Science & Tech

Nearly two thirds of married adults kept an ex on the ‘back-burner’ amid pandemic

<p>Have you gotten in touch with an ex whilst lonely in lockdown? You’re far from alone.</p>

Have you gotten in touch with an ex whilst lonely in lockdown? You’re far from alone.

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Have you gotten in touch with an ex whilst lonely in lockdown? You’re far from alone — whether or not you’re in a relationship, apparently. According to a recent study published in the journal of Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking that queried nearly 400 married adults, a whopping 62 percent of participants claimed to keep someone on the “back burner” should the relationship not work out — despite 92 percent of the group identifying the relationship as “exclusive.”

What’s more, half of respondents said that the person on said “back burner” was actually one of their ex partners — which isn’t healthy for either party. Research found that even if someone consistently communicates with an ex in a strictly platonic way, simply remaining in contact with a former flame could result in conflict, guilt, and/or even the dissolution of a relationship.

“If having ex-partner back burners cascades into increased communication, increased sexual activity, and bad feelings for the admirer, then those in committed relationships might wish to exercise greater caution before forming a back-burner relationship with an ex-partner,” Dr. John Banas of University of Oklahoma said of the phenomenon.

Still, there’s been a major increase in people reuniting with exes as Covid restrictions ease. Dr Brenda Widerhold of Interactive Media Institute in California told Unilad, “As we see society re-opening, there appears to continue to be a surge in the use of dating apps during what is dubbed ‘The Summer of Love,’ making it ever more important to study new trends in connecting for friendship and romance.”

Regardless of gender, about half of people surveyed admitted to having some sort of sexual relationship with a former partner. 54 percent of women and 44 percent of men said they’ve slept with an ex.

All in all, the study concluded that “having an ex as a back burner is sufficient to cause negative feelings,” even without communication and/or sexual activity. So perhaps it’s wise to delete that ex’s number — and simply forget about them.

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