Having sex after a breakup with someone new can be scary. Here’s some expert advice on how to get back in the saddle.
Real talk, breakups are rough. Even if a relationship ends on good terms, you still have to adjust to being single again and deal with a certain sense of loss. And if it ended badly, there’s a whole host of other difficult emotions to grapple with – anger, betrayal, disappointment and sadness, to name just a few.
Rebound sex can seem like a good way to distract yourself from these feelings or fast track you to moving on. In some instances, having sex with another person can be a valuable part of the post-breakup healing process. However, you can also make things worse for you mentally if you have sex before you’re ready, or for the wrong reasons.
If you’re fresh out of a relationship, sex absolutely does not need to be off the table, but you do need to be conscious about how you go about it. Here’s some advice from a sex coach on how to go about having sex again after a breakup.
Allow Yourself To Heal
The wallowing phase is never pretty. It might be tempting to just bury your feelings and skip that stage all together, but it’s important to give yourself time to come to terms with the breakup and heal.
It’s OK to want to move on, but remember to be kind to yourself during the process. Double down on your self-care and find time to do the things that make you feel good. Spend time with friends and family, eat balanced meals, exercise, sleep well, meditate and re-establish a healthy routine.
Sex can be very therapeutic (hello, endorphins!) and can help you reconnect with your body, but you shouldn’t rely on it as a quick fix.
Have Sex For The Right Reasons
Rebound sex can seem like a fun and harmless distraction, but it might not be a good idea if you’re resorting to it to avoid dealing with your emotions. Having sex after a breakup should also not be about getting back at your ex. Sex should be about reconnecting with your sexuality outside of your previous relationship and rediscovering parts of your sexuality that you may have lost touch of in that time.
I often encourage my clients to experience a sexual renaissance after the end of a bad relationship. It can be empowering for them to realise that their sex drive or sexuality wasn’t broken, but rather simply trapped in a context that wasn’t working for them.
Check In With Yourself
It’s normal to feel lonely, lost and confused after a breakup. And it’s important you accept those feelings and understand that it’s just your mind adjusting to and making sense of the new changes in your life.
If you’re in a position where things are heating up with someone new, step away to make sure you are having fun and are comfortable. When in doubt, listen to your body. If you feel nauseous, shaky or have a gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach when you think about having sex with someone new, it may not be the best idea for you right now.
Manage Your Expectations
It’s not uncommon to get attached to people quicker than usual after a breakup, so this is something to be aware of. It may also sting harder when your feelings are not reciprocated. If you find yourself making a new connection with someone, don’t be afraid to be upfront about the fact that you’ve recently gotten out of a relationship and may need to take things slow.
After having sex with a new person, you may find yourself expecting romance and affection, but remember, this is someone who won’t know you (or necessarily treat you) the way your ex did. It’s best to avoid comparing the person you’re having sex with to your ex. Not only would it completely take you out of the moment, but it’d also be unfair to that other person.
Choose Your Lover(s) Wisely
This is particularly important if the breakup has knocked your confidence – jumping on a dating app and hooking up with the first person who seems interested may just set you up for further pain. Instead, take your time to find a lover who truly desires you, is respectful of your boundaries, understands your situation and meets your needs. Ideally, this person would be someone you already trust and feel comfortable with.
You know yourself better than anyone. While some people find one-night stands empowering, there might be a bigger chance of things going wrong, so tread carefully.
Consider Having Sex With Yourself
Sexual gratification isn’t something you can only get from someone else. Solo orgasms can be just as therapeutic as ones you have with a partner.
If you don’t masturbate regularly, this may be a good opportunity to reconnect with yourself. It’s also a good reminder that you don’t need a partner to experience pleasure. If you’re finding it difficult to motivate yourself, buying a new sex toy might do the trick.
Focus On Personal Growth
Regardless of the circumstances of your breakup, a previous relationship usually holds many invaluable lessons about your relationship choices, strengths, weaknesses and values. A good question to ask is what you’ve learned about yourself from this experience.
Before jumping back in the sack, perhaps you could take some time to start a new creative project, work on your fitness, or take a class and learn something new – anything that will make you feel better about yourself should help the healing process.
Another possibility is to sign up for the Better in Bed Foundations programme. This is an online group programme for like-minded women who want to explore sex and their sexuality in a way that feels empowering and authentic to them – this can be a great option for anyone who is looking to open up sexually, particularly those who are just out of a relationship.
Finally, Trust Your Gut
There is no right or wrong way to have sex after a breakup. Each person is different and only you know what feels comfortable for you. Every breakup will also be different, so don’t expect to react in the same way each time.
When it comes to post-breakup sex, you and your partner(s) must be comfortable, respect and trust each other, and the sex should make you feel good. Having said that, your sense of self-worth should ultimately come from you. No matter your relationship status, it’s important that you feel good about yourself, even when you’re not having regular sex.
If you find yourself struggling to make the right decisions or are worried about how you’re going to have sex with someone new after a long, committed relationship, a sex coach like myself can help. If you need extra support, find out more about my coaching packages. I’d love to help!