Alison, a 28-year-old associate producer for a popular TV show in New York City, had been dating her ex, Rob, for six months when they decided to call it quits. They had ended peacefully, so she didn’t worry that there would be any issues when they ran into each other at a mutual friend’s party.
“We started talking over drinks, conversation flowed. And it just seemed like the right thing to do when he suggested that we continue it at my place,” Alison says. She hadn’t expected them to wind up back in bed together -– but she hadn’t been against it either.
The same thought went through her mind when she scored an extra ticket to a concert. “I knew it was one of his favorite bands, so inviting him seemed ok.” Her ex couldn’t make it but told Alison to text him later that night. As the evening wore on, Alison found herself dialing his digits -- and back in bed with him by the night’s end.
“If the sex was good it can be the hardest part of a past relationship to quit,” says relationship expert Fran Greene, author of Dating Again With Courage and Confidence. “You basically don't even have to talk to each other. You can just bring back those good memories and bask in that oxytocin that bonded you together in the first place.”
Things started getting more and more physical between Alison and her ex. “It went kind of like this, he’d text to see what I was up to, I’d say not much, and one thing would lead to another, which was fine until we had to deal with one another in the morning, which had never been our best communication time.”
Fran concurs. “Whatever feelings you were enjoying the night before, it's over by the time you make a cup of coffee. The old fights are back and reality can set in about why you broke up in the first place.”
Alison told herself that this was just fun, something to keep her distracted until she met the next guy. Which almost worked, until she slipped one night after another sexual romp.
“I was off that day, so I said, ‘Oh we should get together and have lunch.’ He turned to me and said, ‘Why would we do that? We’re not a couple.” It caught Alison by surprise. Fran says this can be the biggest misstep of hooking up with your ex.
“As much as you try to tell yourself you’re just having casual sex until you meet someone else, the more you sleep with an ex, the more you’re not going to make an effort to find that someone who is better suited for you,” she explains. Her best advice? When you break up with your ex, you’ve got to quit him or her cold turkey.
“Most couples break up because someone was selfish in the relationship. Sleeping with your dumped ex is the epitome of selfishness," Fran exclaims. "As soon as you get that urge to hit the sheets, hold onto how you feel the morning after, and how you were desperately trying to recreate the bond with someone who’s already rejected you. Having sex with someone who's already told you they don't want you should never feel right.”
Got an ex? Yeah, we all do. Bravo’s Personal Space is diving into everything there is to discuss about breakups, from the ones that got away to ghosting to what the hell you should do with an ex on social media with Ex-Files Week. It’s all leading up to our new series A Night With My Ex, which explores what happens when former couples reunite…for one night only. Check back each day for exclusive interviews, personal stories, and don’t forget to catch the premiere on Tuesday, July 18 at 10/9c.
Personal Space is Bravo's home for all things "relationships," from romance to friendships to family to co-workers. Ready for a commitment? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.