A majority say most breakups end badly, being both dramatic and messy

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
March 20, 2018, 2:00 PM GMT+0

Over half of Americans have been broken up with in person but ending things over a phone call or text is popular among young generations

A romantic relationship can be a fundamental source of happiness and joy in one’s life but if it doesn’t work out, the resulting breakup can leave many wondering where the love went. This is true for most Americans, over half of whom (58%) say that breakups are usually dramatic and/or messy.

Both sexes agree on this matter, though women (62%) are more likely than men (55%) to report that they have a bad perception of breakups. The study also finds that Americans over the age of 55 (63%) are more likely than younger adults to say that breakups often end badly.

But a quarter (25%) of Americans say breakups tend to be casual and/or civil. Here, men (31%) are more likely than women (20%) to see breakups up this way. Nearly three in ten millennials and Gen Xers year-olds view breakups as casual, whereas just 20% of Americans over the age of 55 say the same.

The poll also finds that people tend to break up face-to-face, with a majority (57%) saying they have broken up with someone in person. Those over the age of 55 (66%) are the most likely to report a face-to-face breakup, while less than half of millennials (41%) say the same. Many say they have ended relationships over a phone call (29%) followed by a text (17%), a letter (10%), or an email (8%).

More than a third of 35- to 54-year-olds (37%) say they have had a relationship end over the phone, while a similar number of 18- to 34-year-olds (34%) say they’ve ended things with a text. These technologies allow for fewer face-to-face breakups, which may suggest why many in these age groups say they view breakups as more civil.

Most find there’s little hope in things improving between two people who ended a relationship. On this matter, Americans tend to say that staying in touch with an ex will do more harm (38%) than good (17%).

Read more results from this poll here

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Photo: Getty

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