. THEY WANT TO SABOTAGE THEIR EX’S FUTURE RELATIONSHIPS
I admit, there are a lot of cases where ex-partners remained true friends or they immediately got back together and started something fresh.
However, you’ll be surprised to hear that there are also people who would dare to engage with their ex-partner only to sabotage their possibility of ever finding a new relationship.
4. THEY WANT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR EX’S KINDNESS
One of the reasons people choose to maintain a contact with an ex is the benefit they’ll eventually gain from it. Some people take advantage of other people’s kindness and compassion. And then there are others who are in it for the sex.
5. THEY SEEK REVENGE
You know what they say… “Revenge is a dish best served cold”. People who got their hearts broken tend to come back and reconnect with their exes for one reason only: Brutal, cold and heartless revenge.