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 getting back with your 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.

What percentage of dumpers come back? ›

If you average all the reputable research on the ex recovery process and chances of getting your ex back, there's about a 43.5% chance your ex will come back without doing anything. Those aren't exactly betting odds. That means six out of ten times you're probably not going to get your ex back.

How do you know if your ex is coming back spiritually? ›

15 Psychic Or Spiritual Signs Your Ex Misses You
  • You may dream of them. Save. ...
  • You might get hiccups. ...
  • You may smile (without realizing) ...
  • You may feel being touched. ...
  • You may sneeze randomly. ...
  • Your eyes may twitch. ...
  • You may experience mood swings. ...
  • You may feel the urge to meet them.
Dec 29, 2022

How likely is your ex want you 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.

Do dumpers miss their ex? ›

Does the dumper ever miss their ex? In most cases, if you give your ex enough space, they will at some point miss you. 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.

What causes an ex to come back? ›

It could boil down to a few different things. Maybe they genuinely miss you and want to get back together with you. Maybe their heart is broken from another relationship and they're using you as a rebound. Maybe they're manipulative and want to keep you interested even though they're never going to treat you right.

Do dumpers ever feel guilty? ›

Guilt: Many times the person who ends a relationship feels intense guilt over causing harm to someone they care about.

Do dumpers regret later? ›

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.

Do dumpers ever regret leaving you? ›

Dumpers remorse refers to the regret, ambivalence, and general discomfort someone feels after breaking up with someone. Not everyone goes through this experience, but it's extremely common.

What are the signs that your ex will never come back? ›

18 Signs Your Ex Is Never Coming Back
  • There's no communication. Save. ...
  • Your conversations have gone dull. ...
  • You have been friend-zoned. ...
  • Your ex is enjoying life after separation. ...
  • They have blocked you on all the social media platform. ...
  • They speak ill about you. ...
  • They return all your stuff. ...
  • They avoid your family and friends.
Dec 15, 2022

What are the spiritual signs that someone is missing you? ›

20 Spiritual & Psychic Signs From The Universe That Someone Misses You
  • They show up in your dreams. ...
  • You suddenly feel a need to be around the person. ...
  • You have frequent unexplained mood swings. ...
  • You have hiccups. ...
  • Your eye twitches. ...
  • You see repeating numbers. ...
  • You get a random text from them. ...
  • You felt a phantom touch.
Oct 25, 2022

Which signs are most likely to go back to their ex? ›

  • 5 zodiac signs that are likely to give a second chance to their ex. Every one of us has committed an almost unpardonable act at some point in our lives. ...
  • Libra. Libras are strong proponents of forgiving others. ...
  • Cancer. Cancer has a difficult time saying goodbye once they become close to someone. ...
  • Virgo. ...
  • Pisces. ...
  • Gemini.
Nov 18, 2022

Does my ex still think about me? ›

If your ex is trying to contact you, or maybe even trying to speak to you at weird hours, then it might be a sign they still think about you. Another big sign is social media. If they somehow didn't get rid of you via an unfriending or straight block, it might mean they miss you.

How to make your ex miss you? ›

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.
Dec 13, 2022

How do you know if a dumper regrets? ›

Here are some of the signs your ex regrets dumping you.
  1. They begin to communicate with you.
  2. They apologize for the breakup.
  3. They show more affection.
  4. They discuss issues in their present relationship.
  5. They try to atone for past mistakes.
  6. They show pessimism when you tell them someone else is involved.
  7. They stalk you.
Jul 8, 2022

Does silence make an ex miss you? ›

The simple answer to the above questions is yes. When you walk away and make him miss you, it's typical for a man to come back to you. The power of silence after a breakup is highly effective in making your partner come back. To start with, going silent after a breakup is a sign of confidence and self-esteem.

Is the dumper afraid to contact? ›

In short, I'm of the belief that most dumpers ARE NOT afraid to contact their exes. Instead, they're simply falling victim to their natural avoidant tendencies which makes most people think they're afraid of contacting them.

How long do ex usually come back? ›

How Long Does it Take After a Breakup to Get Back Together Your Ex? In most cases, couples get back together within 1-6 months of the breakup. This statistics only includes couples who stayed together in a long term relationship after getting back together.

How often do exes get back together? ›

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.

Do male dumpers always come back? ›

76.5% of Male Dumpers Return within 60 Days of BreakUp - Study - EIN Presswire.

Do breakups hit guys later? ›

While the stereotype is that a breakup hits men a lot later, emerging research conducted with 184,000 participants found that men seem to be more affected by the loss of a relationship.

Do dumpers ever suffer? ›

It may seem cold if they seem like they don't care at you at all but our research has found that isn't entirely true. Dumpers do hurt just like dumpees but they have a different way of processing the grief than you do because they view relationships in a different way fundamentally.

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 long does dumpers relief last? ›

The Separation Elation Stage (Lasting Anywhere Between 1 – 2 Months) This stage encompasses the actual breakup/escape as well as the dumpers relief.

Who feels more pain dumper or dumpee? ›

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.

Why do dumpers act so cold? ›

When you are looking at why the dumper is acting cold towards you one possible explanation is that it might be a defense mechanism to stave off feeling sadness or shame. Remember, human beings are very pain averse and that's doubly true for emotional pain.

How long does it take for someone to regret dumping you? ›

The answer is different for everyone, but many men will experience a pang of regret within about a month to six weeks after breaking up with you. Dumper's remorse, as I call it, is very real. It happens to pretty much everyone who ever dumps a person.

What a man thinks during no contact? ›

“No contact” could make him question what he thought he did right. He'll doubt everything from his attractiveness and bedroom skills to his jokes and romantic gestures. He might fixate on every little error he made while you were together, adding to his feelings of regret and insecurity.

Why is silence powerful after breakup? ›

There is no easy way to deal with a breakup, but remaining silent actually speaks volumes to your ex. After all, actions speak louder than words! By staying silent, you're telling your ex that you're strong, resilient, and independent. You're relying on yourself — and no one else — for your own happiness.

When we miss someone can they feel it? ›

Definitely, not all people but some people can sense it, especially empaths. An empath or someone you're in sync with can catch your vibrations easily and this can often clue them into what you are thinking or feeling.

How do you make someone miss you psychologically? ›

6 psychological tricks to make anyone MISS you
  1. 01/7Look sharp. Always work on your looks and dress well. ...
  2. 02/7Make them miss you with these tricks. Want someone to miss you in your absence? ...
  3. 03/7Your scent. ...
  4. 04/7Be a bit mysterious. ...
  5. 05/7Become active on social media. ...
  6. 06/7Being independent. ...
  7. 07/7Leave something behind.
Feb 6, 2022

What psychology says when you miss someone? ›

Changes in brain chemistry: Scientific studies indicate that your brain reacts significantly when you're missing someone you love: The oxytocin and dopamine that's released during a relationship suddenly stop flowing. You become chemically dependent on their presence in your life.

How often do exes fall back in love? ›

Key points. Research finds that 40-50 percent of people have reunited with an ex to start a new relationship. On-again relationships tend to suffer lower relationship quality and worse functioning than never-broken relationships. People often resume relationships with ex-partners because of lingering feelings.

Who gets over their ex faster? ›

There's a reason for this, according to new data from Match's Singles in America survey: Guys just get over breakups faster. Match surveyed more than 5,000 men and women and found that half of dudes are over a rejection in a month, while the average woman takes four months to get over it.

Which zodiac takes the longest to get over a breakup? ›

Yes, among all the zodiac signs, Taurus takes the longest to get over a break-up.

How do you know when your ex is truly done with you? ›

How To Know Your Ex Is Truly Done With You
  • Your Exes Rebound Is No Longer A Rebound.
  • They Never Unblock You.
  • It's Been Months And All Of Your Pictures Together Are Still Up.
  • You Can Tell They Are Just Responding To Be Nice To You.
  • There's Been A Steady Decline In The Volume Of Communications Between The Two Of You.
Sep 10, 2021

Do all exes think about you? ›

If you two have been out of the relationship you had for a long period of time, the odds that they think about you often, other than a passing moment here or there, is slim. But if it's been days, weeks, or less than 6 months from the breakup, the odds are that your ex thinks about you quite a bit.

How do I stop obsessing over my ex? ›

What To Do When You Start Thinking About Your Ex?
  1. Do something you enjoy to help you get your mind off your ex. Work out, start a hobby, hang out with friends, or do anything else that's good for you.
  2. Practice meditation and mindfulness. ...
  3. Avoid talking to them or lurking on their Facebook. ...
  4. Seek help.

How do I make my ex realize his mistake? ›

Hence, listed below are some quick tips on how to make him realize he made a mistake so that he would come back to you and would promise to not repeat it.
  1. Stay away a bit. ...
  2. Don't argue at all. ...
  3. Never ever talk about past experiences. ...
  4. Focus on yourself. ...
  5. Be the future you.
Jun 11, 2020

How do I make my ex crazy about me again? ›

Snag your ex's attention by reaching back out, spending time together, reminding them of happy memories, and acting casual and confident. Finally, discuss getting back together. Talk about what went wrong in the past and let your ex know that you're willing to work to be a better partner.

How do you make your ex want you back quickly? ›

Steps You Can Take & Things To Say To Get Your Ex Back
  1. Give Them Space. ...
  2. Apply the No Contact Rule (Yes, Even on Social Media) ...
  3. Become a Person You Can Be Proud Of. ...
  4. Make Some Positive Changes in Your Appearance. ...
  5. Make Some Positive Changes in Your Mentality. ...
  6. Allow Yourself to Grieve for a While. ...
  7. Write a Journal.
Dec 2, 2021

Is it ever healthy to get back together with an ex? ›

There are times when a breakup can bring clarity about what you want in a partner, and coming back together is a good choice. However, in most circumstances, once you break up with a partner, your outcomes are better if you move on instead of cycling back to them.

How long on average before an ex comes back? ›

In fact, based on our research you can expect the average ex to begin missing you anywhere between 2.5 to 5.2 months after a breakup assuming you put forth signals that you are “moving on from them.” We're going show you how we came to this conclusion by drawing on our knowledge on, Attachment Styles.

What is the success rate of no contact? ›

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 breakup make a relationship stronger? ›

' 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.

Does my ex miss me even though we don't talk? ›

Yes, an ex misses you during No Contact. They miss you because they no longer have what they used to have. Your ex misses you even though you don't talk because they have time to adjust to your absence. This will help them reflect and miss you more.

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 long should no contact last? ›

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.

Is two weeks of no contact enough? ›

For an amicable breakup: around 30 days. 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.

How long after no contact do they return? ›

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.

Why is no contact so powerful? ›

The no contact rule is so effective because it helps you break the cycle of constant communication and contact with your ex. Instead, you get the opportunity to step back from them emotionally and physically.

How do you tell if no contact is working? ›

If the messages they're sending you change from sweet to angry, you'll know that the no contact rule is really working. When they still can't get ahold of you, they'll probably realize that you're not going to come around, and they'll get sad about what they've lost.

Who suffers more after a breakup? ›

Despite the age-old stereotype that men are less emotionally invested in relationships than women, a new study has found that men are in fact more likely to experience more emotional pain than women following a breakup.

How do you know when a breakup is final? ›

8 Signs that Your Breakup is Permanent

You feel better apart than you did together. ... Your friends and family haven't been the biggest fans of your ex. ... You've already moved onto someone else (or your ex has). ... There is a clear misalignment of fundamental values and life goals.

Who heals faster 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.

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