A Surprisingly Large Number Of People Actually Stay Friends With Their Exes After A Breakup

by Candice Jalili
Jason Merritt/TERM/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

I think my parents set a weird precedent for me in terms of the whole "being friends with your ex" thing. You see, they were best friends long before ever getting romantically involved, so when their marriage didn't work out, it was only natural for them to go back to being best friends. Because of their relationship, being friends with your ex was always the norm to me. Then, I grew up and had my own exes, and I realized that staying friends after ending things isn't such an easy feat. So outside of my parents, can exes be friends? Well, a recent survey found that a surprising number of people really do manage to stay friends with their exes post break-up.

The survey, part of dating site Match's Singles of America Survey, looked into people's relationships with their exes to see how many of us are actually staying friends with our exes and, more importantly, to see how many of us are still interested in getting it on with our exes (*cough* Justin and Selena *cough*). I mean, that's the real question here, right? How many people can actually just be friends with an ex, when there had to be some sort of attraction there at some point?

Before we go into trying to understand all of the study's findings, let's make sure we're all on the same page here about what the respondents thought constituted an "ex." While that guy you shared one magical weekend with while you were studying abroad may have a special place in your heart, Match's survey found that most singles (over 50 percent of them) agreed that, in order to count as a real bonafide "ex," the person had to be someone you dated for over three months. So when we refer to exes here, let's assume it's someone these people dated for over three months.

Now that we're all on the same page about that definition, it's time to get into the nitty gritty. First and foremost, how many of us are actually staying friends with our exes? The survey found that a pretty decent number of us are capable of doing so, apparently. Half of men and a slightly smaller 42 percent of women reported that they'd stay friends with their exes after a breakup, which is pretty surprising, considering how most breakups are typically viewed as either incredibly sad or downright horrible.

OK, OK, so enough with the whole "friends" thing. How many of these exes who stay "friends" actually end up boinking each other? Well, the survey found that about 25 percent of singles admitted to having had sex with their ex.

Even if you're not friends with your ex, there's a chance that they're still thinking about you. A third (33 percent) of both men and women admitted to having had dreams about their exes, with dudes having more of those sweet, sweet dreams on average than women did. And it's not only their subconscious mind that makes them think of you either. No, even when they're awake, a little less than a third of singles admit to fantasizing about their exes. Men, again, do this a little more often than women.

Let's say you're not into your ex at all anymore, though. Is it fair game to go for their friends? Well, a quarter of women surveyed admitted they wouldn't have a problem dating an ex's friend, and twice as many men (50 percent) said the same. But would your ex be mad if you went for their friend? Well, it seems there are some double standards here. If your ex is a lady, there's a pretty strong chance she'd be unhappy about it. Almost half of women wouldn't be too thrilled if one of their friends dated their ex, while only a third of men said the same.

Finally, I'll leave you with this last bit of hopeful information. As you go on and accumulate more exes, the study found that your chances of having multiple orgasms gets higher and higher. How so? Your chances of having multiple Os rise by 103 percent if you have at least five exes apparently!! So there is some silver lining to those broken hearts.

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