The Scoop: A breakup can leave singles with a lot of questions. What went wrong? Is he/she still thinking about me? Was our relationship all a lie? Behavior and relationship expert Patrick Wanis, PhD, also has insightful questions about breakups, and he hopes the answers can help singles put their worries, fears, and unresolved issues to rest. His new Breakup Test invites singles to assess their emotions following a breakup and identify the actions they’ve taken to either move forward or stay stuck in the past. Anyone can take the eight-question quiz for free online and sign up for personalized feedback based on their results. Taken as a whole, the test answers have given Patrick valuable insights into what’s going on in today’s dating world and the ways he can respond to heal the hurt in people’s hearts and lives.
When you go through a bad break up, it can take a while for you to find closure and recover. It doesn’t matter who ended things — breakups can leave people with a lot of unresolved emotions, resentments, and grief.
My first, second, and third breakups were all with the same person. We were teenagers still figuring out what we wanted, but then he moved away one summer. For a while after that, all it would take would be for someone to say his name, and my blood would run hot but my skin would be ice cold. I’d want to talk about him for hours, and I wished I’d never met him at all.
A few years later, I finally got closure on the whole saga, but, until that happened, it was just plain painful trying to date someone else while in the back of my mind wondering what could’ve been.
I’m one of the lucky ones who had a chance to close the book on a lost love. According to behavior expert Dr. Patrick Wanis, 50% of singles who have been through a breakup said they did not have closure with an ex.
“Time doesn’t heal all wounds. It’s what you do in the space of time that makes a difference.” — Dr. Patrick Wanis, human behavior and relationship expert
Patrick is one of the top behavior experts and celebrity life coaches in the US with years of experience counseling singles to overcome painful situations and helping people to overcome trauma. He is best known for developing a unique therapy style called the Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique (SRTT), which has yielded great results among his clients. Today, he seeks to further delve into the behaviors, motivations, and experiences of people in and out of relationships by designing a detailed survey about the causes and fallout of breakups. You can book a phone session with Dr. Patrick Wanis here.
I took his free Breakup Test with my high school sweetheart in mind and found its thoughtful questions helped me think through why things didn’t work out and what I want from my relationships. Though the survey is ongoing, it has already collected some interesting findings to share with our readers.
Surveying Nearly 2,000 Men & Women in the Dating Scene
The Breakup Test is only eight questions long, but those questions pack a punch. The survey asks personal questions like “What do you miss most about him/her or the relationship?” and lists dozens of potential answers (I put “his friendship” and “his family”). Companionship and friendship are the most common response to this particular question.
Another question that took me a while to answer was “What emotions do you experience over him or her?” The page listed over 56 possible emotions that ranged from anger to worthlessness. Respondents can list multiple answers to reflect their conflicted states of mind.
The survey’s questions prompt respondents to identify the good and bad parts of the failed relationship, and that can be a healing experience for singles who haven’t quite acknowledged and worked through their emotions. It’s an equally enlightening survey for Patrick, who learns about how men and women respond to breakups based on their survey answers. So far, over 1,938 men and women have answered the Breakup Test and shared their experiences with the behavior expert.
“I designed this survey as a way to learn even more about the causes of relationship breakups,” Patrick said. “I want to learn about the way people today are breaking up and responding to breakups, and to offer to help, advice, and action steps.”
A Personalized Report Assesses If You’re Ready to Date Again
Some singles handle a breakup by diving into a new relationship as quickly as possible. Others have a longer mourning period before they feel ready to put away the ice cream and open up their hearts again. Everyone has different experiences, but many similar themes arise. For instance, sadness, anger, and loneliness are the most common emotions felt by singles surveyed by Patrick on his website.
The Breakup Test isn’t just about reporting how you feel now, it’s also about coming up with a strategy to overcome those emotions and move forward in a healthy way. After the respondent describes their behavioral responses, beliefs and interpretations, and stage of grief, the survey provides a number that represents how at peace the person is following the breakup. The number corresponds to one of four categories: Almost Free, Still Stuck, Very Stuck, and Self-Sabotaging.
Patrick offers a free constructive and personalized breakup assessment based on the survey answers and categories. Respondents can get these results emailed to them by filling in their names, ages, and email addresses. The results will identify areas of concern and suggest action steps, including being honest with yourself about what happened, to help singles move forward.
Anyone with lingering resentment, anger, or longing can seek further assistance from Patrick’s eight-hour audiobook, “Get Over Your Ex Now,” which helps participants rid themselves of painful emotions and beliefs regarding an ex.
“When things go wrong, we blame ourselves, and we think that there is something wrong with us,” Patrick said. “The real problem is that you didn’t know enough about yourself, and you didn’t believe in your own self-worth.”
75% of Respondents Feel Sadness, Isolation, Guilt & Shame
The Breakup Test has offered many insights into the hearts and minds of recently single individuals. Its results have been eye-opening for professionals interested in coaching singles through a breakup. One of the biggest takeaways has been the difference in how men and women respond to the end of a relationship.
When asked how they feel about the breakup, about 50% of women said they felt stupid for being in the relationship in the first place, while about 50% of men said they believe part of them is missing now that they’re broken up. Women reported more self-blame while men focused more on the loneliness aspect.
Women in the survey were more likely to say they cried after a breakup, and men were more likely to say they hit the gym or disconnected from the world.
There was some overlap though. Men are just as likely to Facebook stalk an ex as women are, and a majority of both men and women said they didn’t feel closure following a breakup. Finally, 75% of all respondents identified sadness, isolation, guilt, or shame as their top emotions in the grieving process.
A majority of the Breakup Test’s respondents were between the ages of 21 and 35. The average age of male respondents was 36, and the average age of female respondents was 33.
Dr. Patrick Studies the Fallout of Failed Relationships
Breaking up is hard to do. But even harder is what comes next. You go from spending a lot of time and attention on one person to becoming strangers again. I used to stay up late nights talking to my high school boyfriend, but now, as the song says, he’s just somebody I used to know.
Although letting go and moving on can be difficult, Dr. Patrick Wanis is intent on learning more about what people feel post-breakup so he can help them process their emotions in healthier ways. He has used his Breakup Test to solicit information from everyday people and build a following of potential clients in need of assistance. This survey’s conclusions can help coaches refine their techniques for singles who are hung up on an ex, and it can help singles identify their blockages and feel less confused and alone in the dating scene.
“The most powerful revelations from this survey are that men hurt as much as women do when they break up,” Patrick said. “Most people never get closure following a breakup. Women label themselves stupid for the relationship, and men and women respond differently to the breakup and the way that they try to get over it.”
“I was motivated to create this Breakup Test to help as many people as possible — to help you gain clarity about how the ex is affecting you, and, to share as much wisdom, insights, and action steps as possible to help set you free from your ex and to enjoy a happy, fulfilling relationship filled with passion, intimacy, and commitment.”