Still in touch with your ex? You’re probably a psychopath

New research says that keeping in ex partner in your life doesn’t reflect well on you.

Christian Bale as a movie psychopathImage Picture Lionsgate

Still friends with an ex?

It might make you feel good to be civilised and have old partners still in your life, but according to new research, this doesn’t bode well for your psychological state.

Boffins from the University of Oakland reckon that keeping an ex-girlfriend in your life means you’re probably a psychopath.

A crack research team looking into Post-Relationship-Friendships (PRFs) quizzed 861 people if they maintain a relationship with their previous partners.

Part of the studies delved into manipulative personality traits ranging from narcissism to Machiavellian leanings and psychopathy. So far so dark.

“Men rated sexual access higher on importance than women did.”

Many subjects said they found an ex reliable or trustworthy, but for men, the availability of sex ranked highly in the reasoning. Physical access rather than emotional is apparently a major red flag, as the study authors Justin Mogilski and Dr Lisa Welling noted.

“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 authors wrote.

“However, when people scored highly for dark personality traits they were more likely to choose practicality and the chance of hooking up as key drivers for remaining friends.

“Although a break-up nominally marks the end of a romantic relationship, the current research suggests that resource exchange between ex-partners can extend beyond relationship dissolution.”

This “dark personality trait” – using your ex to get something you need – is apparently a sign that you have severe Patrick Bateman tendencies.

That unwritten rule about not staying in touch with your ex is probably best being upheld, Here endeth the lesson.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn

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