It's hard quitting a relationship cold turkey, especially if it was a long-term one. While you might think it's okay to have a no-strings-attached quickie with your former partner, you might want to think again.
When you should never hook up with an ex
If you're not entirely over the relationship, you should definitely not hook up with your ex. And if you're not sure if you're over it, then never use sex to test how you feel. You'll just open up an old wound.
What's more, leaving the door open, even for sex, can prevent you from moving on or reflecting on why the relationship didn't work out. And sometimes the insecurity of being single motivates people to return to a relationship that wasn't right for them.
When it's okay to hook up with an ex
If enough time has passed single the breakup, and you don't think sleeping with your ex will trigger old feelings, then casual sex is okay. Make sure that you don't find yourself thinking about your ex anymore, and thinking of your ex with another person doesn't bother you. You should also really understand and accept why you broke up in the first place.
Why do some people want to have casual sex with an ex? Because while the relationship didn't fundamentally work, the sex was passionate. Your ex probably knows how to get you off, and you don't have to deal with any first-time sex awkwardness. Just make sure you're not sleeping with an ex too soon after a breakup.
The rules you need to make it work
You and your ex should be on the same page about expectations before jumping in the sack. Other rules include:
- Don't bring up the past. This means not discussing topics that were once hurtful or that will touch a nerve.
- Don't snuggle. Cuddling right after sex can send the wrong message or cause you to feel an emotional attachment again. Instead, fall asleep once the action is over or sleep in your bed.
- Don't drunk dial. You shouldn't hook up with your ex if you're drunk. Why? Because you aren't aware of your intentions and you may engage in behavior you'll end up regretting.
- Don't go on dates. Avoid doing couply things with your ex, like watching a movie together or going to a work function. This could prompt you to second guess your feelings.
Sex with an ex isn't for everyone
Remember that sleeping with an ex isn't right for everyone. If you find that you start to miss your ex, talk to friends who were around for the breakup. They will help to remind you of the issues from the first time, and why it's a bad idea to hook up with your ex. But, if you're both down and don't expect a relationship in the future to happen, then you can try it out.
- "The Do's and Don'ts of Hooking Up with Your Ex," Women's Health, November 23, 2015.
- "This is the Only Time It's Okay to Hook up with an Ex," Health, May 24, 2018.