March 26, 2018
Remember the breakup by Post-It Note? Today’s Millennials are so over that type of politesse: Instead, they are taking their cue from President Donald Trump and instead using a phone call (29%), a text (17%), a letter (10%) or an email (8%) to keep their distance, yet inform that special person that he or she is now an “insignificant other.”
The people who still break off relationships in the old-fashioned way—face-to-face—are more likely to be in a mature age group, based on findings of a poll by YouGov released on March 20. Indeed, 66% of respondents over the age of 55 (66%) report that they have broken off a romantic liaison face-to-face, while fewer than half of Millennials (41%) can say the same.
Many (58%) of respondents said that they wanted to limit their own exposure to the messy emotions that come at the end of a hookup.
Both sexes agree on this matter, although women (62%) are more likely than men (55%) to report that they view breakups as situations that leave them with raw emotions and shaky self-images. Indeed, men are more apt (31%) to characterize the end of a fling as casual or civil than are their female counterparts (20%).
However, Americans over the age of 55 are more likely (63%) than younger adults to say that breakups often end badly. Nearly 30% of Millennials and Gen X-ers view breakups as casual, whereas just 20% of Americans over the age of 55 can say the same.
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 that there is little hope of things improving between two people who have ended a relationship. On this matter, Americans tend to say that staying in touch with an ex-love will do more harm (38%) than good (17%).
Research contact: Hoang.Nguyen@YouGov.com