Breaking up is complicated - and getting back together after splitting is even more so.
But the reality is that this happens - a lot.
After all, it’s typical for relationships to go through tons of stages as they grow.
But how common is this phenomenon? Is it normal for people to get back together again after their breakup?
More importantly, are there factors that influence this?
Taking a look at statistics is the best way to gain insight which will help you uncover answers to all your questions.
Ready to delve into real data about second chances? Keep on reading.
How often do exes get back together?
1. A study conducted on 792 young adults found that 44% of people who broke up got back together again.
2. Women (33%) are more successful at getting back their ex than men (23.47%).
Specifically, heterosexual women are more successful in getting their ex back compared to heterosexual men.
3. A poll of more than 22,000 people found that 21% broke up with someone and got back together “more than once.”
Around 23% say they’ve done this once, and 47% say it has never happened.
4. 60% of people are willing to get back together with their ex after they got dumped.
5. In a poll of over 2,000 people, 41% said they tried to get back together with an ex at one point in their lives.
6. A Journal of Adolescent Research study found that 57% tried to have sex with their ex, and 50% tried to rekindle a broken relationship.
20% of those admitted sleeping with other people.
Researchers found that the majority of couples who relied only on oral contraceptives when they were monogamous continued to rely only on those methods for post-breakup hookups.
They stopped using condoms and other contraception methods to protect themselves from STDs.
Sources: Psychology Today, Ex Back Permanently, YouGov, Psych Mechanics, Ex Boyfriend Recovery, Undo A Breakup
Married people getting back together
7. One study found that 23% of married couples broke up and then got back together again.
8. Married couples reuniting after divorce have a whopping 72% chance of staying together for the rest of their lives.
9. In another survey, 15% percent of those couples who attempted to get back together after separating were still reconciled 3-4 years later.
Sources: Modern Man, Inverse
Age plays a factor in exes getting back together
10. 18-24 years old have the highest rate (44%) of breaking up after getting back together with their ex.
In the same study, 53% admitted having sex with an ex.
11. Those in their late 20s had the lowest success rate of getting an ex back.
16. A YouGov survey found that Millennials and Gen X are likelier to have broken up and gotten back together with their partner.
- 24% of Millennials and 25% of Gen X are more likely than other generations to get back together with an ex-partner more than once.
- Only 12% of Gen Z say they’ve done this more than once.Around 15% say they did it once.However, this may be because 31% of Gen Z says they haven’t been in a relationship in the first place.
- 21% of baby boomers say they’ve broken up and gotten back together with their partner once.16% have done so more than once.
Success rate of college students and graduates getting their ex back
15. Those in a long-term relationship with a college student or a graduate have a 65% chance of getting back together after the relationship ends.
This process may be easier for older adults who have developed an idea of what they want in life and love, who they are, and those in a period of physical development where their hormones and moods are more stable.
This makes decision-making more sustainable.
Sources: Ex Back Permanently, Modern Man, Better Help, YouGov, Ex Boyfriend Recovery
How does time affect people getting back together after breaking up?
17. Most participants got back together with their ex within six months of the breakup.
This pattern is true for all long-term relationships or relationships lasting more than six months.
Sources: Ex Back Permanently
Challenges faced by people after getting back together
18. On-again relationships are different from only-on relationships and experience the following symptoms:
- Less love
- Less left validation
- Lower satisfaction
- Less need fulfillment
- Lower sexual satisfaction
This implies that the more frequently couples break up and reunite, the more negative characteristics they cite about their relationship.
Sources: Psychology Today, Psych Mechanics, Inverse
Moving on after the relationship
19. Most people who did not get their ex back moved on.
- 72% of participants who are not currently with their ex said that they have moved on.
- 34% of participants who got their ex back but broke up again said they still want them back.This is higher compared to only 27% of participants who never got their ex back.
- 73% of participants said they moved on within a year.
What helps people moving on after breaking up?
20. One study found that people keep themselves busy after moving on.
- 63% of the participants said “time” helped them move on.
- Another 61% of the participants stated that focusing their energy on themselves helped them move on.
- 53% of the participants have moved on into a new relationship. Around 36% were in a serious relationship, while 18% were in a casual relationship.
21. 69% of those who moved on said no contact with their ex helped.
How long does it take to move on after a breakup?
22. The relationship length affects the time it takes to move on.
- For relationships that lasted less than 2 years, people are more likely to move on within 9 months after the breakup.
- For relationships that lasted more than 2 years, people will take over 9 months to move on.
- For relationships that lasted more than 5 years, 43% of people took more than a year to move on.
23. 17% of study participants aged 18-24 moved on within 3 months.
This is the fastest rate compared to all age groups.
As the age of study participants increased, the percentage of participants who had not moved on also showed the same trajectory.
24. For relationships longer than 3 months, the length of the relationship before the breakup is directly proportional to the percentage of participants who didn’t move on.
25. In one study about people who still wanted their ex back after over 9 months of the breakup, most participants were not ready to date yet.
- 53.63% of participants who still wanted their ex back stated that they did not want to date anyone.
- 52% of participants who still wanted their ex back said that they were still obsessed with their ex.
- 34% of participants who still wanted their ex back were connected to their ex on social media
- 69% of participants stated that they were satisfied with their life, even if they still wanted their ex back.
What prevents people from moving on after a breakup?
26. When asked what has prevented them from moving on, this is what people said:
- 74.6% of participants who still wanted their ex back believe their ex is still the one for them.
- Around 8.7% of participants who still wanted their ex back said that they had not moved on and that online articles and YouTube videos gave them false hope.
27. Social media may prevent people from moving on.
- 27% of the participants in a study who have moved on were still connected with their ex on social media.
- 34% of the participants who have not moved on were still connected with their ex on social media.
Top reasons why people want to leave their partner:
28. In one study where researchers asked participants about why they wanted to stay or leave their relationship, they said their reasons for leaving included:
- Emotional distance
- Breach of trust
- General incompatibility or frequent fighting
- 38% wanted to leave due to unfaithfulness
Despite these, 49% of participants who wanted to leave their relationship still have mixed feelings about it.
According to researchers, this aligns with the reality that around 50% of separated couples get back together again.
Sources: Ex Back Permanently, Reader’s Digest, Psych Mechanics
Factors affecting getting back with an ex
29. Experiencing lingering feelings is the biggest reason exes get back together.
This implies love doesn’t stop when people break up.
Other reasons include:
- Their ex is better than other partners
- For the partner’s sake
30. The length of the relationship before the breakup affects the chances of exes getting back together.
- Relationships that lasted over 2 years but less than 5 years have the highest success rate of getting back together and staying together.
- Relationships that lasted over 5 years have a lower success rate than relationships that lasted six months to 5 years.
31. Most people believe that different factors helped them get back together with their ex.
- 53% of participants said that working on self-improvement helped.
- 17% of participants said ex-back websites, articles, and YouTube videos helped them get their ex back.
- Other factors that helped include time apart, no contact, and therapy/relationship coaching.
32. The top reasons people cited why they want to stay in their relationships:
- Optimism or hoping that the partner will change
- Emotional investment in the relationship
- Family duties
- Fear of the uncertainty that would follow
- 66% of participants wanted to stay due to the dependence and intimacy they had developed with their partner over time.
33. The desire to be in a relationship can drive people back into a relationship that has already ended.
- 30% of Americans agree with the sentence, “I’m only happy when I’m in a relationship.”
- 37% of men are more likely than women (23%) to agree with this statement.
- Among those who “definitely agree” with the statement:- 30% say they’ve gotten back together with an ex more than once.- 21% say they have done it one time.
34. People are willing to overlook the following things when getting back together with an ex:
- Excessive drug or alcohol use (69%)
- Catching an ex lying (63%)
- Financial instability (60%)
- Catching an ex cheating (57%)
35. People will not overlook the following when they are considering getting back with their ex:
- They no longer find their ex attractive (70%)
- An ex who was physically violent with them (67%)
- An ex who no longer found them attractive (57%)
- Having different long-term goals with an ex (54%)
Sources: Psychology Today, Reader’s Digest, YouGov, Casinos.Org., Psych Mechanics
Chances of success after getting back together
36. In one study of people 9 months after their breakup, more participants got back with their ex and stayed together:
- 14.94% of participants got their ex back and stayed together even after almost a year of the breakup.
- 14.38% of participants got back with their ex but broke up again within nearly a year of their breakup.
- The remaining participants (70.68%) did not get back together with their ex.
37. More women broke up again (15%) after getting back together than men (11%).
38. Age affects the chances of someone getting back together with their ex and their success rate.
- Participants over 50 have more success in getting their ex back and keeping them.
- Those 25-30 years old had the highest rate of breaking up again within a year of getting back together.Those 25-30 years old had the lowest success rate of getting an ex back.
38. The status of relationships with people who got back together with their ex differs.
- 78% of participants said that they were happy.
- 60% of participants said that the new relationship was worth it.
- 74% of participants said that the new relationship is better than before.
40. 69% of participants believe that they and their ex have improved as a person and are better at solving relationship problems after getting back together.
41. Around 15% of people got back with their ex and stayed together.
42. Around 14% of people who got back together with their ex broke up again.
Sources: Ex Back Permanently, Psych Mechanics, Inverse