NYC Psychotherapist Blog

power by WikipediaMindmap

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Should You Hook Up With Your Ex?

In my prior article, 7 Reasons Why You Might Be Struggling to Get Over a Breakup, I focused on the primary reasons why many people have a hard time getting over a breakup. In this article, I'll be discussing a topic that I covered briefly in that article about breakups, which is whether you and your ex should get back together to have sex. The focus in this article isn't a moralistic one.  It's about your emotional well-being and what works for you.

Should You Hook Up With Your Ex?

I get it--even though you might not have been compatible in other areas, you and your ex might've had amazing sex which you're finding hard to give up.

Maybe it was even the best sex of your life.  Maybe it was exciting, hot and fun and you both felt great afterwards.  So, it's understandable why you're missing the sex and wanting to hook up, especially if you're either not seeing anyone else or your experiences with dating have been disappointing.

Why Hooking Up With Your Ex Might Be Okay
Here are some reasons why it might be okay:
  • You and Your Ex Are Both in Agreement About Having Casual Sex and Nothing More
    • You've both on the same page that, while the relationship didn't work out, you can still have no strings attached (NSA) sex with the understanding that you're not in a relationship and you're not going to get back together.
    • You respect one another's well-being and only want the best for each other.
  • You Don't Have Unrealistic Expectations
    • You have no expectations that your ex will only see you and not date other people and vice versa.
    • Both of you are beyond the point of feeling jealous if either of you is casually dating and having sex with other people.
  • You're Free of Any Illusions and Can Enjoy the Pleasure of Having Sex With Your Ex
    • Having no expectations or illusions about what's possible, you're both free to enjoy the pleasure of being sexual, especially since you both know what the other person likes and you're sexually compatible with each other.
    • You can give yourself over to sexual pleasure without guilt, resentment or regret afterwards.
Why Hooking Up With Your Ex Could Be a Bad Idea
Here are some reasons why it might not work out for you:
  • You're Still in Love
    • If you're still emotionally attached to your ex and you have sex with him (or her), you're going to have a much harder time getting over the breakup if you're sexually involved.  
    • Not only might you both continue to carry a torch for each other, you both might have a hard time being open to meeting new people.
  • You're Secretly Hoping to Get Back Together Again
    • You need to be honest with yourself and your ex. 
    • Saying that you don't want to get back together (when you really do) and using sex to lure your ex back is a form of manipulation.
    • The falsehood will probably become apparent soon.
    • If you get involved again, as a couple, you might end up in the same place as you were before the breakup, which will be even more painful.
  • You Feel Lonely and Want Your Ex's Companionship
    • It's common to feel lonely after a breakup.  This is normal.  It's also something that most people overcome after a period of healing.
    • Although loneliness can feel overwhelming, hopping back in bed with your ex isn't the solution, especially if you're not both on the same page about what it means that you're being sexual again.
    • You might feel better temporarily but, once again, this is just a short term solution to a much larger problem, which is that you're unwilling to go through this stage of the breakup (see my article: Coping With the Stages of a Breakup
    • In seeking a short term solution, you're losing sight of the longer term problem and that you could both get hurt again when things go back to how they were before the breakup.
  • You're Using Your Ex to Get Someone Else Jealous
    • Maybe you've started seeing someone new and this person isn't paying as much attention to you as you would like, so you reconnect with your ex to try to make the new person jealous.
    • Not only is this manipulative, it also has the potential for everyone in the situation to get hurt, including you.
    • Both your ex and the new person might see the manipulation for what it is and both of them could end up not wanting to have anything to do with you.
  • Your Ex Didn't Treat You Well When You Were in a Relationship
    • Chances are good that if you ex didn't treat you well when you were in a relationship, s/he won't treat you well if you're hooking up.
    • If you couldn't trust your ex when you were together, even if your expectations have changed, you probably won't be able to trust your ex with whatever ground rules the two of you have set up for having casual sex or in other areas (see my article: Are You Giving Away Your Personal Power to Someone Who Doesn't Treat You Well?).
This isn't a moralistic perspective.  It's about your emotional well-being.

There are times when hooking up with your ex might work for both of you without either of you getting hurt.  But this all depends on if you both are on the same page about having casual sex together without trying to get back to a dynamic that didn't work before.

Only you can decide what's best for you, but making that decision can be challenging because emotions can get in the way. You might need help from a licensed mental health professional who would be impartial and without judgment but who also has the expertise to help you make the best decision for yourself.

Getting Help in Therapy
Trying to decide what's best for you can be confusing, especially when your emotions are in conflict with what you know is best for you.

Many therapists in New York City, including me, are providing online therapy, which is also called teletherapy, telemental health and telehealth (see my article: The Advantages of Online Therapy When You Can't Meet Your Therapist in Person).

If you're feeling stuck, you could benefit from getting help from a licensed psychotherapist who has experience with helping clients with relationship and sexual issues.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT and Somatic Experiencing therapist (see my article: The Therapeutic Benefits of Integrated Psychotherapy).

I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 or email me.