You have probably been warned so many times in the past about how it’s a bad idea for you to be having sexual relations with an ex. They say that this is especially true if you’re interested in moving on from your breakup. You are told that if you have any kind of contact (particularly the sexual kind), then it might prove to be more difficult for you to move on from your relationship.
They say that it isn’t advisable for you to be having sex with an ex because instead of being able to detach yourself from that individual. But as it turns out, that isn’t necessarily going to be the case.
Research has shown that sleeping with an ex isn’t going to be so dangerous and damaging as you might initially think. There are new studies that confirm that it won’t really stop you from moving on from your failed romance.
Based on the findings that were published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, this theory was found to be true even for those people who tended to pine after their exes to a certain degree. The leading experts and researchers at Wayne State University in Michigan spearheaded two separate studies to actually look into the effects of post-breakup sexual relations.
In the first part of the experiment, they looked into the lives of 113 different individuals who had recently gone through breakups of their own. They asked these subjects to complete a series of various online surveys wherein they were asked whether they had had any physical contact or relations with their partners after they had broken up.
Those who answered yes were then asked about how it had made them feel after the fact and whether they had developed some kind of emotional attachment after they had hooked up.
In the second part of the experiment, the participants were also asked to admit to various sexual encounters with their exes. And they were also asked if they had still felt an emotional attachment to their exes two months after that had broken up.
The results were staggering.
They had found that a person’s desire our pursuit of sex after a breakup doesn’t exactly stop them from moving on in a healthy and effective manner. It had very minimal impact, they found.
They had also concluded that the people who were pining after their exes (those who still had feelings for them) had a tendency to pursue sexual activity more than those subjects who weren’t pining at all. Based on their analysis, these subjects were only pursuant to sex as a way of reconnecting with the past that they have now lost.
However, instead of just feeling distraught at everything they are forced to leave behind after a breakup, these subjects found that post-break sexual encounters had actually helped them come to terms with the reality of the situation.
They had developed more positive outlooks on life and love itself. This has huge implications as far as sex between two people after a breakup is concerned according to the study’s lead author, Stephanie Spielmann.
“This research suggests that societal hand-wringing regarding trying to have sex with an ex may not be warranted,” she says. “The fact that sex with an ex is found to be most eagerly pursued by those having difficulty moving on, suggests that we should perhaps instead of more critically evaluate people’s motivations behind pursuing sex with an ex.”
Based on the professional assessment of dating psychologist, Madeleine Mason Roantree, post-breakup sex can actually help a person move on from a failed romance once the relationship ends. But it all completely depends on the individual’s personality and motivations involved.
“Are they trying to get their ex back? Or is part of a farewell process? If the former, it may well be better to hold off having breakup sex and instead work on finding a better relationship,” says Roantree.
Naturally, you are going to run the risk triggering some potentially harmful and toxic emotions like anger, grief, disappointment, and confusion if you try to engage in sexual relations with an ex.
At least that’s what James Preece, relationship expert, and dating coach, has to say about the matter. Preece claims that it’s best to avoid having sexual relations with an ex unless the breakup was clean, mutual, and there were no hard feelings involved. “As such, the very best way to move on is by leaving the past behind,” says Preece. “You can’t focus on meeting someone else if you are still associating with an ex. You both need time to process what’s happened and sleeping together won’t allow this.”
At the end of the day, it still all boils down to your personality and the nature of the relationship that you had.