Getting back with an ex does not work 50% of the time. We conducted research on 3512 participants and found that only 30% of participants managed to get back with their ex. But 15% of the total participants found themselves in another breakup down the road. While only 15% of the total participants stayed together in a long lasting relationship.

That means that if you get back with your ex, then there is around a 50-50 chance that your new relationship will not work.

This also means that getting back with your ex sometimes work. About half the time.

In this article, we will discover which factors lead to the couples breaking up again after getting back together and which factors lead them to stay together after reconciliation.

The reasons why getting back with an ex never works

In our study, we asked the participants why things didn’t work out when they broke up with their ex again after getting back together. Here’s why –

  1. Nothing changed and you repeat the same patterns again
  2. Too much fighting and arguments after getting back together
  3. One of you had a rebound and the other couldn’t get over it.
  4. Something Unexpected/ Other Reasons

In additions, here are some other reasons why getting back with an ex didn’t work for our readers and clients.

  1. Only one of you grows and learns from the mistakes.
  2. Compatibility issues such as life vision, religion, different values etc.
  3. Being too young for commitment or not being ready for commitment
If you are thinking about getting back with your ex, I recommend you take our quiz to find out your chances of getting your ex back and making it work.

In addition, we also asked couples who stayed together after reconciliation the main reason things worked out. Here are reasons why sometimes getting back with an DOES work.

  1. Learning About Self-Improvement and Implementing it in your life. (Read How To Get Your Ex Back Permanently – 5 Step Plan)
  2. Taking Some Time Apart From Each Other. (Read The No Contact Rule To Get Some Space from Your Ex)
  3. Both Partners Growing and Getting Better At Handling Relationship Conflicts (Read Why Growth Is Important After No Contact)
  4. Getting Better At Communication and Understanding Each Other (Read How to Text Your Ex)
  5. Relationship Coaching, Breakup Expert Coaching or Therapy

But for now, let’s just stick to the topic of this article and discuss the reasons why getting back with an ex doesn’t work.

1. Nothing Changed and You Repeat The Same Patterns Over Again

The biggest reason why getting back together with an ex doesn’t work is if your relationship patterns don’t change. If you and your ex are getting back together in the same relationship, with the same mindset, the same insecurities and the same issues; then reconciliation will probably not work.

Here are a few examples of what I mean by that –

  • You or your ex are still insecure about the relationship.
  • One or both of you are needy/clingy in the relationship or towards each other.
  • You or your ex have an anxious attachment style and you don’t recognize it or work on it.
  • You or your ex have an avoidant attachment style and you don’t recognize it and work on it.
  • You or your ex cheated but you never worked on yourself, resolved the issues that lead to cheating, apologized for the infidelity and worked on it.

The above list can go on. But the gist of it remains the same. When you and your ex broke up, it was because of some issues. And if those issues are not resolved, getting back with your ex will not work.

In my free email course, I teach how you can go from being broken up and hopeless to addressing the issues in the past relationship and ultimately getting your ex back in an awesome relationship. The only way to subscribe to the email course is by taking this quiz and getting a score of above 10%.
=> Take this quiz to qualify for the free email course.

2. Too Much Fighting and Argument After Getting Back Together

If you and your ex end up getting back together without resolving past issues, there is a good chance you are going to fight and argue a lot.

You may have said something to your ex during the breakup or your ex may have said something to you. You may have intentionally or unintentionally hurt each other before the breakup or during the breakup.

For example,

  • You may have called your ex names during the breakup.
  • You may have said something about your ex’s character or personality that may have hurt them.
  • You or your ex may have done something to make each other jealous while you were broken up.
  • You both never really talked about the reasons for the breakup and tried to fix it.

When you get back together without resolving the issues that lead to the breakup in the first place, little things about your ex may annoy you (or vice versa) and that annoyance will end up in full blown arguments.

If something your ex did hurt you, or if you did something that may have hurt your ex, then it’s best to talk about it openly and honestly. Talking about it will help you both understand each other better and figure out how to get over the past and start a new and healthy relationship.

But if you don’t talk about it, or if you can’t figure out how to get past it, you will both end up arguing and that will lead to another breakup.

3. If One of You had a Rebound Relationship and The Other May Find it Hard to Let Go.

If you or your ex had a rebound relationship (or if they slept with someone else) during the breakup, it may lead to arguments and another breakup.

If your ex slept with someone else after the breakup, it’s not really cheating. But for some people, it’s still a big deal. A lot of people find it hard to imagine their partners being with someone else and can’t really get over it.

The situation gets a little bit difficult because your ex technically didn’t do anything wrong. They broke up with you and started a new relationship. But since you were still in love with your ex, the thought of them being with someone else is extremely painful.

If your ex slept with someone else during the breakup, and you feel you are the type of person who won’t be able to get over it, then getting back with your ex will not work.

Note that it’s not always the case. Most people get over there ex sleeping with someone else. Especially if they do no contact and focus on healing from the breakup. Your ex being in a rebound is not really a deal breaker and if you can get over it, then you should try to.

Your ex being in a rebound during the breakup does not really say anything about the type of relationship you will have with them if you get back together. A lot of people get back together in a healthy relationship after dating other people.

You can still have a healthy relationship with your ex if you have grown as a person, learned from your mistakes and communicate openly with your ex openly and honestly.

4. Something Unexpected May Lead to Another Breakup After Getting Back Together

When you get back with an ex, you may breakup again because of something that you never expected.

  • After getting back together, you may realize that you were better off without your ex. That you were happier without your ex. And that the relationship never truly made you happy.
  • Your ex may have become a different person during the breakup. They may no longer be the person you love and cared about. They may have picked up habits that you can’t tolerate such as too much partying or indulging in alcohol.
  • Your ex may start taking you for granted. If you give them another chance, your ex may think you will always be available to them and as a result, they may start taking you for granted.

All of the above things can be easily avoided if you take your time and communicate openly and honestly before officially getting back together. Here are a few articles that will help you do that.

Recommended Reading: What To Do After No Contact Rule – 5 Essential Steps

Recommended Reading: How To Get Back With Your Ex Using Communication, Honesty and Respect

5. If Only One of You Grows and the Other doesn’t, You May Breakup Again.

If you’ve read my advice on getting your ex boyfriend back or getting your ex girlfriend back, then you probably know that self-improvement plays a big role in getting back together in a healthy relationship.

Self-improvement, self-growth and self-care plays an important role in healing from a breakup for a lot of people. When people learn from their past mistakes and make an effort to become a better person, their next relationship is often much healthier than their previous relationship.

In our study, we found that most people who got back in a healthy relationship say that both parties improved as a person.

This growth mindset helps you learn from your past mistakes in the relationship so your next relationship is better in every way. You can expect your next relationship to be healthier, to have a better emotional connection, to have a better spiritual connection, to have better communications and to have a better sexual connection.

When you get back with your ex, you would naturally expect them to understand this and at least try to have a healthier and better relationship.

But if your ex does not have this mindset of growing, learning from their mistakes and leading a better life; then getting back with them may lead to a lot of issues due to the different mindsets.

In essence, you will always try to learn from the mistakes, communicate better and understand each other. But your ex would keep repeating the same patterns of fighting, unhealthy communication and trying to hurt each other.

It would be like you are trying to have a relationship on your level (where you are focused on creating a healthy and long lasting relationship) but your ex would just keep trying to pull you back to their level (a relationship that’s not healthy for either one of you).

Note that while 69% of couples stated that both of them improved as a person, 31% of couples reported that only one of them improved or they are both the same person.

According to Heather Shannon, LCPC, Psychotherapist, “Sometimes one person changes and models healthier behavior and isn’t as emotionally reactive to the other person’s emotions and behaviors. This is like holding a mirror up for the person still stuck in their old ways and can actually help them grow even if they weren’t seeking growth intentionally.”

6. You and Your Ex May No Longer be Compatible

Sometimes, people get back together just because they have a strong sense of love and respect for each other.

But after getting back together, they realize they are just not compatible with each other. They realize that there is no chance they can have a healthy and long lasting relationship because they both want different things in life or because they both have very different set of values.

You can love someone but still realize that you won’t be able to have a healthy and long lasting relationship with them.

Here are some examples of compatibility issues that may lead to another breakup if you get back together.

  • You both have different views on marriage. Maybe one of you wants to get married and the other one doesn’t.
  • You both have different views on having kids and raising a family.
  • You have religious differences that you cannot get over.
  • You couldn’t connect with each other the way you expect to in a relationship due to cultural differences.
  • One of you wants to stay single and discover themselves while the other one wants a stable committed relationship.
  • You both have different sex drive and it’s causing an issue in the relationship.

Note that most of these issues can be overcome (particularly religious differences, different sex drives, cultural differences) with communication and the willingness to make some sacrifices.

But a lot of times, couples cannot get over it or they don’t think it’s worth it to try to manage these incompatibility issues.

7. You and Your Ex Are Too Young for a Committed Relationship

In our research, we found that young couples (under the age of 24) who get back together after a breakup have a higher chance of breaking up again. We found that around 58% of couples broke up again.

Compared to other age groups, there’s a stark difference. If you are older than 24, there is at least a 53% chance of you will make it work. But if you are younger than 25 years of age, then there is less than 42% chance of your relationship surviving.

Another study that supports this point is the one conducted by Dailey R.M. in 2009 that suggests around 40% of college students reported having on again off again relationships.

They get back together and breakup again. And repeat the cycle many times.

Recent studies and research have proved beyond a doubt that on again off again relationships are not good for your mental health. So if you are under the age of 25 and you are considering getting back with your ex, make sure you do it for the right reasons. Here are some resources to help with that.

Should I Get Back With My Ex – 6 Steps To Make Sure You Are Making a Healthy Decision

No Contact Rule – Heal and Grow Before Getting Back With an Ex

So When Getting Back With an Ex DOES work?

Getting back with an ex does work a lot of times.

The key, of course, is growth, communication and self-improvement. If you and your ex can learn to communicate better, understand each other better, learn from the past mistakes, then your next relationship will probably stand the test of time.

In our study, about 15% of our participants got back together and it worked out for them. That means that they stayed together with their ex for more than a year after getting back together.

Around 80% of those who got back together and stayed together said that they are happy in the new rekindled relationship. And around 74% said that the new relationship is better than it was before.

That’s a lot of numbers, I know.

Boiling this down to simple words – getting back together can work out for you if you stick to the basics of self-improvement and focus on creating a healthy relationship, as opposed to just getting back together because you miss your ex.

If your ex is also interested in creating a healthy long lasting relationship, then your new rekindled relationship can be better than before.

And if your ex isn’t really interested in creating a healthy relationship…..Well, then you are better off without them.

About Kevin Thompson

Kevin Thompson is a breakup expert and coach with more than 11 years of experience of helping people recover from a breakup and get back in a healthy relationship.

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2 comments ...add one
  • Abby

    I came across this article and teared up. In fact I’m not sure if I can ever make my ex boyfriend come back.

    We dated for 3.5 months and would spend half of the week together, met each other’s friends. And just when I started to feel secure and comfortable with him, he told me he didn’t see us in long term and we are not a good fit. Things were a bit rocky in the last 1 or 2 weeks before he ended it, as I had a new temp job and interviewing for other opportunities, which stressed me up. But I thought it was temporary and he would communicate if there was something wrong. Instead I was blindsided with breakup, without a chance to work it out.

    This happened 10 days ago, and I’m still devastated. I cried everyday and wonder if I could ever be happy again. He was the best thing happened to me and I still remember he said “I’m glad with doing each other.” My heart is broken.

    I know he’s a type of person who moves on real fast because of his family background, and we started dating a month after he ended a 1 year relationship. Now I can’t help to think if I was a rebound (even he never said s, and told me he wasn’t full in when he was with his ex.)

    I don’t know if NC can help with this case, short term, move on fast. We did have a lot of passion at the beginning but frankly no deep connections like other long term couples. I don’t know if he’s met someone else already, and truly doubt that he would miss me. (He doesn’t have social media)

    • Kevin Thompson

      Hi Abby,

      I am sorry to hear you are going through this. Such breakups that come out of nowhere can be brutal. I recommend you read my article on Blindsided breakups.

      Our mind and heart start hoping and wishing that they will come back. That the breakup is temporary. It's normal to feel this way. My advice would be to focus on healing and learn from what happened.

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