“One, don’t pick up the phone; You know he’s only calling ’cause he’s drunk and alone
Two, don’t let him in; You’ll have to kick him out again
Three, don’t be his friend; You know you’re gonna wake up in his bed in the morning
And if you’re under him; You ain’t getting over him”
For many, the 2017 song New Rules by Dua Lipa says it all: there’s no moving forward emotionally if you’re still sleeping with your ex after you’ve supposedly broken up. Despite that, many of us do indulge in one last ‘goodbye’ fling with our ex-partner – whether it’s through fear of loneliness; a means of getting closure; because we are having second thoughts or… just because we had one drink too many and succumbed to a booty call. As US writer Ted Spiker says, “It’s like the day before a diet. Tomorrow I’ll start, but today I’m going to enjoy one last order of chicken wings.”
Well, according to new research out of the US, there’s no need to feel guilty. If you can have break-up sex and manage to not fall back into a relationship that was not doing you any favours, you may in fact be doing the right thing. The study published in Springer’s journal Archives of Sexual Behavior looked at a two groups of 113 and 372 participants up to two months post break-up and found that interestingly, those who slept with their ex-partner felt more positive afterwards about life. Contrary to popular belief, the physical contact had not prevented them from ‘moving on’ in a healthy way.
According to Science Daily, the study’s lead author Assistant Professor Stephanie Spielmann of Wayne State University thought the subject warranted studying because sexual experiences with ex-partners are so common across all age groups and relationship types. Spielmann says her findings indicate the need to take another look at the nature of romantic breakups over a longer time period. She believes it is an important subject to research because of the potential far-reaching implications on overall mental health.
“The societal ‘handwringing’ regarding trying to have sex with an ex may not be warranted,” Dr Springer told Science Daily.