Say What? New Study Shows Sex With Your Ex May Not Be As Bad As You Think
Right after a breakup, friends and loved ones often caution us against sleeping with our exes post-split. We are warned against lingering feelings and the false hope that can flourish between comfortable bedroom sessions, and rightfully so.
Two things can’t occupy the same space, and if you are ending your relationship in hopes of finding a more suitable partner, it is assumed that still being physically connected with your ex can stunt your progress.
But research says that may not be all the way true.
A study conducted by Stephanie Spielmann of Wayne State University found that sex with an ex does not hinder moving on post-breakup and may even help you get over the split, Telegraph reports.
With a sample size of 372 participants, researchers asked subjects if they had sex with their ex after a breakup and asked if they still felt “emotionally tied” to them after two months.
According to the study, those who pursued sex with their ex did not report being stunted in their ability to move on. Also, subjects who had sex with their exes didn’t report feeling distressed or depressed.
“This research suggests that societal handwringing regarding trying to have sex with an ex may not be warranted,” Dr. Spielmann explained.
“The fact that sex with an ex is found to be most eagerly pursued by those having difficulty moving on, suggests that we should perhaps instead more critically evaluate people’s motivations behind pursuing sex with an ex.”
Spielmann emphasizes that more research has to be done that explores breakups over a longer period of time. This study only studied subjects over two months, which is when the split is still fresh and sore. Of course, most people will probably report some positivity associated with engaging in sex post-breakup because it’s easier than actually diving into the discomfort of complete separation and singlehood again.
Also, we have to use critical thinking when reading studies where participants are asked to self-report their feelings, because we all tend to under-report our actual feelings when placed in a study environment.
So while for some people, sex with ex may not be detrimental, it’s all about knowing yourself and your limits when you start the task of breaking away from a significant other for good.