Hooking Up With An Ex Isn't SO Bad, Says Science

by Stephanie Maida · November 2, 2018

    Whenever we employ the phrase "poor decision," there is usually alcohol and an ex involved. Drunk texting "U up?" is bad enough, but actually going through with the urge to sleep with the person who dumped you? Walk of shame doesn't even cover it. We mean, anything you don't want to tell your best friend about in the morning can't be good.

    Or so we think...

    Don't take this as an excuse to start hitting up that a**hole, but a recent study published in Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that pursuing sex with your ex in the months following your breakup doesn't necessarily make things worse, at least not psychologically. 

    Researchers at Wayne State University conducted two studies, first surveying 113 participants who had recently gone through a breakup, asking if they "had tried to have any physical contact with their former partners, how emotionally attached they still were, and how they felt after each day" over the course of two months. In the second study, 372 people reported their sexual engagement with their ex-partner and their subsequent emotional attachment, again, over the course of two months.

    Unsurprisingly, most of the participants who tried to bed their ex succeeded. What was surprising, however, was how totally fine they were afterwards. The results showed that, on average, people who hooked up with their former flame felt more positive in everyday life, and that, in fact, the physical contact did not hinder their ability to get over the relationship. Sadness and regret, there was not.

    Of course, it is important to note that this behavior was recorded in the two months post-breakup, not taking into account any long-term effects. Continuing to see your ex after a year? Well, that clearly doesn't sound like you've healthily processed the breakup.

    Nevertheless, people cope in different ways. If you're still pining for your (somewhat recent) ex-partner, a few more romps in the bedroom just might help you get over them for good.

    [Photo via Unsplash]