Is It Possible to Maintain Friendship with an Ex-Partner?
Ending a romantic relationship with someone you have deeply loved can be a challenging experience. After spending months, years, or even decades together, creating precious memories, the thought of that person leaving your life for good can be scary. While you may genuinely want that person to be happy, with or without you, the question arises: Can you really continue a friendship with someone you have been passionately in love with?
At first glance, it may seem impossible to form a purely platonic relationship with someone you have been romantically involved with, especially after facing betrayals and disappointments. Dealing with a breakup is not easy, and staying close to an ex-partner may bring painful emotions to the surface. It’s normal to grieve the loss of the love that once existed between you and your ex-partner.
Interestingly, research has examined the motivations behind maintaining friendships with ex-partners after the dissolution of romantic relationships. According to some studies, individuals who desire to remain friends with their ex-partners may have certain personality traits that could be cause for concern.
A study conducted by researchers at Oakland University explored the personality traits of 861 subjects and their relationship histories. Participants were asked about their current partners and whether they were friends with their exes, and were also given a questionnaire to assess narcissistic and psychopathic qualities. The study found that those who exhibited dark personality traits, similar to psychopaths, reported a higher likelihood of staying in contact with former lovers for troubling reasons.
Psychopaths often exhibit normal social behavior and can be difficult to detect. They are individuals with antisocial personality disorder, characterized by aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior, and a lack of empathy or remorse.
The study also revealed that psychopaths may maintain contact with their exes to continue accessing certain resources, such as information, money, or sex. Moreover, they may not like the idea of their ex-partners being in new relationships, as they see the friendship as a way to influence their former partner’s other relationships. Psychopaths are known for their charm and intensity in winning over their victims.
Dr. Mallett, a psychologist, warns against being deceived by the seemingly friendly or emotionally connected behavior of psychopaths, stating, “They are the social snakes in the grass that slither and smile their way into your life and emotions.”
Dr. Paulette Sherman, a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out,’ cautions against assuming that all ex-partners who want to remain friends are psychopaths. While some individuals may have selfish motives for maintaining the friendship, such as access to sex, information, or other practical gains, others may genuinely want the best for their exes and have healthy boundaries in place. They may no longer be attracted to each other, be in other relationships, and respect their respective partners. Dr. Sherman emphasizes that not all exes who want to stay friends have psychopathic tendencies or motivations.
It’s important to remember that every relationship is unique, and whether or not to remain friends with an ex-partner is a personal decision. However, considering the findings of this research, unfollowing your ex from all possible avenues may be a wise choice in order to move on from the relationship. It’s essential to be mindful of the intentions behind maintaining a friendship with an ex, and to prioritize your emotional well-being in the process.
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