File photo: The lessons could form part of relationship education in schools – which largely concentrates on sex, contraception and the prevention of disease. Picture: Independent Media

Children should be taught how to talk and communicate well with others to prevent relationship break-ups later in life, researchers say.

The lessons could form part of relationship education in schools – which largely concentrates on sex, contraception and the prevention of disease.

Sessions on how to ignore bleeping phones and screens could be included in classes on honest talking and listening to a partner, the experts suggest.

They conducted one of the biggest recent studies into relationship breakdowns, using interviews with more than 2 000 people.

The study found 10 percent of men and 14 percent of women had been involved in a live-in relationship breakdown in the previous five years.

Co-author Dr Cath Mercer, of the Centre for Sexual Health at University College London, said: "Good relationships aren’t just about not getting sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancies, they are about good communications and quality of day-to-day life with someone. It’s not just about the physical side."