Depending on how your relationship ends, you might be faced with the question, “Can we still be friends?” Oakland University psychology professors Justin Mogliski and Lisa Welling set out to study the specific reasons why people often maintain a relationship with their ex. They asked participants to brainstorm five reasons why someone would remain friends with a former partner. The participants were then given two personality tests. The researchers analyzed each person’s “five reasons” and grouped the responses into different categories.
According to science, here are five reasons why people remain friends with their exes, and why you probably shouldn’t:
1. They Want Perks
Researchers found that some people maintain a friendship with their ex partner because they still want something from their ex. It could be money, sex or something else. If someone remains friends with their ex for these reasons, they are most likely just looking to use them.
2. They Want To Sabotage Your Relationships
You might not think that staying friends with your ex is a problem, but it will become one when you enter a new relationship. Maintaining a friendship with an ex can put your future relationships at risk. Saying “hi” when you bump into each other is one thing. But if your ex is constantly contacting you when they know you are dating someone new, they may be trying to sabotage your new relationship.
3. They Want Control
The study showed that people who scored high on the narcissism part of the personality test are more likely to coax their way into a post-relationship friendship in order to take control. This is especially true if the person feels like they lost control when the relationship ended.
4. They Want To Take Advantage Of You
An ex might be stringing you along in order to take advantage of your kindness. If they are constantly asking you for favors, it’s a sign that they are using you. It’s better to cut things off completely before you get taken advantage of.
5. They Want Revenge
The study showed a strong link between sociopathic and narcissitic traits and the desire to get revenge. An ex may seem friendly when they are simply waiting in the shadows for the perfect time to get revenge. Whether their plan is to ruin your new relationship or hurt you in another way, it’s best to steer clear.
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