real life

If your ex wants to be friends it could mean something very very bad for you.

Finally, there’s a reason to burn those bridges.

It keeps you out of emotional heart ache. It prevents future partners from not understanding why you would want to have a coffee with your ex. And, best of all for anyone who has sometimes doubted themselves, it likely means you are NOT a psychopath.

A new study has explored the link between dark personality types and the ability to maintain friendships with ex-partners.

Finally, there’s proof of the creepiness that comes with messages from lovers past and former partners who are all smiley smiley and really want to chat to you for ages at that birthday party you’ve both ended up going to. There’s a little bit of science, not just bad vibes, behind the reason you cringe every time someone tells you how tight they are with their ex’s.

We couldn’t make the relationship work but they’re still very much a part of my life. 

We’re just ‘consciously uncoupling’ but there is really no bad blood. 

Look, I love the fact that we don’t hold any grudges. We just grew apart, that’s why we can still be such good friends. 

We’ve been through so much together. Why would we want to say goodbye to that?

Ummm. Because it’s really weird sometimes.

THIS IS REAL LIFE. You are not ‘uncoupling’, and you are not friends. You are breaking up and it’s hurtful, it’s ugly and there is NO reason why it has to be dressed up with a fairtytale ending.

Unless you’re a narcissist.

The research, which comes out of Oakland University in Michigan, analysed 860 participants to discover their motivations for involvement with their ex’s. They also looked to dark personality traits, such as narcissism, duplicity, psychopathy, to see if there was a correlation between the two concepts.

It built upon previous research, which has shown people who possess these dark personality traits are more likely to pick friends strategically… Apparently, a friendship with your ex-partner isn’t weird if it’s useful (and you’re a narcissist).


Is there anything worse than a text from your ex? Post continues below video.

The results were revealing. The study found subjects who had “measures of dark personality” were likely to stay in contact with ex-partners for “practical and sexual reasons”.

“Post-relationship friendships may provide opportunity for ex-partners to exchange desirable resources (e.g., love, status, information, money, sex) after romantic relationship dissolution,” the report states.

Key traits of a narcissist include a love for grandiose behaviour, an infatuation with themselves, an overwhelming need for admiration and a complete lack of empathy for other people. They’re also exploitative and envious of others. (Unfortunately, they’re also often charming, which is why you were with them in the first place.)

These negative traits are the reason they’re likely to want to stay friends after a break up.

They can’t handle the idea of you being involved with anyone else. Their cut-throat dedication to doing anything to boost their own profile means you’re still counted as a ‘friend’ if you are useful in this. They can’t bear the thought of anyone thinking badly of them (and they’re definitely not thinking about your feelings) and the fact they’re actually best friends with all their ex’s just proves that they’re an incredible, don’t-you-wish-you-were-as-kind-as-me super human being.

Or that they’ve got a dark personality disorder that is manipulative, careless and selfish.

Luckily, it”s not all bad news. The researchers also found there might be sentimental reasons for staying in touch with an ex-partner, which have nothing to do with dark personality traits. The fact an ex-partner is reliable, trustworthy and of sentimental value is another popular reason to maintain a connection.

But choose wisely. They could also be a psychopath.