Ground Rules For Hooking Up With Your Ex

Cropped shot of an affectionate young couple sleeping while holding hands

Things ended with your boyfriend and so you did all the things everyone does when a relationship comes to an end. You removed him from social media and your phone, you made everyone and their mom aware of your single status, and maybe you went on a few dates, or even met someone else.

But despite going through the motions over a set amount of time, for some reason or another, the heart wants what it wants and you’ve found yourself back in a routine with him.

You know the drill: Face-timing before bed. Chatting daily. Hooking up behind closed doors. And maybe even going out in front of them. And sure, you do you, baby girl. If you’re currently happy and you’re not compromising yourself or your values in any way, get that D – being safe, at that. Because I’ve been there. Your best friend has been there. That girl sitting two seats down from you has been there. It happens, and there’s nothing wrong with you, per se, so long as you navigate hooking up with your ex in a respectful, mindful way.

An interesting thing happens as the seasons change and when we hear from the one who won’t go away. We become intrigued. We become hopeful. I mean, we know deep down that we should leave the past in the past and move forward, head held high. But it’s easier said than done. In fact, I bet you can count on one hand a slew of some strong, smart, successful friends of yours who are still caught up in the ex-boyfriend abyss.

And I get it. You two have a past. This person knows you. You can get together after a few drinks and reminisce about a shared experience, neglecting all the maybe not so great things that happened after that evening to which you’re referencing. You’re seeing things through rose-coloured glasses, and they create a romantic glow on what once was.

But these situations tend to only make things worse, eventually. So how do you navigate that in between phase when you’re still chatting with, and maybe hooking up with your ex?

Set appropriate boundaries.

Don’t lead them on and be clear on where you stand.

Be safe.

Be pure with your intentions.

Trust your gut.

Try not to involve friends.

If you’re hooking up with your ex because you genuinely enjoy their company and your shared chemistry, that’s fine – but once you start bringing your friends into the mix either by a) complaining to them about your ex or, b) bringing your ex back out with you to get together as if nothing ever happened, people are going to feel uncomfortable, which will ultimately push loving friends away.

The thing is, friends and family just want you to be happy. And though things may seem great now, they’re very likely to come crashing down again. Ones not blinded by rose-shaded glasses can see well in advance of you what is likely to fall apart, so if you’re going to keep on keeping on with your ex, keep them at arm’s length from your friends and family. And be mindful of some invites and such not coming your way. Try to see what those who love you see and determine if what you’re doing will ultimately help you.

Of course, dear reader, doing all of this doesn’t get you off scot-free, without any feelings hurt. By continuing to hook up with your ex, you’re holding yourself back.  I’m human and know how the story goes: we think it’s easier to keep contact than to fully let go. But by remaining in contact, you aren’t allowing yourself to fully be able to get to the next step; the next journey. And that’s fine, so long as you’re aware of the part you’re playing and know what you want out of this rendezvous.


Tags: hooking up with ex, sex

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  1. Avatar
    • Peasles
    • April 27, 2018

    Good article. I’m currently in the “removed/blocked from social media” phase with my ex, but I admit that part of me is already considering what may happen a few months in a future, when feelings have faded. Continuing to hook up with a guy I know I can no longer date long-term is probably a bad idea, but that whole “next journey” thing you mentioned seems so…unlikely. Dating is hard. It’s exhausting. It’s annoying. It’s full of ups and downs, and mostly downs. It’s hard to focus on that next journey when you know it’s going to be aggravating and depressing and bring out your insecurities.

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