Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maintaining a Relationship with Your Ex?

Research reports that between 50-61% of people maintain a friendship with an ex-partner. In addition, 14% of men and 13% of women state that an ex is one of their CLOSEST friends. The decision to remain close to a partner from the past can depend on a few factors:

  • The existence of a friendship before the romance
  • How the break-up occurred (likelihood increases when break-up is initiated by men or is mutual)
In a study of cross-sex (male-female) friendships, researchers found that both men and women were more satisfied in relationships with people whom they HAD NOT previously dated. Relationships with exes had fewer rules, less positive, and more negative outcomes than platonic male-female relationships.

With outcomes like this, why do people continue seeing their exes?
One reason is romantic desire. People are more attracted to those they dated in comparison to those they have not. But, there are some gender differences. Women tend to have higher attraction to an ex than men who have equal attraction to both ex-partners and platonic friends.

Another reason is based on rewards. People keep in contact with exes based what they can get from that person (love, status, money, services, information).
The more satisfied you are with what you get from an ex, the more likely you will continue the relationship.

What does it all mean? Should people maintain relationships with their exes?

72% of men and 74% of women chose partner sexual infidelity with an ex as more devastating than partner sexual infidelity with a stranger. With regard to emotional infidelity, women still rated it distressful, but men not as much.