Truth be told, there is no one secret to a long-lasting marriage, and sometimes, things sadly don’t work out in the end. While we’re well aware there are so many shades of gray when it comes to how ex-partners deal with a breakup, the reasons why one might choose to maintain contact with an ex-lover can be narrowed down into six scientific reasons.
In a bid to find out just why the uncoupled might preserve a connection, researchers asked around 350 participants to list their potential reasons for doing so. Of the whopping 2,302 given, just 153 were shortlisted before volunteers were then asked to rank them by importance.
The research, along with the seven key motivators, was then published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. They are as follows:
“They were a great listener.”
“They made me a better person.”
“We shared a lot of good memories.”
“They had a lot of money.”
“They were a fallback plan.”
“They would buy me nice gifts or food.”
Continued romantic attraction:
“I still had feelings for them.”
“I thought we might get back together later.”
“I didn’t want them to forget me.”
Children and shared resources:
“We had children together.”
“We had shared property.”
“We worked together professionally.”
Diminished romantic attraction:
“I realized I was no longer in love with them.”
“I lost sexual interest in them.”
“We both cheated on each other.”
Social relationship maintenance:
“To maintain good relations with their friends.”
“To prevent awkwardness in our friend group.”
“We saw each other frequently.”
“To keep having sex with them.”
“The sex was good.”
“We still had sex from time to time.”
Of course, there were some gender discrepancies—men rated the practical and sexual reasons higher than women did—but when personality traits were taken into account, the differences were slight.
“Although a breakup nominally marks the end of a romantic relationship, the current research suggests that resource exchange [read: love, status, information, money, or sex] between ex-partners can extend beyond relationship dissolution,” the paper concluded.
So, can you relate to any of these sentiments?
This post was written by Katie Skelly. For more, check out our sister site Now To Love.
NEXT: Check out how the cutest celebrity couples first met!
Meryl Streep Don Gummer
Meryl Streep and Don Gummer
They first met through Meryl's brother, who was actually a friend of Don's. When she was going through a rough patch, Don saved her from homelessness and offered to have her stay in his loft while he was away. They wrote each other every day until he returned, and two months later, they got married.
David Beckham Victoria Beckham
David Beckham and Victoria Beckham
David knew he wanted to be with Victoria from the moment he first saw her performing with the Spice Girls on TV. He finally got to meet her at a football game and, according to Victoria, it was love at first sight.
“Yes, love at first sight does exist. It will happen to you in the Manchester United players’ lounge. While the other football players stand at the bar drinking with their mates, you will see David standing aside with his family. . . He’s going to ask for your number. (He still has the London-to-Manchester plane ticket on which you wrote it),” she wrote in a letter to her younger self.
Jennifer Aniston Justin Theroux
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux
They first met while they were working on the movie Tropic Thunder. Jennifer was initially turned off by his appearance, but eventually, she realized he was a great guy!
“I remember thinking he was dark. At first you think he could be like a serial killer, but he is actually the nicest person in the world,” Jennifer said.
Candace Cameron Bure Valeri Bure 1
Candace Cameron Bure and Valeri Bure
Candace and her Full House co-star Dave Coulier were at a charity hockey game when she saw Valeri for the first time. She was drawn to him right away!
"We were looking at these two cute men on the ice, and I was like 'I wanna meet that one, the blonde one,' which was Val," she said.
Dave introduced them to each other and they went out on a date the very next day.
George Clooney Amal Alamuddin
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin
The two actually met at a charity fundraising event through mutual friends. At first, Amal wasn’t interested in George, but he was pretty persistent until she finally agreed to give him a chance.
Reese Witherspoon Jim Toth 1
Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth
Reese was having a fun night out at the bar when a drunk guy started harassing her. Thankfully, Jim came to her rescue and from that moment on, they hit it off.
"This really drunk guy was hitting on me, making such an idiot of himself, yelling at me. . . Jim came over and said, 'Please excuse my friend. He's just broken up with someone,'" she explained.
Fergie Josh Duhamel
Fergie and Josh Duhamel
After watching Fergie in a Black Eyed Peas music video, he asked the band to come on his show because he was really taken by her. After they agreed to perform, he got to meet her in person — not knowing that they’d eventually get married!
"I was really nervous and that was my moment of truth. I laid out my outfit the night before. It was a big build to the moment that I could finally talk to her. And all I could say was, 'You're hot,'" Josh explained.
Olivia Wilde Jason Sudeikis
Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis
When they met at the finale of Saturday Night Live, it wasn’t love at first sight, but Olivia definitely felt a connection!
“I was just learning to be myself; I’d been divorced nine months. We were both seeing people but were single. . . He said very few words and couldn’t keep eye contact. He was so handsome, and he could dance,” she said.
Sarah Michelle Gellar Freddie Prinze Jr
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr.
They first met while they were filming the movie I Know What You Did Last Summer, but they only started to date three years later. But get this — their first date was never planned!
“We had made plans for dinner with a mutual friend and the person canceled. We decided to have dinner anyway and never looked back,” Sarah said.
Vanessa Minnillo Nick Lachey
Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey
The couple first met when Vanessa played Nick’s love interest in his "What's Left of Me" music video. Soon after that, they began to date.
Will Smith Jada Pinkett Smith 1
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith
They became close friends working together on a sitcom, but that friendship soon turned into romance!
"I met him when I was 19 at an audition for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After we had known each other for many years, we went out for dinner one night and I saw that he had grown from this lanky kid to this really responsible man. We started courting each other and our friendship turned into romance," Jada said.
Samsung Ecosystem Giveaway 1
Want to win a brand new Samsung device? Enter HERE!