Skip to main content

Is it wrong to just have sex with my ex when I really want a relationship?

Share |
Oceangirl4 asks:

My ex boyfriend and I are really close and sometimes make out with each other when we are alone. He used to really like me still and I didn't feel the same way and now it has reversed and I really like him again but he doesn't want a relationship. We have talked about just being friends and doing stuff but is this wrong? Plus I really want to have sex with him, he's not a virgin and I am, do you think it is a bad idea if we're not together? I know we will always be really close and share everything with each other but should I wait until we are together one day? I really love him and maybe if we do it his old feelings will light up again. Please give me honest advice on what I should do. Cheers.

Lena replies:

Making out with an ex whom you still have feelings for isn't really an issue of being right or wrong morally: I'd say it's more about being honest with yourself and doing what's right for you. Right now this arrangement doesn't seem to be a good match for your needs and wants.

Casual sex generally works out for people who can separate sex and love, and who can be honest with themselves and their partner/s about what they want and need in a relationship, be it platonic ("just friends" but not "friends with benefits"), sexual, romantic, sexual-romantic, and beyond. Recent exes usually don't make for the best casual sex partners, especially when both parties aren't feeling the same way. I see you're accepting what you can get while yearning for more: you state you have lingering feelings for your ex, that you're hoping for a romantic-sexual relationship again but he's said he doesn't want one. You really have to take his word at face value here: if he says he doesn't want the same type of relationship you do, then he probably means it.

I think adding sex to the mix is going to just make it harder and more hurtful for you in this situation. It's really important to be honest with yourself and your partner about your intentions. Good partnered sex is about sharing your sexualities "just because" you want to: there shouldn't be strings attached or secret intentions. Sure, sex can affect people in unexpected ways, but it shouldn't be seen as a path to rekindle a relationship, and thinking so is probably going to result in disappointment. Furthermore, if he knows you really want a romantic-sexual relationship again but are settling for these hook-ups, then he really isn't being a caring partner; even in casual relationships, everyone should be looking out for each others' best interests and not exploiting them for their own gain. So, while it's certainly not wrong for you to *want* to have sex with him, it doesn't sound like the right context for the type of experience you're looking for.

I'd also recommend you take a break from making out with him, at least for the time being, until you've given yourself the time and space to get over your ex. It can take awhile to "move on" after a relationship: you two could still be friends but for now I'd focus on other friendships, your classes, as well as favorite hobbies and interests, because I think it will make you happier in the long-run. After you've gotten some distance and a chance to reflect on this experience as well as think about what you want and don't want in a relationship, you can revisit things.

I am now going to give you an annotated list of articles from the site, giving you some background on each and explaining why I recommend checking them out.

Related Scarleteen Articles

Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist: This is Scarleteen's awesome, all-inclusive checklist and a great tool for determining if a sexual relationship is right for you... right now.

10 of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Sexual Self (at Any Age): Just because you aren't having partnered sex doesn't mean you can't have a fulfilling sexual life!

Safe, Sound & Sexy: A Safer Sex How-To: Even if you're not having penis-in-vagina sex, you might already be sexually active in other ways, so it's good to read up on and practice safer sex.

Safer Sex...for Your Heart: Speaking of safer sex, it's important to protect your body AND your heart, and article gives some pointers.

Supermodel: Creating & Nurturing Your Own Best Relationship Models: This piece talks about the different types of relationships out there, and shares some suggestions for working out what works for you.

Sexpert Advice Q&A on Casual Sex: You can read up on other people's experiences with casual sex and see what the Sexperts recommend to them.

Boys DO Cry: How To Deal With A Breakup Like A Man: Advice for getting over a break-up that rings true for people of all genders!

written 12 Feb 2010 . updated 12 Feb 2010

More like This

People often write into Scarleteen reporting that, for them or their partners, vaginal entry -- most typically with penis-in-vagina intercourse or manual vaginal sex ("fingering"), and usually (but...

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.