Friends with an ex? You could be nuts. Like, certifiable.
A new study from Science Direct has examined the post-relationship friendships of 861 men and women and found that sex and dark personality traits like narcissism and insensitivity were the main motivators for seeking out a friendship with your ex.
Those who displayed self-admiration, insensitivity, and manipulation were more likely to keep exes around as friends. Or simply, to get laid.
In the study, participants were asked reasons for why someone might remain friends with an ex-partner. They were then asked to rate the importance of staying friends with an ex-partner for different reasons, including that an ex-partner is reliable, trustworthy, and of sentimental value. Men rated pragmatism and sexual access reasons as more important than women did.
Oh, so they want to get laid. OK.
Hooking up with an ex played a huge role in why many were still in contact as pals or (booty calls.)
“Previous romantic involvement predicts sexual attraction in platonic friends, and ex-partners are rated low on friendship quality (but high on romantic desirability) compared to friends with no romantic/sexual history,” reports the study. “Women are more likely to make in-person contact with an ex-partner who has desirable qualities and dissolved relationships are more likely to renew when partners report lingering feelings or have not dated others since the breakup.”
“Dark personality features” in the study are described as “a collection of antagonistic behaviors and interpersonal styles that are associated with disagreeableness, manipulativeness and callousness, and exploitativeness.”
Individuals who scored higher on measures of dark personality tended to choose friends for strategic purposes, says the study, and rate true friendship as lower in importance. These people “prefer short-term versus long-term romantic relationships” and these traits were associated with valuing friendships for utilitarian or instrumental reasons, such as to maintain sexual access.
Or...how about it's entirely possible to be great friends with an ex and be a perfectly normal, healthy human being? No?
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