How Often Do Exes Come Back After A Breakup?

Without a doubt the number one question that I get every single day is,

Chris, do I have a chance to get my ex back?

And usually I have to give a variation of this answer,

“Well, that depends on a lot of different factors”

Of course, if you are trying to get an ex back that is the last thing that you want to hear. Instead, you want a clear cut answer. Heck, some people have literally harassed me until I gave them an exact percentage of their chances.

And usually I am really careful about NOT doing that because I am not a fortune teller…

No, trust me.

I am not!

But a few days ago someone asked me the inevitable question I am always asked,

How often do exes come back after a breakup?

And I got to thinking…

What if there was a way for me to combine my own independent research (I have had thousands of success stories) with the research of others to come up with an actual generalized percentage?

And that is how this article came into existence.

But coming up with a percentage isn’t going to easy since there isn’t a ton of research to go off of out there.

How We Will Calculate Our Success Percentage

I am a big believer in proof.

Nothing annoys me more than someone making a claim without having proof to back it up.

That is especially true when it comes to calculating the percentage of exes who come back after a breakup.

So, I wanted to find a way to legitimize this calculation so I can give you as accurate a number as possible and I think I came up with a pretty awesome way to do it by looking at two data points.

  1. We are going to look at specific studies that came up with a percentage on exes who come back after a breakup
  2. We are also going to ask professional experts (relationship coaches, psychologists, therapists, etc) what percentage they are experiencing

Now, we are doing it this way to limit the outliers.

Something tells me that your chances of getting an ex back aren’t going to be 80% but if someone professional says that they are and it’s the only data point in the calculation then your chances are going to be significantly inflated.

I think that is a really short sighted way of looking at this.

Instead, we need to be looking at data points from all around and averaging them together so we can come up with an accurate number that seems realistic and that is what we are doing by going this route.

Ok, enough chit chat.

Let’s get right to it.

Part One: What Scientific Studies Had To Say About Exes Coming Back After A Breakup

In this section we are going to be focusing on research studies that I happened to stumble across that gave a percentage calculation on exes coming back after a breakup.

In total I stumbled across 4 studies that I am trusting enough to cite.

Each study came up with an actual percentage.

So, here is how I am going to approach this.

I am going to cite each study, briefly give you my thoughts on it and then average the studies together to come up with one number.

Once I do that I am going to jump into the other section (experts) and repeat the same process.

Sound good?

Let’s begin!

Study #1: Poll Conducted By The Associated Press

If you are a pretty avid reader of Ex Boyfriend Recovery then this study might sound familiar to you because I quote it often.

In late 2015, The Associated Press conducted a poll where they asked 1,240 individuals all kinds of interesting questions about exes. Of course, one of those questions was,

Have you ever gotten back together with an ex after a breakup?

It turns out that 41% of the people being polled had said that they had.


Now, I will say that this poll is a little flawed in the fact that the wording of the question doesn’t hit on the exact thing that you are wanting if you are reading this article.

You see, “The Associated Press” asked them if they have ever gotten back with an ex before.

In other words, in your lifetime have you ever gotten back with your ex.

It never specified specifics which is kind of what you want.

Nevertheless, this is a legitimate poll and it’s a great start to our little study here.

Study #1 Percentage: 41%

Study #2: Conducted By Dr. René Dailey of the University of Texas

In 2009 René Dailey thought it would be interesting to take a look at dating in college and she found that around 65% of college students who had broken up with their partners had eventually gotten back together again.


Now, I want to point out the huge discrepancy in percentages between study #1 and study #2. Why do you think that is?

Well, if I had to guess it’s because Dr Dailey only queried college students in her study whereas study #1 was much more generalized querying people of all ages.

I suppose the big take away from the discrepancy is that college aged students tend to go back to their exes at a higher rate than normal.

But we have only looked at two studies so I can’t say we have found “normal” yet.

Study #2 Percentage: 65%

Study #3: Study In (Relationship Churning in Emerging Adulthood: On/Off Relationships and Sex With an Ex)

In 2012 A study conducted by S. Halpern-Meekin, W. D. Manning, P. C. Giordano and M. A. Longmore found that around 44% of men and women aged 17 – 24 were reported to have broken up and then gotten back together again.


So, what can we learn from this study?

Well, the discrepancy between it and study #2 are apparent but I’d like to point out that this study focuses on a few extra ages that study #2 did not.

So far it appears that study #2 is an outlier as the other two studies have had significantly lower percentages.

However, I think there is something to that college ages thing that study #2 hones in on but lets take a look at our last study before we make an assumptions.

Study #3 Percentage: 44%

Study #4: Study Conducted Amber Vennum From Kansas State University

Now, before I dive into this one I want to say that this is probably the least accurate study of the four.


Well, because it only focuses on a subset of couples who have broken up.

According to a 2013 study conducted by Amber Vennum, an assistant professor of family studies and human services at Kansas State University, about 37% of couples living together who had broken up had reported that they had gotten back together again.


I wish I could have found more accurate data for you guys for the fourth study.

I looked everywhere and read some of the most boring studies you can imagine but this was the best I could find so we are just going to have to make due!

Study #4 Percentage: 37%

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Adding The Studies All Up

So, we looked at a total of four studies in part one.

Their percentages respectively came in at,

  1. 41%
  2. 65%
  3. 44%
  4. 37%

So, overall when you average those four percentages together you get,

46 Percent

Which honestly I think is a pretty solid number considering one of these studies only focused on couples who were living together which always presents it’s own set of unique problems.

Overall, when you look at these studies it seems like you have the best chance if you and your ex are in the college ages,

College Ages = 18-22

Study #2 found a significantly higher success rate when it only focused on couples within that age range.

So, it seems like that is the sweet spot to be.

But we are only looking at half the data here.

Lets move on and ask some experts!

Part Two: What Experts Had To Say About Exes Coming Back After A Breakup

I knew I wanted to get some actual experts take on percentages instead of just relying on studies.

After all, there is something impersonal about studies and sometimes you can learn a bit more by hearing from experts out there.

Overall I was able to bring together four experts to the table for you,

  1. A professional relationship consultant
  2. A sex therapist
  3. A psychic
  4. Marriage and family therapist

Now, one thing I learned very quickly is that experts are a lot like me in the fact that they look at things situation by situation. Sometimes it’s impossible to give an exact percentage when you look at things like that.

So, as I give you the expert take you will notice that I am going to be not counting some of their answers.


Well, some of them didn’t give percentages.

Overall though I think 3 out of the 4 gave us a percentage to work with!

Lets begin!

Expert Take #1: Chris Seiter (Professional Relationship Consultant)

Hey, that’s me!

Getting people back together is kind of my thing since it’s what I do for a living but putting an actual success percentage behind it is really difficult.


Well, sometimes people don’t tell me when they get their exes back.

Most people know me through my writing here on Ex Boyfriend Recovery and they never get a chance to introduce themselves to me because they never leave comments.

So, knowing my exact success percentage is difficult to nail down.

What I can focus in on though are the people who I have worked with personally.

Off the top of my head I would say that 45% of those individuals have seen success in some way, shape or form.

However, I will say that, that number significantly increases for those people I work with that actually execute what I tell them to do.

I find that the majority of people who I work with don’t actually implement the things I tell them to and then I often get blamed when things don’t go how they were hoping.

Nevertheless, my number is probably somewhere around 45%.

Expert #1 Percentage: 45%

Expert #2: Sunny Rodgers (Certified Clinical Sexologist)

Sunny runs a pretty popular website and is a Certified Clinical Sexologist, a professional sex coach and an Ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association

I have to say that I found Sunny’s findings really fascinating.

Here is what she had to say,

“With a lot of my clients I find that Exes play a big part in their current lives, whether their in a new relationship or not. I’ve had clients seek tarot card readers and have worn Moonstone because they heard that that stone will help reunite lost loves. With my clients, I find that 20-25% do get back together with their Exes, usually within a few months. Some repeatedly break up just to keep passion and tension alive in their relationship. And for the 20-25% that do get back together, 50% of them will break up again permanently within six months. All of this is just what I’ve seen with the people that I’ve coached.”

The 20-25% success rate doesn’t shock me. What really interested me was her finding that half of them will stay together and half of them will breakup within six months.

Fascinating stuff!

Expert #2 Percentage: 25%

Expert #3: Davida Rappaport (Psychic, Entertainer, Speaker, Tarot Card Reader)

I figure you always need to have a psychic in the mix when you are doing these kinds of calculations so I asked Davida about her findings and she wrote a lot of really fascinating things for me,

“Many of my clients ask me if their Ex is coming back or what they should do if their Ex wants to come back. In some cases, they still love them and would welcome them back in a heartbeat, even if the relationship may have been abusive. Predicting if and when an Ex may return is somewhat unpredictable. Everything depends upon what their relationship was like prior to the breakup and what triggered the breakup. Here are a few possibilities you may want to consider:

1. If the relationship was very steamy – major chemistry and hot, hot, hot, there is a strong chance the Ex will want to come back; he will probably re-establish contact within a few weeks or a few months. When the chemistry is off the chart, even if there are problems in the relationship that were never dealt with, chemistry generally overrides logic. This type of comeback goes both ways. However, if the couple does not work on the relationship, they may break up and reunite more than once. If fact, they can keep doing this for years.

2. If the relationship was volatile (and ended the same way), I generally tell my clients it would not be a good idea to let their Exes back into their lives because their relationship was unhealthy and/or abusive. Because of the volatility of the personality, it is impossible to predict when their Ex will return. These types of Exes can come back within a month or as far out as a year later, if they are going to come back. I remind my clients they should not expect him to change his behavior – this will still be a volatile relationship. If they take him back, they may end up separating again because the relationship problems are still there.

3. If the relationship was a good one, and your breakup was due to your Ex relocating for a new job or accepting a transfer, why not call him to see how he is doing if he does not contact you after six months? You can always find out if he misses you. The best thing that could happen is he tells you he still loves you and misses you. Who knows, you might end up reconnecting and relocating to be with your former Ex.

4. If you broke up because your Ex suggested you both see other people, that is usually a sign that your Ex wanted out of the relationship. In this case, the chance of him wanting to come back is slim to none. You may never know the real reason why he wanted to break up, and I don’t recommend driving yourself crazy trying to figure it out. It usually has nothing to do with you. If at some point down the road he realizes how wonderful you are wants you to take him back, wouldn’t it be fantastic if you found someone better in the meantime? You could tell your Ex, “You blew it.”

5. If your breakup was because of family obligations (older parents or young children), this type of breakup usually does not lend itself to comebacks. Some Exes have a problem with familial obligations because they want things simple, easy and no drama. In this case, he probably won’t want to come back. That can be a good thing.

6. If your breakup was due to your Ex’s familial interference, more than likely, your Ex will not be making a comeback. Generally if you have an Ex whose parents always pull his strings, even if he wanted to come back, he will always choose his family over you.

7. I saved the most outrageous scenario for last. If your Ex is commitment phobic and broke up with you when you brought up the “C” word, there is a good chance he may turn up again under a future Retrograde Mercury. However, he may also leave again if he doesn’t want to commit. If you want to dismiss the Retrograde Mercury option, remember that a commitment phobic Ex may come back again at any time, and often does. However, if you mention the “C” word again, he will either break up again or become a ghost. Like a ghost, he may haunt you in some way…if you let him.”

See, aren’t her findings really fascinating?

The sense I got from them was that your chances are very situational.

So, with her I don’t think we can come up with an actual percentage but that is ok.

She just cut right to the heart of the matter which I am going to talk about in a second.

Expert #3 Percentage: N/A

Expert Take #4: Lisa Bahar (Marriage And Family Therapist)

And last but certainly not least we have Lisa Bahar a Marriage and Family Therapist!

Here is what she had to say about exes returning,

“Ex’s tend to return more often than not, it is the second question as to why, in many cases, there may be a sense of guilt, attachment, that they need to confirm that the ex is still receptive to them, wanting to seek control even though they are no longer committed, wanting to have attention. 

In other cases perhaps, the individual had time to reflect, explore his or her feelings about the breakup after a period of time and feels inclined to try and reach out and return.  Many times, there is rejection that the ex was not expecting, and returns to one who they feel will be more open and receptive.”

Exes tend to return more often than not…

How do we quantify those words into a percentage?

I wouldn’t ever try to speak for Lisa but it is my understanding that more often than not means more than 50%. So, using that logic 51% would be more often than not and I would like to use that as Lisa’s number.


Well, I wanted to mimic our research findings with the studies above as closely as possible and 51% is the closest number we can use.

Expert #4 Percentage: 51%

What Percentage Chance Of Getting Your Ex Back That You Actually Have

And now we come to the grand finale.

This is the moment we have all been waiting for as I add everything up and give you one specific number as to what your chances with your ex are.

First things first, I’d like to remind you what the studies number was in case you had forgotten.

  • Studies Found That 46% Of Exes Will Come Back After A Breakup

Ok, now before I give you the final number let’s add up all of the experts opinions.

In total we have four experts who gave us opinions on what percentage of exes came back,

  1. 45%
  2. 25%
  3. N/A
  4. 51%

I am just going to void the N/A and not count it in the average.

So, when I tally it all up we get,

  • Experts Say 40% Of Exes Come Back After a Breakup

So, experts are definitely a bit lower than studies but that doesn’t really matter since we still need to average everything together.

Are you ready?

Drumroll please!






According to my research there is a 43% Chance That Your Ex Will Come Back After A Breakup

But I personally think that you can move that number up if you know what you are doing.

How many of the men and women in these calculations actually knew what they were doing?

The answer = not many of them.

Just saying!	

Written by EBR Teamate

Chris Seiter