Do exes come back? What do the stats say? - PsychMechanics (2023)

Relationships are an enormous time and energy investment. It’s easy to have a crush on someone, but if you want a relationship with them, numerous factors come into play. It becomes an important decision and you have to weigh many factors.

When a relationship ends, it’s a huge loss, especially if the relationship was good. Instead of putting in time and effort to find a new partner, it’s understandable why people sometimes prefer to get back together with their ex.

Do exes come back weeks, months, or even years after the end of their relationships?

The short answer is: Most of them (around 70%) don’t but it depends.

It depends on a lot of things. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll have a decent idea about the chances of your ex coming back.

But first, let’s look at some facts statistics. If you’re like me and like numbers, you want to know how often do exes come back. While every relationship is unique, looking at these stats does give a rough idea of your chances.

Summary of stats on exes getting back together

I’ve combined data from multiple large-scale surveys done on this topic that interviewed thousands of participants. I removed all the fluff and unnecessary details, so you can get straight to the good stuff.

Here are some interesting and noteworthy stats on getting back together with an ex:

People who think about their ex too much71%
Willing to get back together with their ex after being dumped60%
People who did not actually get back together70%
Got back together but broke up again14%
Got back and stayed together15%
Men who regret breaking up45%
Women who regret breaking up30%

According to a survey conducted by, following are things people are willing to overlook when they’re considering getting back together with an ex:

Excessive drug or alcohol use69%
Caught them lying63%
Financial instability60%
Caught them cheating57%

Here are the things people can’t overlook when they consider getting back with an ex:

I no longer find them attractive70%
They were physically violent toward me67%
They no longer found me attractive57%
We have different long-term goals54%

Factors contributing to success in getting back together:

  • Being aged 50 or above
  • Length and quality of the prior relationship
  • Getting back together within six months of the breakup
  • Self-improvement
  • Commitment level
  • Attraction level

Making sense of the data

A lot of people think about getting back together with an ex. We’ll dig into the reasons for this later, but the primary reason is that finding a new relationship is complicated. When people think of entering a relationship, they think about their ex because it’s an easier and more accessible option.

Young people with their raging hormones enter and exit relationships all the time. Their mate value is high, and they know they can attract many potential partners. They have the energy and time to invest in new relationships.

Older people, however, are pressed for both energy and time. Therefore, if they choose to get back together with an ex, they’re more likely to hold on to the relationship. This explains why people over 50 are much more likely to get back together with an ex successfully.

The prior relationship’s length and quality are strong predictors of exes coming back. Again, it’s easier to lean on something that has worked in the past than to put effort into finding a new relationship.

The fact that people aren’t willing to overlook the loss of attraction when thinking of getting back together with their ex shows how important attraction is in a relationship. If people are attracted to their ex, they may be willing to overlook lying, cheating, and even drug addiction.

This shows how the mind places a premium on reproducing with an attractive potential partner and is ready to make major sacrifices in its attempts to pursue that goal.

Since women are choosier than men when it comes to picking relationship partners, they usually break up for good reasons. Since their overall mate value is higher than men’s, they can easily find a new partner. Thus, they’re less likely to regret breaking up than men.

Why do exes come back?

Other than finding a new partner being a considerable time and energy investment, the reasons that motivate exes to come back include:

1. Residual feelings

When your ex still has some residual feelings for you and hasn’t completely moved on, they’re likely to return.1

2. Familiarity and comfort

Humans are naturally averse to unfamiliarity and discomfort. It’s easier being with someone one has known and reached a level of comfort with than to start a fresh relationship with a stranger.

3. Emotional and other support

When a relationship ends, it becomes harder for a person to deal with life’s challenges. Your ex may come back to you for emotional support if they hit a low point in their life.

Your ex may also come back for meeting their other needs like physical intimacy, a place to stay, or companionship. If this is the case, they might dump you again when their needs are met.

4. Failed relationships

After breaking up with you and entering a string of new relationships, your ex may realize that you’re the best option for them. They’ll regret breaking up with you and come back.

Humans can’t resist comparing their new relationships to their prior relationships. It helps us to learn from our mistakes and make better decisions.

5. Self-improvement

Self-improvement is the most critical factor that helps exes get back and stay together. It’s because when a breakup happens, it often has to do with one or both partners lacking in self-development.

As soon as this issue is fixed, the reason for breaking up disappears. There’s nothing that stops the exes from giving it another go.

Also, if your mate value increases significantly during the time after the breakup, your ex will likely want to get back together with you.

For instance, you get a promotion at work if you’re a man or lost weight and are in great shape if you’re a woman.

Of course, overall mate value depends on many other things. This is only a simple example.

6. They broke up for a silly reason

Your ex may come back if they realize they broke up with you for a silly and petty reason like being angry or having an argument. If the overall relationship was good, then one little argument shouldn’t overturn the entire relationship.

7. Wanting what they can’t have

Humans tend to take the things they have for granted and think the grass is greener on the other side. It’s possible that now you’ve broken up, they want you back for this reason.

8. They’re jealous

If you entered a new relationship and are happy, chances are your ex won’t take it well if they still have feelings for you. They may try to sabotage your current relationship by asking to get back together.

If you find yourself ambivalent and confused, it’s likely that you, too, have lingering feelings for them. If you were sure about your new partner, you wouldn’t pay any attention to your ex trying to get back together with you.

Increase the chances of ex coming back

If you improve yourself and move on, you put yourself in the best possible position to get your ex back. What you don’t want to do is beg your ex to get back together with you. Such ‘low mate value’ behavior almost guarantees your ex won’t come back.

If you want your ex to come back, you have to give them a good reason for doing so. They have to think of you as a worthwhile option. If you broke up because of a flaw of yours, it’d help if you showed them that you’ve changed.

Communication is everything

If your ex keeps you in their life, it’s the biggest sign they may come back. Not always, though. Sometimes, exes can pop into your life after months or years of no contact.

There are several reasons why people keep their exes in their lives ranging from ‘it’s the civil thing to do’ and ‘wanting to stay friends’ to ‘keeping their options’ open.2

If your ex kept you in their life because they wanted to keep their options open, they’re likely to come back to you if their new relationships don’t work out.

They’ll keep the lines of communication open with you. If they flirt with you during this phase, it’s a dead giveaway that they still see you as a potential partner.

If they genuinely only want to be friends, they won’t flirt.

If your ex has closed all lines of communication with you, it’s a strong signal they’re done with you. If they delete your number and block you on social media, it’s unlikely they’ll come back. They don’t want anything to do with you.

Cons of exes coming back

As they say, relationships are like paper. Once you squash a paper into a ball, it can never go back to its plain, original form no matter how hard you iron it.

Studies show that couples that break up and get back together have higher rates of conflict, including serious disputes involving verbal and physical abuse.3

Also, breaking up and getting back together leads to increased psychological distress when couples get stuck in a pattern of breaking up and getting back together.4

The more you break up and get back together, the less devoted you are to your partner and the more uncertainty you feel about the relationship’s future.5

This doesn’t mean all on/off relationships are doomed. If an ex comes back to be with you, you have to make sure they’re coming back for the right reasons.


  1. Dailey, R. M., Jin, B., Pfiester, A., & Beck, G. (2011). On-again/off-again dating relationships: What keeps partners coming back?.The Journal of social psychology,151(4), 417-440.
  2. Griffith, R. L., Gillath, O., Zhao, X., & Martinez, R. (2017). Staying friends with ex‐romantic partners: Predictors, reasons, and outcomes.Personal Relationships,24(3), 550-584.
  3. Halpern‐Meekin, S., Manning, W. D., Giordano, P. C., & Longmore, M. A. (2013). Relationship churning, physical violence, and verbal abuse in young adult relationships.Journal of Marriage and Family,75(1), 2-12.
  4. Monk, J. K., Ogolsky, B. G., & Oswald, R. F. (2018). Coming out and getting back in: Relationship cycling and distress in same‐and different‐sex relationships.Family Relations,67(4), 523-538.
  5. Dailey, R. M., Rossetto, K. R., Pfiester, A., & Surra, C. A. (2009). A qualitative analysis of on-again/off-again romantic relationships:“It’s up and down, all around”.Journal of Social and Personal Relationships,26(4), 443-466.

Hanan Parvez( Author )

Hi, I’m Hanan Parvez (MBA, MA Psychology), founder and author of PsychMechanics. PsychMechanics has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Reader’s Digest, and Entrepreneur.


What are the statistics of exes getting back together? ›

How many exes get back together. According to much research, about 40 to 50 percent of couples get back together after a breakup. While this is positive, many factors determine the chances of getting back together after a breakup.

In what situations do exes come back? ›

Your ex might return for various reasons. For example, they could miss you, still feel in love, or want to work on the conflicts that ended the relationship. In other cases, they might feel lonely, don't want to take responsibility for their actions or feel the breakup wasn't permanent.

Is it true most exes come back? ›

Yes, exes do come back. They do it all time. We conducted a study and found that around 30% of people get their exes back after a breakup. But out of those 30%, only 15% stay together in a healthy relationship.

What is the success rate of going back to an ex? ›

The results showed just 15% of people actually won their ex back, while 14% got back together just to break up again, and 70% never reconnected at all. But although it sounds like a small number, a few success stories showed how it is possible to work things out if you put the time and effort in.

Do soulmates break up and get back together? ›

Can soulmates break up and get back together? Yes, it is possible for any soul connection to experience a break in time or distance, only for both people to come back together when the timing is right (such as in the case of a twin flame separation).

How often do exes reunite? ›

A study of 3,512 people found that only 15% got back together with their ex. Another 14% briefly reunited only to break up, and a whopping 70% called it quits for good after their break-up.

How do you tell if your ex is waiting for you? ›

They tell you they miss you

They text you and say how their life seems empty and abnormal without you. If they still feels hesitant, they may say that they miss the show you two would often binge-watch together or the movies they enjoyed with you. All of these comments are signs that your ex is waiting for you.

How do you know if your ex misses you? ›

There are a few practical signs that your ex misses you, like if they tend to keep popping up in your life or you notice them liking your social media posts. Those are the biggest indicators, but it's best to be straightforward and ask someone if you want to know how they're feeling.

How do you know if your ex wants you back but won t admit it? ›

When an ex wants you back but won't admit it, they will constantly seek your attention and validation. If they have a greater ego, they might be holding on to past pain. If your ex wants you back, they will ask for your advice and attention, and will try to give you their attention in return.

Do exes regret breaking up? ›

Sometimes, yes, exes regret breaking up. There's no guarantee that a particular ex has any regrets, but it's definitely possible. Although there are times when a breakup is mutual, it doesn't mean both parties feel fully confident that the breakup is a good thing, either.

Do exes fall in love again? ›

Yes, it's perfectly possible for an ex to fall back in love with you. In fact, the statistics show that as many as 50% of couples who break up end up getting back together again.

Do dumpers miss their ex? ›

Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean they're going to get on their hands and knees and beg for you back. For some the “missing emotion” can be fleeting. For others, all consuming. In all though, yes, there's a high likelihood that the dumper will miss the ex at some point.

Is there a chance to reconcile with ex? ›

However, sometimes (and probably more often than you think) reconciliation occurs after closure. The uncertainty of reconciliation can cause feelings of fear and doubt, but rekindling your relationship is possible. This decision is made possible by both partners who are willing to give their love a second chance.

How often do exes come back after no contact? ›

If the relationship was good and the breakup response was decent by no contact being implemented soon enough, the odds are about 70%. So the best-case scenario of the No Contact Rule is a 70% success rate in getting an ex back.

How do you know if manifesting your ex is working? ›

10 Signs You're Manifesting Your Ex Back
  • You See Their Name Randomly.
  • You Hear Their Favorite Song.
  • You See Something That Reminds You Of Them.
  • You Feel Like They're Thinking About You.
  • You See Your Sign From The Universe.
  • You Have Unwavering Faith.
  • You Feel Good No Matter What Happens.
  • You Feel Unbothered By Time.
Oct 28, 2022

Do couples last after a breakup? ›

Many couples who have called it quits end up getting back together. In fact, a 2013 study found that over one third of couples who live together and one fifth of married couples have experienced a breakup and gotten back together.

Can you fall in love again with the person who broke your heart? ›

Take the time you need to heal and focus on yourself. The best way to enter a new relationship is as a happy and healthy version of yourself. The good news is that it is totally possible to fall in love again after a heart break.

Can breaking up strengthen a relationship? ›

Although ending a relationship can be painful, a separation can give a couple space to work on personal issues that have been harming the relationship. 'It can help individuals reassess their priorities, helping them to know more about what they would like to get out of a relationship,' says Fredrickson.

Why is silence so powerful after a breakup? ›

Staying silent can also help you feel empowered. You're taking charge and showing your ex that you're capable of and willing to live life without them. Whether you're the one who was hurt or the one who ended it, cutting off communication after a breakup puts you in control.

Do long term relationship exes come back? ›

"A certain percent of couples do get back together. However the more serious the issues the harder it is to transcend and make a relationship work." The best way to know if you and your ex are in that percentage of couples who might try again to make a relationship work could be by having an open conversation about it.

How long to wait until contacting an ex? ›

You may want to wait at least 30 days before you speak to your ex after a breakup. You might wait longer if you were together for a few years or more and broke up. Often, a few months to a year can be a suitable amount of time to wait for many individuals.

How do you know if your ex misses you during no contact? ›

One of the biggest signs that a guy misses you during no contact is that he reaches out offering to help you. What is this? He may offer advice, apologize, say that he's changed, or even just try to come around and help you in your home or with other things you need.

How do you know if your ex never cared about you? ›

25 signs your ex never cared about you
  • 1) You were never a priority. ...
  • 2) They broke your heart over and over again. ...
  • 3) You were always trying to catch their attention. ...
  • 4) The love was one-sided. ...
  • 5) They didn't value your time together. ...
  • 6) They made you feel bad about yourself. ...
  • 7) They never respected you.
Jun 17, 2022

How do you make your ex miss you psychology? ›

How To Make Your Ex Miss You After A Breakup
  1. Do Not Try To Contact Them. ...
  2. Do Not Receive Their Calls And Respond To Their Texts. ...
  3. Reinvent Yourself. ...
  4. Meet New People And Make New Friends. ...
  5. Talk To Their Friends. ...
  6. Check Out The Outside Dating World. ...
  7. Take A Vacation. ...
  8. Be Active On Social Media.
Apr 5, 2023

How do I know my ex is regretting? ›

They begin to act like a different person

One of the signs she regrets losing you is when she begins to behave like a changed person. You will notice that they put up a different personality you are not used to. This is usually to make you see them in a different light so that they can win your love again.

What are the stages of regret an ex? ›

They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, according to Mental-Health-Matters. These are the natural ways for your heart to heal.

Who regrets more after a break up? ›

Morris' research shows that the partner who initiated the breakup feels less grief than the one who got dumped, but both often feel sorrow and regret at the way the relationship unfolded, often on different timelines.

What kind of woman does a man regret losing? ›

Men regret losing the kind of woman who is emotionally independent, bold enough to take care of her own life and happiness, and kind to her near and dear ones. She doesn't look back after someone disrespects her and won't give in easily to the proposition of getting back together with that person.

Are breakups harder for the dumper or dumpee? ›

Breaking Up: Is it more painful to dump (dumper) or to be dumped by (dumpee) a main squeeze? Typically, evidence suggests the dumpee normally faces more pain and they certainly do suffer the most intensity of emotions. That being said the dumper rarely escapes pain free.

Do exes still hook up? ›

When you close one chapter of your life through a breakup, hooking up with your ex can feel like you're backsliding, but that doesn't necessarily mean you are. It's completely normal, and fairly common, for people to hook up with an ex lover because it feels physically familiar, according to therapist Matt Lundquist.

Does the dumpee move on faster? ›

The dumpee can move on quicker because they had no choice in the matter. The dumper will always wonder if they made the right decision AND carry the guilt of hurting someone.

What do dumpers think of no contact? ›

What do dumpers feel during no contact? During no contact, dumpers initially feel a sense of relief that the relationship is over. Then they start getting curious about why their ex never called. Then they start stalking the ex on social media to see how they are doing without them.

What is the psychology of no contact on dumper? ›

The psychology of no contact on dumper is a coping mechanism to help you think hard about what went wrong and how you could be a better person and a potentially better partner to the next person who will come along. Instead of thinking about your ex, you have to focus on self-improvement and healing.

How do you know if your ex wants to reconcile? ›

20 Signs Your Ex Wants You Back
  1. They Make Attempts To Stay In Touch. ...
  2. They Keep You Updated. ...
  3. They Get And Want To Make You Jealous. ...
  4. They Pretend That They Need Your Help. ...
  5. They Keep Bringing Up Your Memories Together. ...
  6. They Tell You How Far They Have Come. ...
  7. They Keep Checking With Mutual Friends About Your Well-being.
Dec 20, 2022

How long does it take a guy to realize he wants you back? ›

When he realizes his feelings, he might want to get back together. This realization usually happens several weeks or even months after the breakup. He'll recognize how much he needs you in his life or how he can't stand the thought of you with someone else.

Can couples get back together after months apart? ›

Regardless of the nature of your question, know that ex-couples getting back together after a breakup are more common. Some couples may get back after a few weeks or months, while others go apart only to find a way to be together after years of living separately.

Do exes ever get back in touch? ›

While this may seem unusual, the pattern of returning to an ex-partner is actually quite common. By some estimates, 40-50 percent of people have reunited with an ex to start a new relationship (Dailey et al., 2009).

What makes a man come back after a breakup? ›

There are several reasons regarding what makes a man come back after a breakup. He may have changed his mind and wants to date you again, or he may feel like he messed up when he left you. It is possible that his other plans didn't work out the way he thought they would.

How do you know if your ex has completely moved on? ›

Signs Your Ex Is Over You
  1. Communication Dwindles. Relationships are built on interactions, and if you're not in touch in one way or another — in person, on the phone, or elsewhere — there's not really a relationship. ...
  2. Interactions Become Less Fun. ...
  3. Interactions Become Less Awkward. ...
  4. They Get Serious With Someone Else.
Jan 16, 2020

How long does it take to manifest an ex back? ›

It can take a few weeks to manifest your ex back.

If you're always doubting or worrying about your ex, you will block it from manifesting. Don't let the timing throw you out of alignment with what you want. As long as you believe you two will be back together, you will be reunited with them.

Can my ex feel my energy? ›

Can my ex feel my energy? Your ex might feel your energy even though you're not around them. For example, they might be feeling an emotional connection with you and might want to get in touch with you again. They can feel your energy even if they're not physically around you.

What percentage of people that get back together stay together? ›

We found that around 15% of people get back together and stay together and around 14% of people get back together but break up again. We analyzed the results even further. We wanted to find out how the numbers change when we cross analyze it with gender, age and length of the relationship prior to the breakup.

How long do exes usually get back together? ›

We conducted a study on people who get their ex back and keep them and we found that most people who get their ex back and stay with their ex, took at least one month to get back together. In most cases, people reconciled within 1-6 months of breaking up.

What percentage of exes regret breaking up? ›

Could this be your ex? Read on. The study revealed that regret is rife among singles who have dumped a partner; 39% of singles admitted they regretted ending a previous relationship. Men are the ones more prone to regret – 43% of male singles said they had regretted their actions, compared with 34% of women.

What is the success rate of no contact? ›

1. What is the success rate of no contact? The success rate of this rule is usually almost as high as 90% because the person who has broken up will inevitably contact you for one of two reasons.

Can a relationship work after a breakup? ›

Many couples who have called it quits end up getting back together. In fact, a 2013 study found that over one third of couples who live together and one fifth of married couples have experienced a breakup and gotten back together.

Do exes always come back after no contact? ›

If your ex is notoriously stubborn and you have only been doing no contact for a month or two, wait it out. They will probably come around. Now, if you have an impulsive ex who is not getting back in touch after 3 months or more, it's time to act.

Do dumpers come back? ›

Often dumpers do come back because they have had the time to reflect on their actions and emotions. No contact means that at least a temporarily unavailable man or woman has the time to think about the relationship and what might stop them from connecting with you or being emotionally intimate.

Who suffers the most after a breakup? ›

While breakups hit women the hardest, they tend to recover more fully. Men, on the other hand, never fully recover. Women experience more emotional pain following a breakup, but they also more fully recover, according to new research from Binghamton University.

Do dumpers regret hurting their ex? ›

Generally speaking, some dumpers regret their decision to break up only weeks after the incident. Other dumpers need years to feel that way. And some never even arrive at the final stage of dumpers remorse. Instead, they move on to someone else — be it a rebound or not.

At what point does no contact get easier? ›

Roughly 4 weeks of time alone should be enough to get back into the normal rhythm of the single life. It might feel messy and strange at first, but after 30 days you may find yourself feeling much better. While 30 days is a good rule of thumb, everybody is different.

Should no contact be permanent? ›

The no-contact rule refers to cutting off all contact with an ex following a breakup, and it's the best method for moving on from an ex. No contact should last for a minimum of 60 days, and it includes no texting, no calling, and no interacting on social media.

Will no contact bring him back? ›

While some people use the no-contact rule to win back their ex, there is no guarantee that it will work. The purpose of the no-contact rule is to give both parties space and time to heal, and it should not be used solely as a strategy to get an ex-partner back.


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