I did some recycling this week – I slept with my ex.
Thankfully, I have no regrets. The sex was great, it gave us some closure on our former relationship and it dissipated the sexual tension that had been building between us.
It’s so easy with someone you’ve been with before. He knows what turns you on. You know what turns him on. There’s none of that awkward instruction that comes with someone new for the first time (i.e, “No, not there. There. Okay, just to left. Not that left. Your other left. Never mind, I’ll do it myself.”)
In the best of instances, sleeping with your ex is like putting on an old hot dress you just found in the back of the closet and finding that even though it’s not really your style today, it still fits and looks great.
In the worst of instances, sleeping with your former boyfriend, fiancé or husband can rip open wounds you thought you were long since healed… and give you herpes.
To minimize your risk, here are five questions to ask yourself before getting down and dirty with Mr. Yesterday.
1. Why do I want to sleep with him?
If any of your reasons are the following, distract yourself immediately with a big bowl of Ben & Jerry’s insteadt:
- to make myself feel attractive or have power over someone (unless power games are kink you both shared previously, but then keep in mind it’s only for sexy time)
- to make him miss me or regret having broken up with me
- to try to get him back
- because I’m so lonely I don’t think I can take it anymore
Regardless of who broke up with whom, sex with an ex will most likely not get your old relationship back on track. And even if it does, the reasons you broke up in the first place, will inevitably creep back into you and your guy’s second take.
If you’re still feeling anger, sorrow or heartbreak over the end of the relationship, you need distance from, not physical intimacy with, your ex.
Similarly, if you secretly want to use someone to bump up your own self esteem or erase your loneliness you likely need to spend a bit more time on building your new life before inviting a piece of the past into it.
2. How will I feel about myself if I sleep with him?
This is a great question to ask before having sex with anyone, let alone your ex, but exes can be a special breed, especially the ones that make us want to grovel before them so that they can let us down again and again. If he didn’t treat you right the first time – no matter how hot the sex was, or how good looking, talented or rich he is – he’s not going to treat you right this time. If you’ve sworn off of him because you know he’s bad for you, stick your guns and stay away. You will regret it in the morning.
3. Does one of us still want to be in a relationship with the other?
You think it’s casual. He thinks it’s a sign that you’re ready to take him back and texts you non-stop the next day, leaves gifts at your work later that week, and changes his relationship status to “it’s complicated” on Facebook.
It’s normal for one person to be more into the other, no matter how long you’ve been separated but if one of you has expressed an interest in getting back together and the other is like, “Hell no!” sleeping together is just going to fuel that fire in a bad way.
If you intend to stay single and available to date other people, clear that up with him and ensure he feels the same way before you hit the sheets (or the elevator, bathroom floor, dining room table…).
4. Is one of us already in a relationship with someone else?
You would think this would be obvious but sometimes it’s not. It never hurts to ask – or tell.
5. Can we talk about what this means for our relationship going forward?
Hopefully, you were upfront enough at the start of the night that you don’t feel like you need to clinically debrief what transpired in any detail at the end of the night. But you should know where you stand in terms of what you would like from your ex moving forward.
Sometimes a simple, “I’m glad we can still be friends,” or “So you can come fix my washing machine on Thursday then?” is all it takes.
What do you think? When is sex with an ex a good or bad thing?