I know that you want some – we all need sex – but having sex with your ex is not the answer.
Relationships are complicated and break ups even more so. Having sex with your ex, believe it or not, can make them both worse.
Obviously, break ups happen when there are issues in a relationship and they usually happen after a lot of hurt from both sides. Letting go of each other, while it might be painful, is often a necessary course of action.
Surprisingly, conflict in a relationship can enhance attraction to each other. As a result, exes often go back to each for sex, even after a nasty break up.
And when they do, disaster ensues.
So, why is having sex with your ex a really bad idea? Let me tell you why.
#1 – It’s confusing and anxiety producing.
When we break up with someone, it is always for a reason. We leave or we are left or the decision is mutual. Whatever the reason, we break up.
If you start having sex with your ex, the break up lines are blurred.
If you did the leaving, why are you going back? Are you lonely, bored, horny or are you going back because you regret your decision?
If you were left, does having sex with your ex give you hope that you might get back together? Does it make you happy because you get to spend some time with your ex because if they might be with someone else?
If the decision was mutual, does having sex with your ex feel confusing? I mean, you were a couple and you were attached romantically and now you are having sex – not making love? How does that feel?
With few exceptions, being friends, much less friends with benefits, only brings more pain. It confuses people and drags out hurt feelings.
Whether you did the breaking up or are broken up with, walk away. Move on. There is no point wasting time in a physical relationship where the boundaries are blurred and can lead, ultimately, to more pain.
#2 – Fractured attachments.
As I said above, relationships involve sex AND emotion. In a relationship, you are having sex, maybe even great sex, but your heart is also involved. There is nothing more wonderful than making love to someone you care about.
Sex is different, for everyone. For men, sex is often not much more than just a physical release. I had a client who had sex with his soon to be ex-wife the night before their final therapy session. I asked him why. He said that he wouldn’t turn down any opportunity to have sex.
She wanted the marriage to work – he did not. He had sex with her anyway.
I don’t know my client’s ex but I am guessing that when he came to the house and was interested in having sex with her, she believed that the sex could be a signal that he wanted to get back together. I am guessing that when he left, and expressed no indication that he wanted a reunion in therapy the next day, that she was more devastated than ever.
This couple who had been married for 30 years and shared 4 adult children, were devasting each other, beyond their divorce, by continuing their sexual relationship.
#3 – You can’t move on.
I don’t know about you but one of the reasons that I would put myself out to date after a break up was because I was horny. I hadn’t had sex for a while and was motivated to go through the whole dating thing in the hopes of meeting someone special and, well, getting laid.
I know that, if I had been having sex with my ex, I would have been getting what I needed, physically, and might not have been motivated to get out there and find something real.
Furthermore, whether it was you who wanted the break up or your ex, neither of you will be given a chance to move on and find happiness if you are still entangled with each other.
If having sex with your ex keeps you from moving on and finding love, doesn’t that sound like a REALLY bad idea?
#4 – Recurring issues.
You and your ex broke up. You broke up for one, or many reasons. You are no longer a couple because you just weren’t right for each other.
Unfortunately, staying intimate with our ex can only lead to those issues being raised over and over, being hashed out again with no change, and feelings being hurt again and again.
I have had sex with an ex before and, while it was fun, I know that the behaviors that I didn’t like about my ex, like the fact that he would disappear on Sundays or always sent terse texts or that he was vocally conservative, were still there. When we had sex after our break up, those things bugged me, more than ever because I wasn’t as emotionally involved.
So, I would snap and he would get defensive and I would, more likely than not, storm out, angry, promising myself that I would never do this again. And then, one week later, after a call from him, there I would be, naked in bed, no longer horny but definitely irritated.
Lay those issues to rest. Move on.
#5 – Loss of self-respect.
For many people, having sex with your ex can lead to dramatically decreased self-esteem, especially if one person did the leaving.
I know that when I had sex with an ex who I wished I was still with, a guy who basically ignored me until he was horny, I always felt worse after it. I would be so excited in the anticipation but then, when it was over, I was devastated. I knew I was being used, I knew that I was being pathetic and I was embarrassed by my weakness.
After a few months of this, my self-esteem was in the toilet.
I have also seen this happening with couples who have sex with each other even if their break up was amiable. They enjoy getting together but know that they are doing so even if there is no future. They know that it’s holding them back from moving on and finding happiness. They know that, while the sex might be great, they are with a person they really don’t want to be with. And that ultimately doesn’t feel good at all.
So, pay attention to your self-esteem if you are having sex with your ex. I am guessing that it’s not as great as you would like it to be.
Having sex with your ex is a REALLY bad idea because relationships and break ups are complicated and involving sex in the equation only makes things worse.
If you are having sex with your ex, think about the signals that are being sent. Are you both on the same page about what the sex means? Is it keeping you attached in a negative way and preventing you from moving on? Is it bringing up recurring issues and damaging your self-esteem?
Taking a good look at your relationship with your ex and the effect that the sex is having on you and your ex will help you see that having sex after a break up is, more often than not, a horrible idea.