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Keep in touch with your ex-partner says this about you

Keep in touch with your ex-partner says this about you

September 6, 2023

Entering a relationship means that our life takes a 180 degree turn, for the good and for the bad. This is clear, in many cases, during the breakup of a couple, a stage in which in many cases we enter a personal crisis not only caused by the lack of contact with the person we once love, but also by the void that it leaves to lose many of the habits that previously we realized with the or the "ex".

But goodbye is not always definitive. It is common that after the break the contact with the ex-couple is maintained , with a cordial treatment. In fact, it is estimated that almost half of half of people who have had romantic relationships previously have a friendly relationship with at least one of their former partners, and about 13% of them say that their best friend or Friend is someone with whom in the past they have had a romantic relationship.

So, it may be asked ... why are some people capable of maintain friendship with former partners and not others? A few months ago a study based on questionnaires was published that serves to clarify this issue.

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Mature friendship, or something else?

The research, whose results were published in the journal Personal Relationships, had the participation of people who had a partner at that time and who had previously been involved in at least one other love relationship that has already ended, and reflects several of the conclusions that other similar studies made previously stressed.

For example, he found that about 40% of the people surveyed maintained the contact with at least one former partner, and although in most cases this was not very frequent, in 13% of them the people involved talked to each other several times each week.

Beyond these aspects related to the frequency with which contact with ex-partners is maintained, the research also shows data about how these relationships are after the rupture.

The beginning of that contact with someone whom we first began to see as a former partner usually occurs after a hiatus of at least two months in which he does not stay in person and communication through the Internet and the like it falls sharply until it almost disappears.

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What predisposes to resume contact with the former partner

But what is it that makes you more likely to resume contact with an ex? Interestingly, and contrary to what one might think, the friendly attitude with an old couple it is not an unequivocal sign that the disappointment of love has been overcome ; if we look at the statistical data, in fact, the probability that the person who maintains that friendly relationship with the former has overcome the rupture is less than that presented by those who do not maintain that contact.

Specifically, the percentage of participants in the research who claimed not to have overcome the break was significantly greater among those who maintained friendship with the former partner. In addition, the likelihood of retaining an old love in the form of a simple friendly relationship was greater in people who considered be relatively little involved in your current relationship , even if they did not feel dissatisfied with the latter. In general, tended to show a greater propensity to maintain friendship with the exs for which he still felt something.

Does this interfere with ongoing relationships?

In another study conducted by the same team, it was tried to go into more detail to investigate the motivations of those who maintain friendship with a former partner, and for this only had the participation of young people who at that time maintained contact with an ex (or more) with a frequency, at least, bi-monthly, and that were also in a relationship with another person.

On this occasion, the researchers did find a relationship between satisfaction with the current relationship, the greater the contact with the one who spoke with the former partner.

On the other hand, the participants were also asked to say to what extent they believed that each of these phrases I described the reasons why they kept in contact with that ex-couple :

  • The former couple is part of the wide group of friends.
  • The relationship with the ex-couple is strong and satisfactory.
  • The former couple is seen as a possible plan B.
  • You feel that you have spent many experiences with the ex-partner and that you invested a lot in that relationship.

The participants most satisfied with their relationship tended to respond very positively to the option that refers to the broad group of friends (perhaps because it is a contact that requires less effort and dedication to be "embedded" in the usual social circle), while those that were most dissatisfied highlighted the option of come back with that person as plan B ; the other two options did not correlate well with the satisfaction obtained from the couple.


Of course, these results do not mean that any person who maintains a friendship with an ex still feels something for that old love, but that statistically the amount of people who have not overcome the break it is more common among those who remain in contact with the former partner than among those who have made a clean slate.

Perhaps this indicates that cutting someone off completely is not an option as immature as many believe, but an effective way to not bitter each other's lives. In any case, each person is a world, also in our affective facet.

Bibliographic references:

  • Kaplan, D. L., and Keys, C. B. (1997). Sex and relationship variables as predictors of sexual attraction in cross-sex platonic friendships between young heterosexual adults. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 14, pp. 191-206.
  • Rodríguez, L. M., Øverup, C. S., Wickham, R. E., Knee, C. R. and Amspoker, A. B. (2016). Communication with former romantic partners and current relationship outcomes among college students. Personal Relationships, 23 (3), DOI: 10.1111 / pere.12133

Q&A: Why would an ex want to stay in touch? — Susan Winter (September 2023).

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