Is Post-Breakup Sex A Good Idea? Experts Say Proceed With Caution
After going through a breakup, have you ever been tempted to have sex with your ex one more time "for old time's sake"? If so, you're not alone. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the nostalgia that comes with sex with an ex. They probably already know what you like in the bedroom, and you might be telling yourself it's just a "one last time" sort of thing. No harm can come from it, right? But, thinking logically, is post-breakup sex a good idea? Turns out, the answer solely depends on your feelings and intentions.
Sex with an ex can be fun and comforting, so it's understandable why anyone would be tempted to go through with it. "Humans naturally crave both comfort and predictability and excitement and novelty," says Jessica O’Reilly, Ph.D., host of the @SexWithDrJess podcast. "Sex with an ex offers both. You get the thrill of having sex with someone with whom you’re not in a relationship alongside the security of knowing one another intimately." And while this all sounds great, you might want to think twice before falling into old patterns.
Before having sex with an ex, consider your own motivations in continuing a sexual relationship with them, and how emotionally attached you (and they!) still are. "Have sex with your ex if you want to, the sex is satisfying, [and] you aren’t using sex as a means get back together," O'Reilly says. Most importantly, she adds you should only do it if "you feel good about it."
According to Nikki Leigh, love and relationships coach and host of Ready for Love Radio, "Some people can still be in one another's lives after a breakup, still be friends, and maybe they can still have a close relationship when and if they aren't dating other people." But she also emphasizes that some folks are better off moving on with their lives, "and this seems to fit the majority," she says.
Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the breakupBOOST podcast, adds you should also take some time to think about how post-breakup sex will make you feel afterwards, and be brutally honest with yourself. "You should take inventory as to how this situation truly makes you feel and decide [if] you want more for yourself, instead of continuing to sleep with an ex who no longer wants to be committed to you," Leckie tells Elite Daily. "I find that, in most cases, the person who was broken up with wants to have sex with their ex because they are really struggling with the breakup, and since their emotions are all over the place, they often feel as though their ex will want to get back together if they do. It is hard enough to heal from a breakup when you are in contact via text message, let alone when you are still sleeping together."
If you've thought it through and decide that you want to hook up again, Leigh still suggests communicating with your ex about what you're feeling and what your expectations are. "Be honest about your thoughts and feelings with the other person," she says. "Tell them what you're thinking in the moment, [or] after that day or night, and see what they're thinking."
On the other hand, if you decide you're better off not hooking up again, Leckie suggests focusing your energy on your healing instead. "The breakup happened for a reason. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you will be able to get back to feeling like yourself again versus feeling stuck and like you can’t detach from your ex," she explains.
There's ultimately no right or wrong answer here. It's about doing what feels right for you and your ex. Just be sure to check in with yourself regularly and to be honest about your wants and needs.