Ask Wendy

How Do I Get Over An Ex I’m Still Having Sex With?

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Friday, April 14, 2017

heartbroken going cold turkey

Hey Wendy,

My ex broke up with me a couple of months ago. I’ve tried the no contact thing, but I miss speaking to him. We’ve met up for sex a few times. Before and during it I’m okay with it, but the next day I feel hollow inside and swear that I’d not do it again, but I end up going back just to feel close to him—I cave into the crave. How do I stop? I miss him so much, and enjoy his company, but I know that I’m hurting myself doing this, but it also hurts not seeing him at all.

Dear Ex,

Most of us have been there before, and it’s painful—I’m so sorry! Going cold turkey feels like the wrong thing to do…but it’s not. The answer to “how do I stop?” Is simple: You stop. Why? Because you decide to.

Now, just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. You’ve probably heard of the hormone oxytocin. Its purpose is to bond us to other humans. When a mother gives birth, her body floods with oxytocin to help her bond with the baby and care for it at a time when she’s exhausted, needs to recover, and would probably rather be sleeping. Oxytocin is also released in our system when we have sex! I could give you the long and complicated story of why, but the bottom line is it happens because biology is doing its part to keep humans alive on the planet.

Oxytocin coursing through your body during and after sex creates the bonding feeling you feel towards your ex, and it lasts up to about three weeks in your system. So, every single time you have sex with your ex, you re-bond with him for about three weeks. When the drug starts to wear off, you go get another hit by hitting that, and boom—you’re re-hooked for another three weeks. I’m sorry to tell you this, my dear, but chemically speaking, you’re a junkie looking for your next fix.

Just like kicking the habit of any drug, when you’re Jonesing, taking another hit always feels like the right thing to do, but we all know that’s not the end-game solution to feeling good again. So put down the oxytocin pipe, and instead of hooking up with him next time, you could…

  • go to the movies
  • visit with a friend
  • binge-watch Westworld on Netflix
  • masturbate while thinking about your favorite movie star·
  • go roller-skating
  • take a day hike
  • volunteer to walk dogs at the local shelter
  • play board games with your neighbor
  • or hey, go on and find a fun meetup event near you where you could potentially meet your new love!

Good luck out there!

Can I Invite My Friend & Not Her Boyfriend?

Hi Wendy,

A bunch of my friends want to get together Saturday since everyone will be home for Easter.My friend, Allison is dating a guy who we all dislike. He’s about 10 years older than her, and the two of them got in a fight in front of us the first time we met him.

My friend, Kate is asking if she should ask Allison to not bring her boyfriend. This is most likely going to be a problem because Allison will want our friends from out of town to meet him. As much as I don’t want him there I’m bringing my partner along (everybody loves him) and I’d feel bad if he came but her new guy couldn’t.

Dear Torn,

“I’d feel bad if he came but her new guy couldn’t.” Yeah, that would be kind of a dick move, and will only cause strife between friends. Look, if it were a ladies’ brunch, you’d have a leg to sand on, but it’s not. This is friends getting together to hang out. She gets to bring her new boyfriend. You get to do one of two things:

Choice A) Put yourself at the other end of the table from them so you don’t have to deal with this loser, or…

Choice B) You can try and see what she sees in him and give him another chance.

If you want to be a good friend, stick close to her, and if the two of them fall apart, you can gently assist her in taking off her rose-colored glasses and help her see him through your (and it sounds like the rest of your friends’) eyes. If she stays with him (and he’s not abusive in any way) and you love her, I recommend adopting the friendship oath that my BFF and I took when we were single and dating different people. We always said, “If you love him, I love him, too. And if you hate him, I hate him, too.”

Good luck!

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