Considering Sex with Your Ex? Why You Need to Think Twice

Dr. Susan Edelman
5 min readApr 8

Passionate feelings for an ex can linger long after your relationship has crashed and burned. And if you’re feeling lonely, you might be tempted to rekindle those old embers. But if you assume it will just be a harmless tryst, be careful. It’s not as simple as you may think.

Having sex with your ex isn’t inherently right or wrong. It all depends on the parties involved and what the consequences for each of you might be.

Knowing why you or your ex want to visit this sexual arena again can help you decide whether it’s the right next step for you.

If you’re considering taking things back to the bedroom, you should take a moment to reflect on whether or not it’s a good idea.

Here are some tips when you’re considering having sex with your ex:

1. Be honest with yourself.

It may be possible for you to have sexual intimacy with your ex only for pleasure. Giving up the sexual part of your relationship can be difficult even when the rest of your relationship is over. Be clear about what you and your ex want out of the encounter. When factors other than sexual pleasure are at play, that’s when sleeping with your ex is a bad idea.

Could you be secretly hoping that a night of passionate sex will reignite your romance? Are you lonely and yearning to be touched? Or are you looking for some familiarity and comfort? Some people think that this kind of tryst will help them move on from their ex, but that isn’t usually the case. You or your ex might be having trouble coping or experiencing other mental health issues. If some of these issues are at work, is this really a good idea? One or both of you could get hurt.

2. Don’t act on impulse.

If you’ve been drinking, using drugs, or are very emotional, it’s not advisable to impulsively jump into bed with your ex. These combinations are a recipe for trouble. People often regret actions when they haven’t made a carefully thought-out decision.

When you’re impulsive, you’re much less likely to have had a conversation to help you know where you stand with your ex. Either of you might end up feeling vulnerable, confused, or even used.

Dr. Susan Edelman

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