Sex can be an awful lot like comfort food. In the moment, it’s all about pleasure. It’s hot, fun, and yummy—sometimes even decadent—and the consequences are far from any present concern. But when it’s over, you might not be left feeling comfortable. You may even feel a lot worse. If you overindulge in sex with an ex without any exclusivity you can even become depressed.
Your choices about sex have a profound effect on your self-esteem and your relationships. Sex can be wonderful, empowering, and healthy. Sex can be considered making love. Sex can also be destructive, unhealthy, and obsessive. It can keep you addicted to an unhealthy situation. And if you confuse all sex for love, you most certainly won’t be feeling comforted.
Take the quiz in my book Giving Up Junk-Food Relationships to find out if sex is making you unhealthy.
Most new relationships only last three to six months. They start hot and heavy, and then one partner is usually left wondering what happened, while the other one is already on to the next. There is a full menu of reasons this happens. (Read about the most common reasons in Giving Up Junk-Food Relationships, Chapter 2 “Dating Disorders,”) For the one holding the leftover feelings, it’s always painfully confusing.
The problem with food leftovers is that they are rarely as good as the original meal. Sometimes it’s still good. It’s just different. It’s colder, mushier, or maybe there just isn’t enough left. The end result usually isn’t fulfilling. The only way to achieve that initial culinary bliss is to go get another fresh meal.
Well, the same principle applies to romantic leftovers. When you feel connected with someone, you want more. If he or she doesn’t want to be with you anymore, you’re left with whatever he or she is willing to give you — which is frequently just sex. If you choose to starve yourself waiting for whatever crumbs he or she may drop, you most certainly won’t get the nutrition you need or deserve. When you do get the opportunity to indulge in sex with your ex, it’s never as good as it was originally. Physically it may be good, but mentally it’s less intimate, you’ll most likely feel worse when it’s finished and he or she is gone again.
If you’re indulging in sexual leftovers right now, I’m hoping you can see what I’m trying to illustrate. I know you feel like you will never be as connected to anyone else as you are to this partner. I know no one else makes you feel like he does when you’re with him. But someone else might not make you feel as lonely and empty as you feel when you’re not with him. Someone else might truly love you and make you feel loved.
He or she will never again be the person you fell in love with, and you’re too good to wait around and rot while he or she’s out having fun without you!
If you think you’ll stop seeing him when you meet someone else, I’m telling you that will never happen. I see this all the time. If you’re saying you do get out and date but you still like your ex the best, the truth is that you are not truly open to anyone but him. You’re pushing everyone else away. Energy is contagious, and as long as your energy is focused on an ex, you will never attract a partner. I promise you.
But, you will find someone else if you’re brave enough to let go of this ex who only wants your sex and doesn’t value you for the amazing person you are. I promise you!