Here's How People Really Feel About Their Exes

by Natalia Lusinski
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It’s probably happened to you: You miss your ex and are thinking of getting back together, or maybe you already did. On the other hand, you think that would be the worst idea ever. But, overall, how do people really feel about their exes? Online dating site EliteSingles surveyed 1,200 Americans to get the 4-1-1. Included in their findings, they discovered that 60 percent of Americans are willing to get back with their ex-partner after being dumped. Yep, 60 percent.

“If you still see a future with your ex after you’ve broken up, you aren’t giving yourself the opportunity to let someone else fill that role in your life," matchmaker and dating expert Sarah Patt tells Bustle. "You might be closing yourself off to new loves without even realizing it.”

But I know — maybe it’s ~meant to be~ with the ex, right? After all, maybe you were both going through a rough time back when you dated, or maybe one of you has since stopped a vice that was damaging to the relationship (like drinking too much), so now you want another chance. “The only reason you should ever get back together with an ex is because you’re willing to accept them exactly as they are,” sex and relationship expert Ravid Yosef tells Bustle. “Acceptance, no matter the circumstances, is the only way that you can make it when that thing that was wrong in the first place creeps up again.”

After all, someone should ~enhance~ your life, not make it worse. Whatever the case may be, 60 percent seems like a lot, riiiight?! Here are some additional findings from the EliteSingles study on how people really feel about their exes.

1. After Breaking Up, Most People Change Their Minds

One in two Americans have been dumped, only to have their partner change their mind afterwards, the study found — and then that aforementioned 60 percent are willing to get back together with them regardless. I suppose it all depends on the circumstances around the breakup. Was it cheating? Did someone move across the country and the relationship became more challenging to maintain? Did the two people just drift apart?

“There are terms that need to be negotiated if you are considering getting back together,” Yosef says. “There needs to be a plan in place for how you will deal with the issues that you have. You need measurable goals as a couple on the things you’re working on so that the results are measurable. If you don’t set measurable goals for how to improve, you’ll never know if you truly are and you’ll go back to feeling stuck or hurt or frustrated with the relationship.”

2. People Really Do Break Up Over Bad Sex

The survey found that one in four people have broken up with a partner due to their bad performance in bed. Oftentimes, not-good sex can be a sign of not-good communication. “Sex is just a physical form of communication,” Tina B. Tessina, PhD (aka “Dr. Romance”) tells Bustle. “If you’re having trouble with sex, either you’re dissatisfied and don’t get enough, you feel your partner wants too much, or the sex is fading out of your relationship, it’s a sign that your communication has problems. Sex is always a big giveaway.”

3. Ex Sex Is Common

At some point, you’ve probably had sex with an ex. Well, according to EliteSingles’s findings, one in three people will continue a sexual relationship with their ex after breaking up. (I assume these are not the bad-in-bed folks.) There could be many reasons for this, including — the comfortable-with-each-other factor; the neither’s-dating-anyone-else-so-why-not factor; or they’re a better physical match than an emotional one. Of those people still sleeping with their exes, 65 percent don’t regret it. It’s good not to have regrets, right? I just hope they’re avoiding a broken heart (again).

4. Almost Half Of Men Regret Breaking Up With Their Partner

When it comes to breaking up with someone, perhaps you regret it, perhaps you don’t. In the study, 30 percent of women regret breaking up with their partner versus 45 percent of men. As for knocking boots with them while no longer dating? One in two singles aged 18-40 regret sleeping with their ex, compared to one in three singles who are over 40. Interesting, huh?

Sometimes, you may try to get back together with an ex, only to see that the same issues keep cropping up. “Staying too close with them and spending too much time with them does not allow you to move on from them, or to meet new people,” psychologist and love expert Dr. Nikki Martinez tells Bustle.

So, what do we do about this ex-factor, so to speak?

Go out, meet your friends,” EliteSingles psychologist Salama Marine tells Bustle. “Going out and having fun will build your confidence and allow you to see that you are pleasing and interesting to others. You may even meet someone new who interests you. If you don’t feel ready to meet new people offline, you could join a dating site. This could be a good way to start believing in the possibility that there could be new romantic story in your life. We cannot estimate how long it will take to fully get over your ex as it is different for everyone, but by giving yourself the tools to meet new people, you will finally meet the person you truly deserve.”

Images: Westend61/Westend61/Getty Images; Giphy