We all know that breaking up is hard to do. But the end of a relationship can be hard on your libido too. Going from having sex all the time when in a relationship to hardly at all can be difficult. It may be tempting to slip into a dangerous habit: casual sex with your ex.
It's easy to rationalize: You've already done it, so it's something (and someone) comfortable and familiar. You can even convince yourself that it's "just sex." However, these seemingly logical thought patterns often fall apart once you've done the deed. Sex with your ex can lead to a lot of regrets and lost ground if you've been trying to make a clean break. And, deep down, most people are aware that dialing up an ex isn’t really a good idea — yet sometimes we just can’t resist. Why is this?
Sex with the ex is appealing for many reasons. For one thing, we already feel comfortable with our exes, both inside and outside the bedroom. A new relationship or hookup does not have the same guarantee; it is generally awkward — first-time sex is always a little bumpy. But when having sex with exes, we know their moves, their likes, their dislikes, and they know ours as well — which means the sex is certain to be pleasurable. It often feels like a no-brainer, especially if you remember the sex as being good (regardless of how bad the relationship was)!
However, there are many caveats to consider. Now that the relationship has ended, your ex is free to have sex with as many people as he desires — and who knows if that sex was safe? When monogamy disappears, so does the assurance of safe sex. Thus, even if your ex promises you that he has been celibate since the breakup, you still need to take the same precautions that you would with a perfect stranger.
It is also important to consider the emotional side effects. Even if you go into the situation determined to remain emotionally distant, sex has a way of breaking those barriers down. Just having sex with the ex can bring back a flood of emotions and memories, and post-breakup loneliness makes you even more vulnerable to these feelings. Even if you are able to stay emotionally uninvolved, your partner might not be able to. Someone’s feelings are certain to get hurt, especially since breakups are rarely clean-cut on both sides.
Having sex with the ex might be fun for a one-time romp, and if you use protection, you should come through unscathed; but if you make a habit of hooking up with your old flame, you might find yourself getting burned all over again.
Instead, surround yourself with other single folks, or throw a singles party in which couples and kiddies are not allowed. Reimmerse yourself in your old interests that fell by the wayside when you were coupled up. For example, did you stop attending your weekly hip-hop class, or did you miss out on your morning yoga routine? Get back into these old interests, or find some new ones that will breathe excitement into your life. Embrace your single freedom, and look to the future, not the past!