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65 Relationship Breakup Facts and Statistics

Sophie Simons
January 18, 2024

People all over the world fall in love and break up regularly – that’s neither new nor unique. What brings out unique perspectives is how this happens – when and how people leave situations that no longer serve them or how they cope with the ending of love.

A new, loving relationship brings hope, excitement, and this giddy feeling that lasts at least six months in the honeymoon phase, and it’s pretty sad when it ends. You are allowed the whole range of emotions, from confusion to sadness and even depression sometimes, but at some point, you’ve got to pick yourself up. 

 As we will see in this write-up, different people have different ways of dealing with failed love. 

65 Breakup Facts Every Couple Should Know

  1. Women initiate breakups more often than men. (Source: YouGov)
  2. At least 64% have broken up from long-term relationships. (Source: YouGov)
  3. On average, it takes about 11 weeks to recover from a break-up. (Source: ResearchGate) 
  4. Most people are torn between leaving and staying, so they struggle with the decision even when they feel the relationship is over. (Source: UNews
  5. At least 58% of Americans felt their break-ups were messy and quite dramatic in 2022. 25% were civil. (Source: Statista)
  6. People who pick up a positive habit after a break-up, such as journaling the positive outcomes of said break-up, cope better than those who dwell on the negative. (Source: APA)
  7. 26.8% of respondents studied after a break-up showed signs of mild to severe depression based on the duration of the relationship. (Source: NIH)
  8. Most relationships last between 6 months and 2 years. (Source: The Hive)
  9. 88% of Americans prefer to break up with someone in person, while 10% might do it over a phone call. 2% would text, while another 2% would prefer to do it via private messaging on social media. (Source: Pew Research)
  10. While long-distance relationships work well, they are 27% likely to end within 6 months of the parties closing their geographical gap. (Source: Relationships Advice Co
  11. Couples are likely to break up before the five-year mark. (Source: Stanford Study)
  12. 1 in 5 Brits have had an affair that led to a break-up. For the benefit of this study, an affair meant romantically kissing or sleeping with other people. 82% of these affairs lasted weeks, while 7% only went on for a few days. 5% were long-term and ongoing at the time of the study. (Source: YouGov)
  13. Over half the people in a relationship do not see the end coming and will only think about the red flags after it’s ended. (Source: Social Psychological Bulletin)
  14. 37% of Americans say they would like to remain cordial with their exes after a break-up, while 29% prefer to cut all ties. Men were the majority of the ones who chose to stay friends. (Source: YouGov)
  15. A study shows that respondents who accepted friend requests from their exes on social media had higher levels of anxiety and likely bouts of depression than those who did not. (Source: Taylor & Francis Online
  16. Studies show people process emotional pain from a break-up the same way they do physical pain. Rejection can take a physical toll on the body in the same way pain does since they are processed in the same region of the brain. It could also lead to loss of appetite and sleep, affecting the physical body negatively. (Source: PNAS)
  17. After a romantic break-up, wallowing in self-pity for a controlled duration is good for the brain. A study shows that speaking up about the break-up helps faster recovery and brings back clarity. (Source: Sage Journals
  18. Social media removes digital distance and makes it harder to get over an ex after a breakup. The constant exposure to an ex-partner keeps reminding them of what was lost. (Source: CU Boulder.)  
  19. Sentimental people who hold on to things, including digital material – photos and texts – have a harder time letting go after a break because they constantly browse the remnants of an ended relationship. (Source: Sage Journals) 
  20. Breakups are painful but not all bad if you focus on healing. After enough time, most people show signs of emotional growth, introspection, and self-awareness, and it can all be attributed to the pain they went through. (Source: Research Gate
  21. At least 58% of people are likely to engage in rebound sex after a break-up to try and get over their exes. (Source: Live Science)
  22. 90% of people polled said that rebound relationships helped them heal faster, even though only 19% lasted two years. (Source: Gitnux)
  23. The heartbreak that follows a breakup is closely associated with the grief one feels in bereavement. Most people go through intense loneliness, sadness, and intrusive thoughts as part of their loss. (Source: SCIRP study)
  24. A study suggests that writing down as many negative aspects of your ex as you can remember could help you get over them faster. Negative reappraisal reduces the attachment and affection you may have and enables you to regain some sense of self after a breakup. (Source: PLOS One)
  25. Non-romantic relationships formed for many years hurt as much – or even more than – romantic relationships when they end. Friends break up over betrayal, lack of geographical proximity, and loss of things they had in common, among other reasons. (Source: NIH)
  26. Breakups can negatively impact how one approaches future relationships, especially with partners who are in long-term relationships, and consequently form more memories together. (Source: NIH)
  27. Common friends often judge the initiator of a breakup and could even kick them out of their click if they have to choose a side. (Source: Sage Journals)
  28. Breakups are often easier for the initiator than the rejectee. (Source: Research Gate)
  29. Some people could pick up habits such as drinking and hard partying to deal with a romantic breakup. (Source: Research Gate)
  30. Breakups teach different lessons to the two main genders. Women tend to become more aware of their partners’ needs in future relationships, while men tend to look inwardly and focus on what they want. (Source: Sage Journals)
  31. Most people expect the pain from a breakup to be worse than it actually is, so they end up overthinking how bad it will be. (Source: Science Direct)
  32. Partners who break up after making long-term plans together lose the motivation to carry on with said plans, and it may even affect their goal-making prospects with future partners. A breakup destabilizes them enough to make them lose their footing and vision for a while. (Source: Sage Journals.) 
  33. Some people often push back on breaking up until they no longer can. This is even after being sure the relationship has served its time and it would be more beneficial to break up than stay together. Source: (University of South Dakota)
  34. The reasons for relationship break-ups are usually the same for all genders except for cheating. Most breakups result from feeling unappreciated, loss of direction where couples feel they have no more space to grow together, and poor communication. (Source: NIH)
  35. Women are likely to initiate a breakup if they are cheated on emotionally more often than sexually, while men are likely to initiate it when cheated on emotionally and/or physically. Psychology says men feel a threat to their genetic fitness when either of the two happens, while women feel a threat to the home they have built together when emotional infidelity is involved. (Source: Research Gate
  36. Women and men cope differently after a break-up. Women are likely to immediately feel the pain and pressure of their loss while embracing all the help and love they can get from their circles, prompting faster healing. Men, on the other hand, could take longer to heal because they could isolate and postpone feeling the emotions that follow a failed relationship. (Source: Research Gate) 
  37. Our brains process little other than the pain we experience after a breakup, and we might even miss out on great things happening simultaneously. We are wired to avoid loss, even when that means overlooking the good that’s happening around us. (Source: Research Gate)
  38. We reminisce on the good times after a break-up. We remember the good times and memories and create an illusion that the good could outweigh the bad. This often happens a few weeks into the break-up and is often why most people get back together. (Source: NIH)
  39. Moving on is akin to recovering from addiction. Just like beating a drug addiction, most people often falter a few times before they can finally move without looking back. (Source: SBU News) 
  40. Early mornings are often challenging after breakups. First, the sleep pattern could be disturbed for a while from the lack of sleep, and most people reported losing sleep in the wee hours of the morning. Productivity will likely be affected, too. (Source: SCIRP)
  41. The rejectee often blames themselves for the break-up. People tend to look inward for what they could have done wrong to be rejected. In the same breath, women have been seen to blame the men more than they blame themselves when a relationship fails. (Source:  Texas University Study)
  42. Postponing the sadness will not make it go away. (Source: Hey Sigmund)
  43. Breaking up with a long-term partner could lead to an identity crisis as one tries to find who they were without the relationship. Studies show people who have been together for a long time are so in sync that almost everything reminds them of their significant other. (Source: PsyPost.)
  44. Getting closure is overrated, sometimes. While it is good, you do not need it to move on. (Source: Psychology Today.)
  45. Returning to the dating pool too soon isn’t always beneficial. Studies show a year to be sufficient for healing and finding oneself again. (Source: University of South Dakota)
  46. One learns a lot from a breakup, like how they want to be loved, what they can and cannot put up with, and what they could do differently in a new relationship. (Source: JESP)
  47. You may want to make drastic changes after a breakup. Women could crave changes such as cutting their hair, changing their overall style, and being bolder, while men could hit up the gym or take up sports. (Source: Harper’s Bazaar
  48. Long-distance relationships end when partners have different commitment levels to communication, meeting up when their schedules allow,  or commitment to the future. (Source: BV University)
  49. Friends have a lower chance of breaking up. (Source: Journal of Happiness.) 
  50. Money consistently ranked highly in the reasons for breakups. It could be partners’ different outlooks on spending and saving or the amounts each brings home. (Source: NIH)
  51. Violence is a leading reason for breakups, as one in four women and one in nine men will experience abuse from their partners at least once in their lives. This abuse could be physical, emotional, or sexual. (Source: National Statistics
  52. Breakups are almost imminent when at least one party feels like they rushed the decision. They are unsatisfied with the relationship and will likely seek to dissolve it eventually. (Source: Research Gate)
  53. Sexual incompatibility could lead to a break-up from all the dissatisfaction. (Source: Choosing Therapy)
  54. The inability to solve conflicts amicably leads to breakups. Couples that never fight are almost as bad as those that fight about every flimsy thing. (Source: NIH)
  55. Holding grudges kills a relationship. Most people break up because one always brings up the wrongs the other did years ago. (Source: Psychology Today.
  56. Misaligned interests will kill a relationship. If your politics and philosophy differ, you may conflict on crucial things like how to raise kids when the relationship grows. (Source: Mark Manson)
  57. Unrealistic standards and comparisons are relationship killers. It is also as bad going into a relationship hoping to change a partner, as more often than not, it fails. (Source: Research Gate)
  58. Lack of empathy leads to the break of relationships because the empathetic partner will fail to feel the other’s joy or pain and often make everything about themselves. Empathy plays an important role in all relationships, romantic or otherwise. (Source: NIH)
  59. A breakup is imminent if two people are together for the wrong reasons. Aligned goals allow two to walk the same path and grow. (Source: NIH)
  60. According to a survey, 44% of Americans have gotten back with their exes after a breakup, but no information exists on whether they built stronger, lasting relationships. (Source: YouGov) 
  61. About 40% of people stay in touch with their exes because they find them familiar. The bond they created during the relationship becomes essential even after they are no longer together. This sometimes leads to on-and-off relationships. (Source: Yonsei University)
  62. At least 28% of Americans returned to old texts and social media exchanges with their exes. 4% further admitted to stalking behavior on the same platform to see what their exes were up to. (Source: YouGov)
  63. 58% of people believe in revenge while their pain is still fresh. Revenge, in this case, would be anything that would cause their rejectors as much pain as their actions did them. (Source: Daily Mail)
  64. While revenge could feel good at the moment by helping one release pent-up anger they may feel after a breakup they did not initiate, it’s not all beneficial. The good feeling does not last, and one risks ruminating on one’s exes and slowing down one’s own healing. (Source:  Psychology Today)
  65. 25% of people polled in a Dating.com survey admitted to learning the shortcomings of their partners and separating during the 2020 pandemic. (Source: PR Newswire)


Finding love is hard for most people because they have expectations and past experiences that might bar them from fully immersing themselves in new waters. Ultimately, we all want to dig deeper to understand what we want from a new interaction while healing old wounds sufficiently to avoid bleeding all over the new. It also helps to know when to leave a relationship that no longer serves us, even when that means being alone for a while. 

Helen Fisher, a Kinsey Institute and Chief Scientific senior research fellow, advises on losing all contact after a break-up to help one heal and move on effectively within a reasonable period. Studies show it takes at least 11 weeks to move on after a break-up, so removing everything that reminds you of your ex could get you back on track in this time frame. 

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Sophie Simons

Sophie Simons

Sophie Simons is a leading psychologist with a passion for enriching relationships. Through empathetic counseling and insightful guidance, she empowers couples and individuals to foster deeper connections, resolve conflicts, and create lasting harmony. Sophie's expertise in relationship advice has touched countless lives, making her a trusted source for building fulfilling partnerships.

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