Break ups can be hard. They have the potential to wreak emotional and psychological havoc, depending on how you process the change. There are no rules on how to make break ups work. You may be part of the “You’re dead to me crowd,” but if amicable, you can wish your ex the best with or without the intentions of remaining friends.
There is no particularly wrong or right way to be an ex, as long as there is no abuse (physical, psychological, sexual and emotional), but there are those circumstances where exes remain physically intimate with each other. This is the one situation that is usually frowned upon. The one that is generally viewed upon as a weakness or a sign of poor decision making.
Fortunately, you will not be shamed here for that decision, rather, we will explore the many reasons why you’re still sleeping with your ex.
1. It feels comfortable and familiar
When time and effort have been invested in a relationship, there is a sense of comfort and familiarity that feels so good. Change can be difficult, and we all have needs. It is that safety that keeps you crawling back into each your ex’s bed. Having to learn the needs and want of another partner feels like too much work, so you just want to go back to what you know.
2. You want to avoid the pain of a break up
Our culture has a habit of making it seem like moving on from a relationship should be the easiest thing, but it really isn’t. It can be downright traumatic. So sometimes as a way to avoid the pain, you will resort to maintaining a “purely” sexual relationship—however you choose to define that.
3. You find it easier than grieving the end of the relationship
The end of a relationship is much like a death and is processed in very much the same way. For that reason, you find it incredibly easier to get back into old routines. Having to acknowledge that the relationship has come to an end may be too painful to process, so you numb it out through sex. It’s the act of wanting your ex in any capacity, instead of suffering the loss.
4. Sex may have been the best part of your relationship
Let’s be honest. Sometimes, it can simply be that the best sex you had was with your ex. Ending a relationship does not always mean the sparks are gone. To suddenly go from a great and active sex life, to no sex life can be difficult for you, so rather than lose that connection, you keep your sex life going.
5. You’re afraid to start over
So now, we’re moving into dicier waters. This is a fear that so many people experience after a breakup, hence the variation in when people start dating again. It can weeks, months or years. The fear of starting over can stagnate or even cripple an individual into sometimes such behaviors. Much like salmon, instead of flowing downstream to adapt to salty ocean waters you attempt to swim upstream.
6. You think you will be better co-parents
Another perspective for those bonded together by children is that the connection helps the co-parenting relationship. However distorted it may seem, the bond of your children can have a powerful hold on relationships between parents. It has kept entire families together whether happy or unhappy. Sex with the ex takes on an almost whole different meaning then.
7. You can’t or won’t say no
Absent of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, some people just either can’t or won’t say no to the ex. There may be some deeper wounds that need healing in that situation. For all the reasons mentioned above and below, even when there is a commitment to yourself to not have sex with your ex, you somehow end up right back there. It then becomes a factor of not being able to maintain your own boundaries and that may need some serious relearning.
8. You think your partner might change eventually
I am all but too familiar with this reason. The one where you hope that your partner will get a clue eventually, and by keeping the sexual connection, it can motivate some emotional changes. Honestly, sometimes sex is just sex. Nothing more or less, and to hope for the realization of love is like holding your own self hostage. At some point, you might have to come to the realize that your hopes may never materialize.
9. You still love/like your ex
And last, but not least, you might still love your ex. That’s it. You’re still there, not just because of the ex, but because you still love your ex.
At the end of it all, you need to decide where maintaining this long-term is worth your while.