A 'get your ex back' website conducted research to find out what really happens to couples who rekindle their romance (2024)

  • After a breakup, all most people can think about is getting back together again. This is why "get ex back" is such a popular search trend on Google, and there are so many sites dedicated to rekindling romances.
  • One site, run by Kevin Thompson, offers a free newsletter that helps people go "no contact" and work on themselves after a breakup. Only after enough time has passed to work through some of their issues does he recommend reaching out to an ex.
  • Thompson conducted a survey on 3,512 people who used his site, because he wanted to know what percentage of couples actually do get back together. 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 many participants agreed on is that reconciliation is incredibly hard, and even if you do get back together, there's no promise of a fairy tale.
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A tweet was circulating on meme pages recently that said "if you're not dating to marry, you're dating to break up. Let that sink in." And it's usually true. Most couples do break up before they meet the person they will end up with. It's just simple logic.

But some couples defy the rule and get back together again after weeks, years, or even decades apart. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, and even the Duke and duch*ess of Cambridge are just some examples of famous couples who called it quits only to get back together again.

Now, a new survey could help explain what happens to the couples who give their relationship another try.

'Get your ex back' sites are big business

After a big breakup, we forget there are millions of other people in the world that could make us happy, because it hurts so much. We don't want anyone else, we want the person we lost.

Social scientists think this has something to do with how we evolved and our brains telling us we'll die alone, starving and cold, if we're rejected from the clan.

"Get ex back" is a consistently high search term on Google Trends, falling somewhere between 80 and 100% popularity over the last 12 months. And when the heartbroken turn to the internet for guidance, they're met with hundreds of web pages to choose from.

Many of the results are "get your ex back" sites. There's Brad Browning, a coach who makes YouTube videos about rekindling the romance with an ex, and then sites like myexbackcoach.com and withmyexagain.com. Many of the sites also offer personalized counseling over email for extortionate amounts of money.

They sometimes hook customers in by offering a free e-book first, then use the old trick of saying there's a "special offer" for one-on-one advice, when in reality the discount price is always the same.

One of the top results is How To Get Your Ex Back Permanently, a free site run by Kevin Thompson, which focuses on going "no contact" after a breakup and working on your own self worth and confidence instead. It operates on the theory that begging for second chances doesn't work and in order to have a healthy relationship and attract anyone — including your ex — you have to fix yourself first.

"Winning your ex back isn't really the hard part," the homepage says. "The hard part is keeping them."

The likelihood of happily forever after

Thompson recently conducted a survey of 3,512 participants who are subscribed to his site and newsletter. He wanted to know whether couples ever do reconcile, whether they stayed together, and whether their motivations changed over time.

All the participants wanted to get back with their ex at some point in time, all couples broke up between 9 and 36 months before, and the majority came from North America and Europe.

The results showed that the majority of people (70.8%) did not get back together with their ex at all. About 14% reconciled then broke up again, and about 15% got back together and stayed together.

A 'get your ex back' website conducted research to find out what really happens to couples who rekindle their romance (1)

Kevin Thompson

These were some of the other main findings of the survey

  • Women are more successful at getting their ex back than men.
  • 18 to 24-year-olds are most likely to break up again if they get back together.
  • People in their late 20s had the lowest success rate of getting an ex back.

"We found that age makes it harder to move on," Thompson said. "Coincidentally, we also found that older couples have a better chance of getting back together and staying together."

Read more: The 11 mistakes that can make a breakup worse — and what to do instead

Although 15% sounds like such a small percentage, it means 526 people from the survey did win their ex back and keep them. Some of them shared their success stories about what they had to do.

One anonymous 44-year-old woman from Utah said she was married for eight years, but her husband, 54, cheated on her.

"I was forced to move to a different state where my parents had moved to in order to get back on my feet," she said. "He went about his life, I went about mine. Something always ended up keeping us in contact every now and then, just fate, not on purpose."

15 years later, her husband sent her a Facebook message and they started texting and talking again, only to realize they still loved each other. She said now that they're older, they're more stable and know what they want in the future.

When asked about advice for anyone going through a breakup, she said to just walk away, not matter how hard it is because "you both need time away from each other."

A 'get your ex back' website conducted research to find out what really happens to couples who rekindle their romance (2)


Rachel, 23, also got back with her ex, but it was after just a couple of months. They had been together four years but drifted apart.

"I felt like my entire world had been ripped out from under me," she said. "He told me he needed space and so that's what I did. I didn't reach out, no calls, no texts, no emails, nothing. It was the hardest thing I had ever had to do."

They ended up meeting up and talking which Rachel said was "like catching up with an old friend," and they decided to get back together if they took things slowly.

"I knew it would be a mistake to jump right in exactly where we left off so we took it slow and casually," she said. "It was exactly what we needed. It was a chance to explore a relationship with two newly independent and self possessed people who still cared for each other."

They're still together a year and a half later, which Rachel thinks is thanks to resetting their feelings and letting go of their baggage to "rediscover who we were outside of each other."

"Breakups suck big time, but they're also an opportunity to be free and figure out exactly what you want," she said. "Sometimes it's to get back together, and sometimes it's to move on."

Read more: 11 signs your old relationships are affecting your current one

Sherry, 66, took her ex, 52, back even though he'd ended things eight times during their 14-year relationship. She said he is much more caring and loving than before and has let go of much of his disrespect for women, but she's still learning to forgive.

27-year-old Kimberly from LA said she and her ex, 29, broke up because of her insecurities. After working through some of her issues and gaining confidence, she said their rekindled relationship feels brand new.

"Our relationship is a lot healthier than the one before because I am actively working on myself as a person," she said. "Our relationship is better because I know I'll be okay with him or without him."

There isn't always a happy ending

As well as the stark statistic that couples don't reconnect 70% of the time, not every story where they do get back together is a happy one.

38-year-old Kelly from Minnesota had a toxic relationship with a man for three years until they broke up and didn't speak to each other for six months.

"It was painful and it made us realize what we took advantage of," she said. "We are back together and things are never perfect. Actually, he's cheated multiple times. So ... to be continued."

As for advice, she said the best thing to do is focus on yourself and not contact the other person.

"Hurt ... hurt a lot, but keep yourself busy," she said. "It's amazing the self discovery that takes place."

A 'get your ex back' website conducted research to find out what really happens to couples who rekindle their romance (3)

Flickr / Hernán Piñera

The survey showed that 77% of the participants who got back together with their ex were happy, while 23% weren't. It takes a lot of work to fix a relationship that ended, and most of that has to be pretty self-reflective. Even if you do work on yourself, there's no guarantee your ex will do the same.

Pam, 36 from Sydney, got back with her younger partner, 26, thanks to them both working on their communication. But she also made sure her ex was willing to put the time into the relationship to make it work before she gave him another chance.

"When someone breaks up with you, they are saying indirectly they don't want you in their life anymore because you are not worth the time, the effort, the pain, or whatever," she said. "No one has the power to define your worth. So, if they think you are not worthy enough for them, they for sure don't deserve the benefits of your friendship, time, tears, [and] begging."

42-year-old Sarah from North Carolina agreed that reconciling is hard, but she owed it to her husband to work out their unresolved feelings for each other. But she also said if there was violence or abuse of any kind you should "run far away and don't look back."

"You owe it to your future relationships to be clear of your past emotions," she said. "Above all, try not to be too hard on yourself. Breakups suck but they don't have to break you."

Read more:

A relationship expert says making these common mistakes after a breakup can lead to a negative thought spiral

4 steps to getting over a breakup in 30 days or less

9 important things to remember to stay strong and love yourself again after a tough break-up

14 reasons you're not getting over your ex — even if they were totally wrong for you

Smart, successful women may be more likely to get 'addicted' to toxic men than others

A 'get your ex back' website conducted research to find out what really happens to couples who rekindle their romance (2024)


What percentage of couples get back together after breaking up? ›

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. To begin with, most people get back together with their ex because they still harbor some feelings for them.

Do exes get back together after a long time? ›

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).

Do couples reunite after years apart? ›

Most couples do break up before they meet the person they will end up with. It's just simple logic. But some couples defy the rule and get back together again after weeks, years, or even decades apart.

Why is silence powerful after 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.

What is the average length of separation before reconciliation? ›

Statistical research shows that the average length of separation before reconciliation is six to eight months. Thus, it is a safe period when the spouses can cool off and decide whether they want to give their marriage another chance or get a divorce.

How long does the average breakup last before getting 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.

How long do rebound relationships last? ›

“Rebound relationships typically last between one month and a year, and commonly struggle to last past the initial infatuation period. They are often not based on deep compatibility, so differences can start to strain the connection,” says Stein.

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.

How do I get my ex back when all hope is lost? ›

Here are a few tips if you're thinking of rekindling a lost love:
  1. Recognize your role in the breakup and address it. Decide what you will say if challenged. ...
  2. Give your ex some space. ...
  3. Don't spread rumors or gossip about her. ...
  4. Be willing to talk. ...
  5. Don't be too pushy. ...
  6. Try not to be defensive.
Jan 12, 2021

Can lost love be rekindled? ›

Surprisingly, it does. Rekindled love can be a lot more than just a bout of passion and reminiscence. Research has shown that a whopping 71% believed that rekindled reunions were the most intense relationship of their lives. And this was reflected in their success rate of staying together – 78%.

Why would an ex come back years later? ›

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.

Can love be rekindled after years apart? ›

Past intimate partners can reunite and be more in love than they once were. In my 40 years of counseling couples, one phenomenon never fails to intrigue me. It is how intimate partners, who gave up on their relationship in the past, rekindle their love again later in life.

What does silence do to him? ›

The silent treatment puts a man in heightened anticipation. It shows you aren't afraid of little distance or break in a relationship. He doesn't know your whereabouts or how you feel. As a result, he realizes what he has lost.

Is silence more powerful than words? ›

Sometimes, words are not all they are cracked up to be. Silence can yield more power than words. Inventor and artist Leonardo da Vinci said, “Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” Leaders know how to use silence as a tactic for speaking up for themselves and as an opportunity to lead.

Why silence is the best revenge to an ex? ›

Silence speaks volumes

Believe it, the silence and zero reaction really bothers your ex, and they consider it as the best served revenge. Nothing creates more curiosity than silence. Your ex would expect a vent or an angry rant from you, but don't give in. If you do, you are meeting their expectations.

What is the last stage of separation? ›

Acceptance. The final stage is acceptance and is the point where you are no longer looking back and will stop trying to retrieve the life you once had.

What should you avoid during a separation? ›

Things You Should Not Do During Legal Separation
  • Do Not Move Out of Your Family Home. ...
  • Do Not Rush into a New Relationship. ...
  • Do Not Deny Your Partner the Right to Co-Parenting. ...
  • Do Not Involve Your Family Members and Friends in Your Separation Process. ...
  • Do Not Sign Any Documents Without the Consent of Your Lawyer.

How long is too long for a separation? ›

Ideally, psychologists recommend that a trial separation last no more than three to six months. The longer you spend apart from your spouse, the harder it will be for you to get back together.

How do you know if a breakup is permanent? ›

19 Unmistakable Signs Your Breakup Is Final
  1. You Are No Longer Physically Attracted to Your Ex. ...
  2. The Emotional Connection Is Gone. ...
  3. You Feel Better About Yourself Without Your Ex. ...
  4. You Don't Trust Each Other Anymore. ...
  5. Your Values and Goals in Life No Longer Match. ...
  6. You or Your Ex Has Moved On With Someone Else.

How do you know if a breakup is temporary? ›

Here are some signs your breakup is temporary:
  • You haven't moved on. ...
  • You still hang out together. ...
  • They've been sending you mixed messages. ...
  • You're learning how to communicate with your ex. ...
  • They reminisce with you. ...
  • They reach out during trials. ...
  • They ask about you through friends. ...
  • You have both been working on your issues.
Jul 28, 2022

How do you tell if you'll get back together? ›

Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back
  1. 1 They leave your number unblocked.
  2. 2 They're sad weeks after the breakup.
  3. 3 They're active on your social media.
  4. 4 They haven't returned your things.
  5. 5 They keep in touch with your friends and family.
  6. 6 They initiate contact regularly.
  7. 7 They reminisce about the past.

How do you know if a rebound relationship will last? ›

Rebound relationships, in most cases, last from a few months to a year. They usually don't last in the long term because the rebounding partner has not moved on from their previous partner. In rare cases, they may last for years. The longevity of a relationship depends on the understanding between the partners.

What are the dangers of rebound relationships? ›

Possible negative dynamics and consequences of an unhealthy rebound relationship may include: Entering into partnership based on weakness rather than strength. Increased emotional dependency or co-dependency. Psychological vulnerability to being manipulated.

What is the psychology behind a rebound? ›

The rebound relationship, it is believed, takes up the space that was left by the previous relationship and provides both stability and distraction from loss rather than a working through.

How long should no contact last to get back together? ›

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.

What goes through a woman's mind during no contact? ›

A woman experiencing the stages of no contact is likely to feel angry, sad, and lonely. While a woman is likely to feel sadness in the early stages of no contact, she will quickly get over her ex as time goes on.

What goes on in a man's mind during no contact? ›

Bhonsle says, “When the no-contact rule after the breakup is in force, a man might go through anger, humiliation, and fear, sometimes all at once. Depending on the time of day, the man could feel any of these individual emotions or all of them together.”

How do you get back with an ex you still love? ›

Better Together: 10 Tips For Getting Back with an Ex and Making...
  1. Take Time Before Reaching Out. ...
  2. Consider Why the Relationship Ended. ...
  3. Think About What Will Be Different This Time. ...
  4. Address the Breakup With Your Ex. ...
  5. Keep Your Friends and Family in the Loop. ...
  6. Put Yourself in Someone Else's Shoes. ...
  7. Have a Trial Period.
Sep 27, 2021

When you miss your ex do they miss you too? ›

You can appreciate the good times and even miss certain moments or things about your ex. You can expect them to miss you too, but do not dwell on this. The thing is, they can't help but miss you with these factors mentioned above, but that doesn't mean you should get back together with them.

Do exes come back when you least expect it? ›

Yes, some exes come back when you least expect it. For example, your ex may contact you several years after the break-up. They might have dated other people, only to realize that nobody else makes them happier. Or, they may have heard about what you were doing, and it provoked them to want to reach out.

Does space help a broken relationship? ›

In short: yes — as long as both people in the relationship want it to. “Space can heal a relationship,” explains Jason Polk, a licensed clinical social worker and couples therapist in Denver, Colorado, “especially if the couple is currently toxic or verbally abusive to each other.”

Do true love come back? ›

Genuine love is profound—it does not come and go every now and then; it is something that is likely to last over time. This does not mean that love cannot fade away, but even when it does, it leaves some scars, or rather potential feelings that can flourish if and when the environment is conducive.

What is a long lost lover? ›

adjective [ADJECTIVE noun] You use long-lost to describe someone or something that you have not seen for a long time.

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

13 Powerful Signs From The Universe That Your Ex Is Coming Back
  • You can't get them out of your head.
  • You're dreaming of them.
  • You get their visions.
  • You spot their names everywhere.
  • You may even smell them.
  • Thinking about them before you go to sleep is one of the spiritual signs your ex misses you.
May 12, 2023

Why do I still think about my ex after 20 years? ›

Sometimes, people are still thinking about their Ex for months, or even years after the relationship ended because of lingering insecurities or comparisons they're making — even subconsciously. This is often true when your Ex has moved on before you have.

How it feels to see your ex with someone else? ›

Feel Your Feelings

During the time you were together, you probably considered them the love of your life or life partner at the very least. Seeing them with someone else may trigger feelings of bitterness, but that's normal. It doesn't mean you are still in love, but it does mean that you still care.

Can you still be in love after years? ›

When you're in love with your partner, you can develop a deeper sense of love over time as you both commit to the relationship—and many couples still feel the flutters of being in love after years together.

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

Look at the numbers

Here are their findings: For people that get their ex back and stay together after more than 9 months of breakup, over 70% did not get back together. Of the remaining 30%, half were able to get back together and stay together, whereas the other 15% broke up after reconciling.

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.

How often do first loves get back together? ›

First loves defied the divorce rate, too: 78% of reunited happily and remained in love over many years of marriage, with divorce a minimal 1.5%.

Are mutual breakups likely to get back together? ›

Some of you might be wondering if it's possible to get back together after a mutual breakup if the reason you broke up was because it felt like the love was gone? Well good news – it is entirely possible, yes! When two people are together for a long time, is not uncommon for a routine to settle in.

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

Will an ex eventually regret leaving? ›

The good news was that yes, regret is completely normal after a breakup. The bad news is that sometimes you'll never get confirmation if an ex is regretting their decision to break up with you.

What breaks relationship most? ›

The most common reasons people break up usually involve a lack of emotional intimacy, sexual incompatibility, differences in life goals, and poor communication and conflict resolution skills. There are no wrong or good reasons to break up. However, some things in a relationship are just outrightly unacceptable.

What makes a man want to reconcile? ›

Some guys want to restart their relationship because they're lonely and miss being a part of their ex's group of friends. Sometimes all a guy wants is a little ego boost. He loved how his ex made him feel about himself, and he wants it back. Many men said they missed specific things about their ex.

How long does the average separation last? ›

A recent study concluded that while the vast majority of married couples who separate will eventually divorce (within three years), approximately 15% remain separated indefinitely, even past the 10-year mark.

Why do old lovers reconnect? ›

They may be feeling unfulfilled or concerned that there might not be a possible future for their partnership. For people between relationships, their searching may be driven by nostalgia, haunting feelings that they left a past relationship prematurely, or being reminded of a past love.

Can old lovers reunite? ›

Surprisingly, it does. Rekindled love can be a lot more than just a bout of passion and reminiscence. Research has shown that a whopping 71% believed that rekindled reunions were the most intense relationship of their lives. And this was reflected in their success rate of staying together – 78%.

Do people fall back in love with the same person? ›

There are so many cases of meeting an ex after a long gap and falling in love all over again. Whether it's your long-time partner or someone who wasn't a part of your life for a while – the bottomline is we can rediscover love with the same person more than once.

How do you know if a breakup is temporary or permanent? ›

One of the biggest signs the breakup is temporary is if you are using your time apart to grow as people. More signs you'll get back together include asking mutual friends about each other, staying in contact, resolving past issues, and apologizing for the wrongs committed.

What are the stages of getting back together with an ex? ›

7 stages of getting back together with an ex
  • Bubble space. This is the kindergarten teacher term for “no contact.” No talking, no touching, no texting. ...
  • Defining yourself without them. ...
  • Dip a toe in the water. ...
  • The reboot date. ...
  • No news is good news. ...
  • A whole new you two. ...
  • Redefining love.
May 27, 2022


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