Sophie Watson, 06.01.2016

Breaking up is hard to do: how to (gracefully) get a fresh start

January is the month of fresh starts and clean slates but, before you reset your love-life, it might be wise to stop and think about if it is really the right decision. After all, our most recent user survey has revealed that an alarming amount of Canadian singles regret breaking up with their partners.

The survey of 500 Canadian singles revealed some interesting insights about love in this country: recommended reading whether you plan to break up, make up or start again in 2016!

Breaking up? Stop in the name of love!

Want to start the year with a clean romantic slate? As the Supremes implored, think it over! It’s advice that comes too late for many Canadians surveyed, with a startling amount of singles revealing that they regret a past break up: 41 per cent wish they’d never dumped that ex.1

Many of those on the receiving end of a break up have similar pangs of nostalgia, with a huge 58 per cent admitting that they would return to an ex’s arms if they asked. And it’s not just love that is drawing Canadian men and women back into old patterns: sex can be a draw card too. Over a third of singles (37 per cent) confess to having enjoyed sex-with-an-ex in the past.

All out of love

Love and sex might draw couples back together but love can also tear them apart. In fact love (or, more specifically, the lack thereof), is the most common reason for breaking up, with 65 per cent of Canadians admitting to having dumped someone after the love disappeared.

The next most popular reason to give a lover the boot is because they are bad in bed. Close to one-in-three singles (30 per cent) confess that they’ve ditched someone because the sex was unsatisfying. Other reasons given for breaking up include falling for someone else (used by 25 per cent of singles), hating a partner’s family (21 per cent), thinking that your partner lacks ambition (18 per cent) and wanting to play the field (17 per cent).

Ways to leave your lover

No matter the reasons and regrets, is there any way to break up gracefully? While every relationship is different, the survey did reveal a few things for would-be-singles to remember: tips to keep in mind if you’re considering a clean slate but want to be as gentle as possible!

1. Don’t be hasty

Ending a relationship can be a big decision and most of those in the survey agreed that it’s best to take your time in making it. 47 per cent of singles think that the ideal length of time to consider your options is 1-6 months, while just 20 per cent think the deed should be done in the first month of having doubts. But there is such a thing as waiting too long – only 9 per cent think it’s acceptable to wait two years or more.

2. Break up face-to-face

If you do decide to end things with someone, the majority of Canadians agree that you should do them the courtesy of dropping the news in person. Alternative methods are not popular: just 26 per cent think that it’s acceptable to do the deed by phone, 12 per cent by email and a paltry 9 per cent give the OK to dumping someone via text message.

3. Tell the truth

Shelve the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ speech – the survey revealed that 70 per cent of Canadians hate it when people lie about their reasons for a break up, no matter how well-intentioned the lies might be. That said, 60 per cent admit to having lied about their reasons for dumping an old partner; meaning that either they’ve learnt from their own mistakes – or that, when it comes to love, it’s tough to practice what you preach!

4. Don’t be afraid to keep the loot!

Over the course of a relationship, it’s natural to accumulate a few tokens and mementos of your time together: the book she wanted you to read, his comfy t-shirt that you love to sleep in, the tacky souvenirs from your first vacation. It’s also natural to wonder what to do it all after breaking up. Surprisingly, the majority of Canadians - 72 per cent – vote that you should keep them, guilt free. Just 21 per cent think they should be given back and a (rather excitable) 7 per cent think it’s best to burn the lot.

5. Remember that this is the best time of year to start afresh

Break ups are not easy, not matter whether you are dumper or dumpee. But, once you’ve had a chance to lick your wounds, you might want to think about getting back out there. After all, there’s no time like the present to look for new love – truly! January is peak online dating season after all, with the number of EliteSingles members increasing exponentially in the post-New Year period.2 That means, if want to look for love using our services, you’re in very good company if you start today.

Ready to give it a try? Join EliteSingles here – just click here to get started.

EliteSingles editorial January 2016

Do you have any ideas about how to be gentle when breaking up with someone? Let us know below or email us at

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