Historically, I’ve had an issue with clean breakups. While many people have decisive breakups and then cut all contacts with their former lovers, my breakups have always gone like this: initial breakup, angry drunken conversations, reconciliation, promising to be friends, having sex “without feelings attached,” eventual jealousy, rinse and repeat.
While I realize this cycle is neither healthy nor effective, it seems it may be a sign of something far more sinister. According to Broadly, “a new study found that many people who befriend their former lovers are narcissists and psychopaths.”
It seems that people with “dark personality traits,” such as narcissism, duplicity, and psychopathic tendencies are more likely to stay friends with their exes. Essentially, this is telling us what we all know, but sometimes try to convince ourselves (and our friends) otherwise – you shouldn’t stay friends with your exes. The study continues to state that people are “more likely to maintain relationships with their exes for practical and sexual reasons [and] are less emotionally supportive, less helpful, less trusting, and less concerned about the other person’s happiness.”
The reasons these people wanting to remain in contact with their exes are varied, but a huge one is just plain narcissism. A narcissist can’t bear the idea of “losing” the breakup, so they stay friends with the person, or even try to sabotage their future relationships, just to give themselves the feeling of power or of “winning.” Couple this with the fact that people with psychopathic tendencies will always put their needs and desires over others, and all of a sudden those crazy exes of yours make a lot more sense.
Every time a guy told you “he just didn’t want to lose you as his best friend,” or a girl told you “she just wants to know how your life is going because she cares,” now you know it’s all bullshit. They just want to use you to feel in control, whether it’s through sex, emotional attachment, or your Netflix account (seriously, it’s like nine bucks a month, they can pay for their own). Feel free to use this study as the citation in your text message telling your ex to get out of your life and that you’re changing your password. I know I will when tell my ex that she’s no longer welcome to stay at my house when she flies out for Lollapalooza. .
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