When Is Sleeping with a Former Partner a Bad Idea?

Six months ago, you discovered the “love of your live” was cheating, causing you to dump the jerk like yesterday’s trash. Or maybe the little heathen was using you for money, and you decided to ‘break it off’ after your checking account went into the negative. Perhaps you decided to kick the scoundrel to the curb because the person was abusive. You promised yourself that you wouldn’t have anything to do again with the creep and removed any trace of the relationship from your home. Then one night it happens — you are out at a bar and run into your former partner. You have a few drinks and reminisce about old times and find yourself strangely aroused. The next morning arrives and you awaken to find the loser next to you in your bed, causing you to put a pillow over your head in regret. Your ex wakes up and says, “I had a great time with you. Do you want to do it again?”

Sound familiar? If you have slept with your ex-partner, you are not alone. It’s only natural to want to return to what’s familiar. How often have you heard someone say, “We never really got along — but the sex was great,” or “We had nothing in common except for the bedroom.”

Having sex with your ex isn’t necessarily a bad thing, provided you are able to keep things into an emotional perspective. For most of us however, this is a near impossibility given our relational history with the person and the harm they caused us. How do you avoid an emotional disaster when confronted with the decision of having “sex with the ex?”

Consider asking yourself the following six questions:

  1. Will having sex with this person cause emotional pain?
  2. Will my EX use the sexual experience to try and resurrect the relationship?
  3. Will I be repeating the same patterns of the past with this person by opening up the sexual door?
  4. Will I be betraying any promises to myself by allowing this person into my life again, if even in a sexual capacity?
  5. How will having sex with my ex cause me to feel afterwards?
  6. Are my motives purely physical, or is there something more?
  7. Will having sex with this person help me create a sense of closure or a misguided sense of connection?
  8. Am I having with the person because of repressed feelings of guilt for breaking off the relationship?

If your answers to these questions have given you pause for concern, sex with your ex may not be the wisest choice. It is easy to allow a physical attraction to a person to get in the way of good judgment. So how can you mentally say “No” when your body is saying “Yes”?

Try to remember the reasons you decided to break off the relationship with your ex in the first place. Ask yourself if having sex with your EX will open up a “Pandora’s Box” of emotional heartache. Keep focusing on the reasons as to why you ended the relationship in the first place and then stick to your guns. Don’t be afraid to tell your ex-partner that you want to keep the relationship non-sexual. Be forewarned however, as this may cause your ex to want you even more. If they cannot accept your wishes, then avoid contact with them. By following these few simple precepts, you can protect yourself emotionally. And don’t worry! In time you will meet someone new and build the relationship of your dreams!

Copyright © By: John D. Moore, MS, CADC