Over two-thirds of adults choose to stay friends with their ex
New research finds that 69% of adults actively choose to remain friends with their ex post-breakup
Over one-fifth (23%) said they’ve remained friends with their ex because they wanted to transition into friends-with-benefits
Lovehoney found that one in six of those who remained friends with their ex said the friendship was unsuccessful
Anyone that has been in a relationship that didn’t work out knows how difficult it can be to navigate the after-math of a breakup. Is it best to cut your ex-partner off or do you try and remain on good terms? Sexual wellness brand www.lovehoney.com have taken a deep dive into this by surveying over 2,000 adults over the age of 18 to find out if being friends with an ex can actually work.
Two-thirds of adults choose to remain on good terms with their ex
Lovehoney’s survey found that the majority of adults are actually choosing to try and maintain an amicable relationship with their ex-partners, with 69% saying they previously have. Men in particular, were found to be more likely to keep things friendly with an ex, with 71% saying they have, compared to only 57% of those identifying as non-binary and 68% of women.
The survey also revealed that those aged 45-54 were the most likely to be friends with an ex, with three in four (74%) admitting they’ve tried, whereas those aged 18-24 are the most likely to simply cut off their ex, with 42% saying they’ve remained hostile.
Valued friendships are the most common reason people try to keep things friendly
Over half of Lovehoney’s respondents (52%) said that the most common reason for them wanting to remain friends with their ex is due to them simply having had a friendship before anything became romantic. However, for almost three in 10 men (29%) the idea of cutting their ex off wasn’t appealing due to them wanting to transition into a friends-with-benefits type of relationship.
One in six ex-partner friendships found to be unsuccessful
The survey revealed that not everyone can have a successful friendship with their ex, with 16% of respondents saying that the friendship didn’t work out. Lovehoney discovered that women were slightly more likely than other genders to consider the friendship a failure, with the most common reason being that the problems from their romance carried over into the friendship (7%).
How to know when it’s time to call it quits on a friendship with an ex-partner
While Lovehoney’s survey found that there are a range of pros and cons that people identify for being friends with an ex, how can people know for sure when it’s time to end the friendship if it’s not quite right?
Lovehoney spoke to psychotherapist, Rachel Wright (MA, LMFT), who specialises in modern relationships, mental health and sex to get her thoughts on the topic.
“If you are feeling the desire not to have this person in your life anymore, or you’re feeling more hurt/pain/grief about having this person in your life versus not, it may be time to re-think any sort of relationship with them.
“Try to think about all relationships as relationships – friendships are relationships, partners are relationships, our family members we have relationships with – a relationship isn’t synonymous with romance and sex. So, you get to decide what type of relationship you have with this person and IF you want them in your life, to begin with.
“If you’ve tried and aren’t sure, take the 60 days I recommend post-break-up again and re-assess. And, if you are sure, let the person know. Don’t keep them around just to ghost them or ignore them.”
Established in 2002 in Bath, Lovehoney Group Ltd designs, manufactures and distributes its own branded and third party pleasure products globally with over 150 products developed in house each year. It is the UK’s biggest online adult retailer with 8 other websites globally including; France, Germany, Spain, EU, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Its 300-strong team is based across the UK, USA and Australia and serves its 2.2m global customer base. Over the last six years, overseas sales have grown from £12m to £56m, an overall growth of 365%. In addition, the percentage of sales exported has risen from 27% to 45%. The company’s top five overseas markets are the USA, Australia, EU, Canada, and New Zealand. In April, the company won the Queen’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Continuous Growth in overseas sales over the last six years.
Data is based on a survey we conducted by www.lovehoney.com August 2022 of 2,008 people over the age of 18.
Rachel Wright, Psychotherapist (MA, LMFT) specialising in modern relationships, mental health and sex
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