5 questions to ask yourself before having sex with your ex

Pause for a minute before you hop back on that train

When two exes meet onscreen, you already know how the story ends. After an impossibly steamy hookup, past misunderstandings magically disappear and cathartic realisations unfold as the duo conveniently find their happily ever after the second time around. But real life can be a bit different. If you don’t have sufficient closure or you are still entangled in your feelings for a former flame, round deux between the sheets can turn you into an emotional mess. If the pandemic-induced loneliness has tempted you into getting back in bed with an ex, here are some crucial questions to ask yourself first.

Q1. Are you over all the emotional baggage?

On paper, sex with an ex sounds ideal: they already know you and your body, what turns you on and just the way you like it. When compared to swiping through an endless sea of photos on a dating app, being with someone you already know brings with it some much-needed familiarity. But the bad news is that if you haven’t been able to dispel all the emotional baggage of the past – and what caused you to actually break up in the first place – you’ll find yourself right back in that toxic whirlpool of feelings when you get back in bed with your ex.

Q2. Are you doing this out of fear of loneliness?

It is no surprise that the past year of isolating from the world has led to considerable feelings of loneliness. So, ask yourself if it is just the sex or you because you are afraid of being alone? If the answer is latter, know that reopening an old wound needn’t be the only option. You can still find ways to connect with the world and experience a shared connection with your friends and loved ones without putting yourself in a tricky situation with someone who can affect your mental happiness.

Q3. Have you set adequate boundaries?

A exes-with-benefits situation might make it easier to skip the usual song and dance but before you hop in between the sheets, it helps for both people to clearly communicate what this means to them. Are either of you’ll seeing someone else? What are your feelings for each other right now? Will this be a one-time thing or a recurring deal? It helps to establish adequate boundaries at the start to avoid hurt feelings and heartbreak later.

Q4. Are you hoping for something more?

The million dollar question: are you secretly hoping that one night together could open the door of possibilities, even if you won’t admit it to the other person? You’ll find that this ties back into the first question – if you haven’t been able to work through the emotional baggage and find closure, a tryst together will just lead you to hope that the two of you still have a chance. And if the opposite person doesn’t reciprocate the same feelings, moving on will be as difficult as it was the first time.

Q5. Will you have a harder time moving on after this?

Speaking of moving on, will sex with your ex make it more difficult to move on and find happiness in the arms of someone new? There’s a reason why you’ll couldn’t make it work the first time and if there is a chance that having sex will interfere with all the work you’ve already put in to get over this person and all the progress you’ve already made, it is healthier to say no thanks and to wait till you find someone who can satisfy you physically and emotionally as well.

It pays to note that sex with an ex needn’t always result in heartbreak: if you are able to communicate clearly to each other and have gotten closure over the events of the past, it can be a wonderful thing to be with someone who already knows and understands your needs. Under the right circumstances, it can soothe the hurt of the past and help you part ways with your ex without any ill feelings. Just make sure that you are taking care of yourself mentally as well and not falling back into any toxic patterns, and you’ll be golden!

Your Bag

Sign up for TGM's weekly highlights, new launch updates, exclusive events and offers.