Pretty much everyone who’s ever been in a relationship has been there before. In a position where they have an opportunity to have sex with their ex and desperately want to say yes to it. Some decide to file the idea away in their mental fantasy bank and call it a day, while others can’t resist the temptation and decide to dive in headfirst instead.
But is having sex with an ex as bad as it sounds like it is on paper, or is it just good, clean, harmless fun that it’s perfectly okay to partake in? And why is the idea of sleeping with an ex so appealing, anyway? Here’s a look at more of what you want to know.
Why Sex with an Ex Is So Appealing
Whether your relationship with your ex was a good one or the type of turbulent connection that never should have happened in the first place, it’s only natural to have a lot of leftover emotion about the person. Plus, an ex – especially someone you felt truly connected to while you were together – is familiar, and people are nothing if not nostalgic about days gone by.
Whether you secretly dream of getting back together with your ex and riding off into the sunset together or you just miss all the hot sex you two used to have, it’s normal and natural to wonder what it would feel like to be between the sheets with that person again.
When Is Sex with Your Ex a Bad Idea?
Contrary to what some might say, sex with an ex isn’t a bad idea across the board. But there are definitely some situations where it’s better off avoided. Here are some examples.
One of you still has strong feelings for the other
If one of you still has feelings for the other that aren’t reciprocated, things are probably complicated enough as it is. Having sex is only going to amplify those issues. Feelings don’t magically disappear, and pretending that they do is a one-way ticket to Drama City.
One or both of you is in another relationship
Although consenting adults can do pretty much whatever they want together, smashing an ex between the sheets when either of you is already committed to someone else is a recipe for disaster. For one thing, it’s not going to solve your problems with your current partners, and it will almost certainly complicate your connection with your ex.
You and your ex are good friends
People who break up do so for a reason, and it’s not always because they didn’t love each other or care for one another’s wellbeing. Sometimes couples figure out that they don’t work as a couple but do work as friends. If that’s the case for you and your ex, you should consider whether the sex is worth complicating your friendship – especially if you also work together or have children.
When Can You Just Go for It?
Of course, sex with an ex doesn’t always have to be a no-go. There are plenty of instances where it might be a good thing, meaning you can totally just go for it. Here are some examples.
It might give you closure
Sometimes even meaningful relationships end without either party getting the closure they need to be able to move on and step into the future with confidence. Assuming you both go into things without expectation, sex may actually provide that closure and help both of you put what you once shared to bed, so to speak.
You’re available and into no-strings-attached sex
While some people have a really hard time not forming attachments to people they have sex with, exes included, others are actually wired to have a no-strings-attached approach toward the whole thing. If you and your ex are that way, you’re not attached to anyone else, and there are no other reasons why you shouldn’t, why not go for it? Just set some ground rules first.
You won’t run into each other again
Again, sex with an ex when you’re still coworkers, co-parents, or neighbors can be tricky after you’re done with your roll in the hay, as you still need to deal with one another. But what about those times when the opportunity presents itself via a chance encounter? Concluding an unexpected one-time reunion with an ex in the sack when you know you can both handle it can be a great way to indulge a common fantasy.
Ultimately, whether or not having sex with your ex is a huge mistake or a terrific opportunity to have some good, not-so-clean fun depends on your situation, as well as your emotional maturity level. So just be honest with yourself about where you both stand before you dive in. You’ll be glad you did.