Rather than the nice, mature person everyone thinks, it turns out that people who stay friends with their exes may be hiding a dark secret…
Specifically, it turns out they could well be a psychopath – or at least have ‘dark triad’ personality traits, which include narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism, reports the Daily Mail.
A psychological study has revealed that for some people, staying friends with their ex could be motivated by information, money, love or sex – but that people with certain personality traits are more likely to keep in touch.
People in the study had to list five reasons they stayed friends with an ex after a breakup.
The main reasons people gave were because their ex was reliable, trustworthy or if there was a strong sentimental attachment.
However, when people scored highly for ‘dark’ personality traits, they were more likely to choose ‘practicality’ and the chance of ‘hooking up’ as key reasons for remaining friends.
Authors of the study, Justin Mogilski and Dr Lisa Welling wrote in the journal Personality and Individual Differences:
Men rated sexual access higher on importance than women did, which is consistent with other research showing that men are more likely than women to form cross sex friendships due to sexual attraction.
The study also revealed that people with specific narcissistic personality traits judge any relationship by what they can gain from it.
The authors wrote:
Current research suggests that resource exchange between ex-partners can extend beyond relationship dissolution.
This research suggests that post-relationship friendships permit continued exchange of desirable resources.
Hmm, this could actually explain quite a lot – especially how my rabbit ended up nailed to that fence…