Can You Stay Friends With An Ex? One Third Of Brits Think So
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Can You Stay Friends With An Ex? One Third Of Brits Think So

Rachael Grealish March 8, 2022

You break up, then what? It’s the beginning of a minefield and prompts the age old question, can you stay friends with your ex? Well, some Brits think so.

‘Ex etiquette’ is a complicated game; should you give back any presents? Can your friends and family still be in contact with them? But, the main question that hit everyone is, can you stay friend’s once the relationship is over?

According to a recent YouGov poll, around one third of Britons (37 per cent) say they are still friends with one or some of their exes, but a solid 51 per cent say they just simply couldn’t make a post-break-up friendship work.

Credit: YouGov

There was a small number, eight per cent, of you out there who said you were friends with all of your exes – and we need to know how you do it.

But, it seems it all comes down to whether each person wants to remain friends – and, it’s safe to say, Brits were absolutely divided on this.

According to the poll, if the relationship ended with no significant wrongdoing by either party, Brits tend to prefer to remain friends – as long as they were the ones to end the relationship.

Just less than half, 44 per cent, of those surveyed would prefer to remain friends if they themselves had ended the relationship, with three in ten, 31 per cent, saying they would prefer not to be and almost a quarter, 24 per cent, were unsure.

However, if the tables are turned and the partner was the one doing the dumping, Brits were split in the other direction on whether a friendship was on the cards.

Credit: YouGov

Around a third, 36 per cent, of those with an ex-partner would prefer to remain friends with someone who split up with them, while four in ten, 40 per cent, would prefer not to be friends – again, almost a quarter, 23 per cent, don’t know.

So, you’ve moved on and found someone new but, how do you feel about your new partner being friends with their ex?

Well, it turns out Brits are quite happy for their SO to be on ‘good terms’ or ‘talking terms’ with their ex, but ‘best friends’ had them on the uncomfortable side.

The majority of the British public would be comfortable with a partner of theirs being on good terms (62 per cent) or speaking terms (66 per cent) with an ex. 

44 per cent said they’d be uncomfortable with their partner being friends with their ex – 40 per cent said comfortable – and as for best friends, well a whopping 61 per cent were dead set they’d be uncomfortable with this. 

Credit: YouGov

As for how to act, it turns out Brits aren’t happy to have a row as the majority of Brits, 64 per cent, said they’d act civilly towards their ex if they’d had a hostile break-up.

The same goes for what they’d expect from their friends and family – 61 per cent said they’d expect to show civility, but not friendliness, towards an ex. 

Like I said, relationships and break-ups are an absolute minefield that should be navigated with the utmost respect and care.

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Rachael is the Senior Content Editor at Freshered. She is NCTJ qualified with an MA in journalism. Rachael has almost ten years experience as a journalist in regional, national and international press and is passionate about creating engaging content.