The overwhelming majority, or 80.5 percent, of those surveyed said that they had had their heart broken, with a third, 34 percent, admitting to taking more than a year to recover.
Despite the digital age, most - 67 percent - ended their last relationship face-to-face.
But almost 15 percent said that they broke up over the phone, 8.5 percent sent a text and 2.3 percent an email, intimating their estranged partners of their decision.
The survey undertaken by a major newspaper found the road to living happily ever after was often rocky, with 34.3 percent of people having broken up with their current partner in the past.
For most of them, the split lasted for less than six months, with 8.7 percent reunited after less than a week, followed by 8.5 percent who couldn’t stand to be apart for more than a month.
But absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder, with just 18.2 percent saying their relationship was better for having broken up and 13 percent who said it wasn’t.
Relationships Australia NSW counsellor Bill Hewlett said the survey results pointed mostly to the same thing - “their relationship’s capacity to evolve and change with them”.
“If there is no capacity to change they can drift apart,” online news reports quoted Hewlett as saying.
After a honeymoon period, known as the “limerence” phase, which lasted up to 30 months and was dominated by passion, hormones and brain “chemicals”, he said that couples should know each other well enough to work through issues as circumstances changed.
“Can you let each other be who they need to be or hold them to the original agreement, as in how it was at the beginning?” he said.
“It’s not so much what you disagree on but how you discuss it,” he said.
The study found that most couples broke up after realising the relationship had no future.
The realisation was followed by too much fighting, infidelity, boredom and division over key issues like religion or politics.
Almost 50 percent of respondents said they dumped, while just under a third said their partner left them, and about a quarter - 26.3 percent - said it was mutual.
But on being asked about their worst break-ups, respondents did not hold back - “My ex went stalker freak on me,” one woman in her 20s said.
Hewlett said couples could turn around a loveless or turbulent relationship.
“A lot of people feel trapped by the other person . . . but often the other person feels the same way,” he added.
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