What’s best after a breakup: steer well clear of sex, or jump straight into bed with a new lover? New research reveals whether rebound sex will help or harm you.
Breakups are tough, there’s no doubt about it. Your self-esteem plummets, you may feel angry and sad, and you long to be with your ex. When it comes to moving on with your life what are you to do? “There’s no better way to get over an ex than to get under someone else,” is how the saying goes. But is there any truth in it?
That’s just what a team of US researchers wanted to know. The first thing they did was round up 170 university students who’d all gone through a recent breakup. The suffering students had to fill in an online diary for a few months. Each week, they confessed how they felt about their ex – whether they were still madly in love or despised them and wanted revenge.
Within one month of their breakup, one out of every three students had rebound sex to give their self-esteem a much-needed boost or to get over the pain of having lost their partner, the study showed. One in four were seeking revenge – they wanted to get back at their ex and figured sex with someone else was a great way to do it. Not surprisingly, both rebound and revenge sex became less common over time as the students got on with their lives.
So do the researchers think rebound sex can really help heal your broken heart? Indeed they do. “For some people, having sex with a new partner is a healthy and necessary part of moving on,” they conclude.