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.
Gwen T. — Sacramento, CA
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 meetup.com and find a fun meetup event near you where you could potentially meet your new love!
Good luck out there!