How Often Do Exes Get Back Together (Exact Survey Results)
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How Often Do Exes Get Back Together (Exact Survey Results)

By Max Jancar | Published: April 20, 2024 | 15 Minute Read | Ex-Back

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There are many untruths out there, even some blatant lies, about how often exes get back together. Of course, this comes as no surprise.

We breakup advice givers — we’re incentivized to mislead. Because the more certainty about the odds of exes reconciling we can inject into our followers, the likelier it is they’ll buy our products and services.

Think about it like this. If I told you there was some exceptionally high chance you’ll get back with your ex, you’d probably jump at the chance to hire me to make it happen.

But if I told you that getting back together with an ex is usually a lost cause and a dumb idea, you’d more likely dismiss reconciliation as foolish and not even worth attempting.

Well, I hate to say this, but reconciliation is often foolish and not worth attempting.

According to a survey of 4534 participants, aged 18 to 55, I conducted between January 2023 and April 2024, only 32% of exes get back together. Of these, roughly 18% have stayed together for over a year after reconciling.

If you just came for the raw data, there you have it. You may click away now.

However, if you’d like to parse through the data I collected, learn how it compares to other datasets, and how to leverage it to skew the odds of getting your ex back in your favor — read further.

Survey Caveats

My survey, like every survey, is skewed. I mean, answering how often exes get back together is tricky. So here are some caveats about the survey that you should know about.

1. Narrow Cultural Factors

Roughly 85% of the respondents were from the US, Canada, and Australia, which are individualist cultures. This means the survey results would probably differ in another cultural setting, such as if I conducted it across China or Latin America.

2. Distinct Brand Identity

If you’ve been reading me frequently, you know I generally don’t like the idea of going back to an ex. In fact, I tend to encourage my readers to move on instead. For these reasons, my readers — the people who took my survey — are more likely to move on to someone else, even when they could technically still rekindle things with their ex.

3. Survey Timing

I started sending out my survey at the tail end of the pandemic. A time when there were, on average, fewer dating options and more people craving to get back with their ex.

4. Coaching

When I conducted this survey, I also coached some of the participants. While I don’t do much coaching, I do enough to perhaps skew the numbers a bit.

5. Participant Neediness

Most people who read sites like mine are in a state of heightened neediness, making them prone to doing dumb shit like stalking and chasing their ex straight out of their life. Hence, they have a lower chance of mending their relationship in general, especially compared to people who don’t actively digest ex-back content.

Survey Data Unveiled

With the caveats noted, let’s examine the survey data I received in detail. First, I’ll paste the question I asked my readers in the form of a subtitle, and then I’ll proceed to give the answer based on the data collected.

Disclaimer: I’ve rounded some of the percentages in this survey to keep things clear and simple. Because of this, the totals might not add up perfectly.

Q: Did You Get Back Together With Your Ex?

A: I know I wrote this earlier, but here’s a recap so we’re all on the same page. According to my survey, 32% of exes get back together, and approximately 18% of those 32% have stayed together for over a year after mending things. The remaining 14% parted ways shortly after reconciling.

Q: What Is Your Gender?

A: 51% of the survey respondents are male, 45% female, and 4% are non-binary.

Q: How Old Are You?

A: 16% of the survey respondents fell into the 18-24 age bracket, 51% into the 25-34 one, 27% fell into the 35-44 one, 5% into the 55-64 one, and finally, 1% of people fell into the 65 and over age bracket. Considering these percentages, the average age of a survey respondent is 32.75 years.

Q: Were You And Your Ex Married Or Engaged?

A: 23% of the survey respondents reported being married or engaged, while 78% reported otherwise.

Q: How Old Was Your Relationship?

A: 2% of the respondents report less than a month; 9% report 2-5 months; 22% report 6-12 months; 29% report 1-2 years; 19% report 2-5 years; and 20% five years or more. After doing some math magic on this survey dataset (with the help of AI since I suck at math), the average duration of a relationship for a respondent translates to 33.47 months, which is about 2.79 years.

Q: How Long Did It Take You To Get Back With Your Ex?

A: About 37% of exes got back together in the first month, a whopping 57% got back together during months 2 and 5, and only 5% got back together after staying apart for five months or longer. So, roughly speaking, an average person gets back together with their ex in 2.56 months.

Note: for an in-depth review and analysis of this data piece, read: How Long Does It Take An Ex To Come Back (The Exact Answer).

Q: How Satisfied Are You With Your Reformed Relationship?

A: On a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being very unsatisfied and five being very satisfied), 52% of the survey respondents report a 5 (very satisfied), 29% a 4 (satisfied), 13% a 3 (moderately satisfied), 2% a 2 (dissatisfied), and 6% a 1 (very dissatisfied). When averaged out, the overall rekindled relationship satisfaction rating is approximately 4.23 out of 5.

Q: Why Did You And Your Ex Got Back Together?

A: From a multiple-choice list of possible answers, 61% of respondents picked unresolved feelings, 47% picked familiarity/comfort, 45% loneliness, 27% external circumstances (i.e., being in the same city, having mutual friends, having shared responsibilities like pets or kids, etc.), and 15% picked realization of compatibility (basically they realized they have aligned values, goals, and beliefs with their ex).

Q: What Helped The Most When Mending Your Relationship?

A: This was an open-ended question, so the responses varied widely. However, I took the time to summarize, organize, and categorize them for clarity. So, based on this restructured data, here’s what helped most when mending a relationship, listed from the most helpful to the least: therapy, solo self-improvement and self-care, getting better at boundaries and communication, finding a purpose beyond an ex, the no contact rule, ex-back coaching, dating other people, other.

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Further Analysis

Here are some additional interesting findings from analyzing my survey’s responses, listed in no specific order.

Finding #1: Age Affects The Chances Of Exes Getting Back Together

On average, younger couples, aged 18-35, are about 17% more likely to get back together with their ex. After discussing this topic with some of my readers and clients, I’ve come up with three reasons why this is so.

First, younger people are, on average, more needy and insecure than older folk. They also report having a greater fear of being alone. Therefore, they’re more likely to run back to an ex instead of finding someone better or simply enjoying the single life.

Second, younger people often have less relationship experience than their older counterparts. This lack of experience can lead to unresolved feelings and a weaker understanding of personal relationship needs and boundaries. Consequently, the allure of a familiar relationship, despite its past challenges and baggage, can be more tempting than the uncertainty of new connections.

Third, societal and peer pressures. In many social circles, being in a relationship can be seen as a status symbol or a marker of adulthood. These pressures can then push younger people to get back with their ex, even though that may be unhealthy, just to conform to societal expectations.

Finding #2: Gender Affects The Chances Of Exes Getting Back Together

My survey demonstrated that women have, on average, an 11% greater chance of getting back with their ex than men. I’d argue this is pretty accurate since it aligns with many similar findings observed in relationship psychology.

Studies suggest that women are often more proactive in initiating conversations about relationship issues and reconciliation. Men, on the other hand, are less likely to initiate these conversations, potentially leading to a lower rate of successful reunions post-breakup.

Additionally, according to a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, women are more likely to seek out relationship counseling and are generally more engaged in maintaining communication post-breakup. This can also lead to higher reconciliation rates compared to men, who tend to withdraw from getting help.

Finally, a paper in Psychological Science found that women typically have a greater emotional awareness than men, which can contribute to a better understanding of what went wrong in a relationship and, perhaps more importantly, what is needed to mend it.

Finding #3: Relationship Length Affects The Chances Of Exes Getting Back Together

A longer relationship almost always equals a higher likelihood of reconciliation. More specifically, my survey found that exes with a relationship older than 2 years but younger than 4 years had the highest success rate of getting back together and staying together.

I’d argue this success is mainly attributed to the fact that this 2-4 year period strikes the perfect balance, where the emotional investment is significant yet not overshadowed by the negative effects of long-term discontent, complacency, or disengagement.

Finding #4: Getting Back With An Ex Has A Lot More To Do With Self-Improvement Than Ex-Back Advice

This finding warmed the cockles of my heart.

I’ve been beating the “you need self-improvement, not ex-back advice” drum for years. And thankfully the responses to my last survey question — what helped the most when mending your relationship? — overwhelmingly support this perspective.

To clarify, when rated for effectiveness, ex-back advice ranked sixth out of eight options. It was significantly outperformed by therapy, solo self-improvement and self-care, getting better at boundaries and communication, finding a purpose beyond an ex, and the no contact rule.

How My Survey Compares To Other Ex-Back Data

As you’d expect, I’m not the first to provide an answer to how often exes get back together. Many people have done this before me. In this section, I’ll review some of these people’s answers and data and compare it to the results of my survey.

Disclaimer: most of these people exclusively report the percentages on how often exes come back, but do not specify how long these reconciled relationships last. Please keep this in mind.

1. Kevin Thompson

Kevin is a breakup coach with 11+ years of experience and the lead author behind Ex Back Permanently — one of the most popular ex-back blogs out there.

Based on his 3000+ participant study, he found that about 30% of exes get back together, and roughly half of those 30% stay together. The other half part ways shortly after reconciling.


Also, full credit to Kevin — it was his data on exes reuniting that inspired me last year to create and start sending out the very survey I’m reporting on now.

2. Jesse Martin

Jesse is a writer and an author behind Rapid Breakup Recovery. And he has been helping people, specifically men, heal and grow from their breakups since 2012.

Based on his years of coaching and sharing breakup advice, he reports that only 5% of people get back with their ex.


3. Zan Korenjak

Zan is a writer, personal development coach, and breakup analyst behind the popular self-help and breakup advice blog called Magnet Of Success.

According to him, getting back with an ex works out 10% of the time — with the dumpers leaving again 20-30% out of those 10%.


4. Amber Vennum

Amber Vennum is one of the most quoted researchers on reconciliation, mainly because of a study she published in the Journal of Adolescent Research in 2012.

In this study, titled “Relationship Churning in Emerging Adulthood: On/Off Relationships and Sex with an Ex,” she found that about 50% of exes get back together.

However, note that this study solely examines young adults aged 17-24 from a single area of a country. So take it with a grain of salt.

5. Dr. René Dailey

Dr. René Dailey is a researcher who focuses on how family members help or hinder weight management. In 2009, she boldly stepped out of her specialization to conduct a survey on reconciliation among college students.


In this survey, published in the Journal of the International Association for Relationship Research, she found that about 65% of them eventually get back together with their ex.

But don’t get your nipples too hard just yet. Her survey has the same problem as Vennum’s study: it exclusively examines young adults, who, according to my survey, generally have a higher likelihood of getting back together with an ex.

The Bottom Line

To recap, Kevin Thompson observed a 30% reconciliation rate among his study participants, whereas Jesse Martin noted a starkly lower 5% success rate. Zan Korenjak reported a 10% chance of reuniting, contrasted by Amber Vennum and Dr. René Dailey, who documented higher rates of 50% and 65%, respectively, within younger adult populations.

Aggregating these diverse figures yields an average probability of 32% for exes getting back together. Ironically, this figure aligns closely with the results from my own survey.

Now I’m sure I could list additional data that would further skew the average percentages of how often exes get back together. However, the consistency across different datasets and demographics provides a reliable bottom line for our understanding. This bottom line being: that while possible, reconciliation surely isn’t common.

This throws quite a bit of cold water on the often overhyped stats thrown around the ex-back advice world. Many guru’s might tell you reuniting is just around the corner, but let’s face it: their numbers often don’t hold up to real-world scrutiny.

Beyond just the raw stats, let me remind you again that my survey wasn’t without its quirks. From cultural biases to the specific slices of demographics I looked at, these factors add layers upon layers of complexity, making a one-size-fits-all conclusion rather shaky.

But ultimately, we can still assert that rekindling an old romance is more of a rarity than the norm. So, if you’re thinking about getting back with your ex, it might be worth keeping your expectations in check.

(Optional) Top Questions About How Often Do Exes Get Back Together

What Exact Percentage Of Exes Get Back Together?

Based on my 4534 participant survey that I conducted between January 2023 and April 2024, 32% of exes get back together. That said, based on the other, in my opinion genuine, expert claims, surveys, and studies — all referenced above — a realistic estimate for reconciliation spans between 5% at the lowest and 65% at most.

Is 2.56 Months Enough For Two Exes To Change To Where They Can Have A Healthy Relationship?

Usually, it’s not. Typically, exes need a far longer period than three months to adequately reflect on their breakup, learn from it, and improve themselves to where they’re actually fit for healthy reconciliation. In fact, insufficient time apart is one of the main reasons so few exes mend things for good in the first place. And sure, exceptions exist, but they are rare.

What Factors Influence How Often Exes Get Back Together?

In short, four factors:

  • For one, there’s mutual willingness — both exes must be interested in getting back together.
  • Then there’s resolution of past issues. Basically both exes must be willing to address and resolve the problems that led to their breakup.
  • Next, there’s also personal growth to take note of. Meaning both individuals have to resolve a decent chunk of their emotional issues so they don’t unnecessarily strain the relationship.
  • Finally, there are external factors that influence of how often exes get back together. These could be proximity, mutual friends, or shared responsibilities like parenting.

Is Getting Back With An Ex A Good Idea?

For most people, no. Most shouldn’t get back with their ex. That’s because an average person seldom mends things and usually only prolongs their healing through trying.

In my opinion, the only people qualified for reconciliation are those who are unattached to whether or not they get back with their ex, are content and happy with themselves, and know that if they do mend their relationship, it would be a healthy one.

How Do You Approach An Ex About Getting Back Together?

It boils down to six principles. For an in-depth guide on them, click here. But for a quick recap, keep reading.

  • Principle #1: clearly tell your ex you want them back — be direct and authentic without over-explaining or unnecessary apologies. If they’re open, suggest a date; if not, it’s time to move on.
  • Principle #2: cease all communication. Avoid places where you might run into them and remove any reminders of them from your life. This includes distancing from mutual friends and limiting contact to necessary interactions only, like co-parenting or work-related discussions.
  • Principle #3: improve yourself. Specifically, prioritize essential life aspects such as health, sleep, and well-being; become less needy and more self-sufficient; get better at boundaries; improve your self-esteem and worth.
  • Principle #4: consider if reuniting is beneficial. Generally, it’s not advisable unless you’re genuinely content alone and can envision a healthy, renewed relationship.
  • Principle #5: if your ex initiates contact and shows interest, invite them on a date. If they’re hesitant or non-committal, resume no contact until they engage more definitively.
  • Principle #6: continue dating them only if you notice increased intimacy, communication, and commitment. If the relationship shows potential, consider making it official again.

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