Britain’s got the ‘ex’ factor

published on 24. Feb 2017

Half of Brits go back to their ex after breaking up, research reveals

Key findings:

  • Over half (54 per cent) of Britons who have been through a break-up in the past five years* said they ended up getting back together with their ex
  • Average ‘on-off relationship’ goes through two extra break-ups before finally parting ways
  • Brits polled said it took them five months to get back into the dating game after a break-up
  • Over a third (34 per cent) of those surveyed believe online dating helped them get over their last relationship

Much like ‘on-off’ celebrity couples such as Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth or Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, Brits are becoming a nation of ‘yo-yo daters’. That’s according to new research from Match, which shows that over half (54 per cent) of Brits who have experienced a break-up in the past five years have gone on to get back together with their ex.

The research by the dating experts found that the majority of couples don’t experience a clean break-up, with many respondents reporting having broken up and made up with their partner on multiple occasions. Couples who got back together did so an average of 2.11 times, with three per cent saying that they and their partner had separated and then patched things up six times or more.

Couples are so reluctant to go their separate ways that a quarter (25 per cent) of those surveyed said they didn’t tell their close friends about the break-up because they knew they wanted to get back with their ex.

However, when it is finally time to call it a day, those questioned said it took them an average of five months to get back on the dating scene. Around 12 per cent were able to get straight back on the (dating) horse within just two weeks, but more (17 per cent) took over six months to get back in the game.

The study also questioned respondents on how they went about finally getting over their ex, with ‘going out with friends’ (39 per cent), ‘getting drunk’ (33 per cent) and ‘buying new clothes’ (30 per cent) listed as the top remedies. Of those surveyed, 40 per cent said they signed up to an online dating site within a month of their last break up and over a third (34 per cent) believed online dating helped them get over their last relationship.

Whether you’re male or female is likely to have a big impact on how you go about forgetting your ex. Almost one in three (32 per cent) females questioned admitted to throwing away items that remind them of their ex, compared to just 19 per cent of men. Women were also more likely (48 per cent) to turn to their friends in their time of need, while men were more likely to focus their efforts on finding a new partner or joining a dating site.

Match dating expert Kate Taylor comments,

“It’s tempting to reunite with your ex: sometimes, distance has a way of making problems look smaller. But as we can see from these figures, it can sometimes simply lead to more painful break-ups. However, you shouldn’t feel the need to wait 5 months to start dating again. Using dating sites to meet new people for low-pressure dates such as coffee and lunch is a fantastic way to get over your ‘case of the ex’.”



Notes to Editors


*Survey conducted by OnePoll from 1st to 8th November 2016 of UK adults who have experienced a break up in the past five years.


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About Match: 

As the ultimate dating service in the UK, 1 in 2 online daters* have used Match and 1 in 5 singles who met their partner online, met on Match*.   As the number 1 dating for young online daters**, Match continues to empower singles to meet exciting and interesting people that you would not otherwise have met.

Match offers members more ways to meet, including singles events located in 32 cities, one of the reasons it’s been voted as the under 35’s number 1 choice for great singles night out**.  It’s also available on all mobile platforms making it the perfect dating companion for busy singles on-the-go.

As a founding member of the Online Dating Association (ODA), Match is committed to providing a safe and confidential community for its members.



About Match Launched in 1995, Match is a leading online dating brand in the UK, offering a wide array of features and services.
Through the Match app, singles have all the means to meet other singles ready for a real relationship, via Live and Audio discovery features, or IRL Singles Events. Combining technological innovation, efficiency, support (during LiveCoaching sessions) and Customer Care, Match continually offers new services to spark real connections.
As a founding member of the Online Dating Association (ODA), Match is committed to providing a safe and confidential community for its members.

Match is operated by Meetic and its affiliated companies in Europe, which are part of Match Group, a leading provider of digital technologies designed to help people make meaningful connections. For more information, visit
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