You may want to reach out to someone after a breakup to talk about your experience. And if you’re like most Americans, you’ll call your female friend, according to a new survey from the smartphone app LISTEN and YouGov, which looked at the breakup habits of Americans and how smartphones have affected breakups.
The survey found that 27 percent of Americans would call a female friend after a breakup, and that’s for both men and women who have been broken up with. After that, 17 percent of Americans would call their mom and 10 percent would call a sibling or a male friend, the survey found.
From there, it's a huge drop. The survey found 4 percent would call a non-immediate family member, and 2 percent would call their dad or the person they just broke up with. Lastly, 1 percent would call a different ex.
The survey also found that about 75 percent of people prefer to break up in person. If that’s not the method, 28 percent of Americans prefer the breakup to happen over the phone. People were allowed to vote more than once on the best way to break up.
The survey doesn’t mention why people are more likely to call their female friends over their parents or male friends. Regardless of why, though, talking to a friend about your breakup may be the healthiest route. In fact, Americans like to hash out their relationship problems after a breakup because it helps them get over those relationships quicker, which I wrote about back in January.
In fact, a study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science found that talking and analyzing your relationship makes you feel stronger emotionally, which helps you feel more self-confidence. The high amounts of confidence will then help you see past your ex-partner and get over the breakup easier, the study said.
"For most people, breakups have a powerful, painful effect on our sense of self and our well-being," Grace Larson, professor at Northwestern University and co-author of the study, told me back in January. "Ignoring this pain probably doesn't help people do the work of repairing how they see themselves now that they aren't defined partly by their relationship."
Larson also said that people in the study who talked about their past relationship issues got over their relationship more easily. The study gave the participants a space to rationalize and conceptualize their relationships, which made them feel more self-confident and like they were more successful without their ex-partner.
"I would speculate that part of what was helpful about the study is that participants may have been more likely to think about their breakup in a calm and objective way when they were talking about it in the lab, whereas they might have been more likely to ruminate if they were just curled up on the couch!" Larson said.
You should be careful about which friends you call after a breakup, though. The Huffington Post reported in May 2012 that most people lose about eight friends after a breakup. These friends are usually people who were friends with their ex-partner, mutual friends the couple met and friends they already knew before the breakup.
Still, research suggests that curling up on the couch, binge-watching Netflix and having a five-hour long chat with your female friend may be the healthiest way to forget your ex and move onto the next.
“That’s actually healthy,” Mic News reported. “So put on your pajamas, pull out that quart of ice cream and start reflecting. Science told you to.”
Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret News National. Send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @herbscribner.