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The etiquette of breakup sex

You might not want to admit it, but we all know it happens — the night you have an “oops” with your ex. If it’s going to happen, there might as well be some rules to make it less awkward and we’re sharing our tips for dealing with the ex-sex situation.

couple having sex

Don’t have it if you can’t handle it

While it might seem like a good idea at the time, having sex with an ex if you’re not over him (but he’s over you) can be an emotional disaster and will make getting over him that much harder. So before you even go down that road, consider how it will make you feel after the fact. You might be lonely, maybe you just want one last great night with him, and maybe it feels great while it’s happening — but afterwards could be rough on you, especially if he’s taking the sex much less seriously than you are.


Don’t over-think it

If you’ve decided that sure, breakup sex is what you want, or it just kind of happens one night (which is often the case), don’t over-analyze it the next day. Don’t feel guilty you had sex with your ex, don’t think of it as a step backwards. In fact, just don’t think about it at all (or at least try not to). The more you try to analyze the situation, the worse you’ll feel.


Don’t do it to “get him back”

Breakup sex as a strategy to get your ex back is a bad idea. If the two of you just want to have some fun, still enjoy sleeping together but just can’t make it work long term, that’s OK. But if you’re thinking about using sex to make him change his mind, you’ll just end up getting hurt and confusing your ex. Breakup sex happens, even when you know it probably shouldn’t and that’s OK, but doing it on purpose to try and reverse the breakup can cause more trouble than the sex itself is worth.


Try not to make it a pattern

An “oops” sex session with an ex is one thing, but relying on him to fill a sexual void between relationships will make it near-impossible to move on. Even if he’s game (and he might be), stop yourself if you feel like you’re now calling him or going over to his place weekly. Give yourself a chance to get past the breakup and move forward rather than getting pulled into a pattern that will eventually hurt one of you.


Keep it casual

So it happened — you had sex with your ex, maybe a few times. Again, that’s OK. Just don’t take it too seriously. Don’t expect him to sleep over and then go for brunch the next morning. This is not a relationship anymore. It’s just sex so you can’t expect too much of the person you’re no longer technically involved with. Keep things casual and don’t put any pressure on the encounter.

Tell us

What are your rules for breakup sex? Share in the comments below!

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Let him down easy: How these real women did it
5 Outrageous ways to get over a breakup with food

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