Sex. It’s not usually the first thing on your mind during a divorce, or even once the papers are finalized. But for many people, sex is an important part of their emotional wellbeing.
Sex is more than just… well, sex. It’s human connection. It’s intimacy. It’s fun!
You may feel hesitant to get back out there. Or perhaps you already have but you feel uneasy about it. Whatever it may be, it’s not uncommon to have these feelings.
The good news is that healthy sex—whatever that looks like to you—is possible after divorce. Here’s how.
1. Know What YOU Want Out of the Relationship
Before you put yourself out there again, it’s important to know what you’re looking for.
Whether that’s a casual fling, a friends-with-benefits situation, or even an exclusive sexual relationship, that’s all up to you. However, you’ll set yourself up for heartache if you don’t know what you want.
You don’t have to have all of the answers now, and your desires are likely to change over time. But knowing what you want now, in this very moment, is crucial for healthy decision-making.
2. Set Your Boundaries From the Start
Now that you know what you want, it’s important that you communicate that to your partners from the outset.
You’re free to set whatever boundaries you want, and potential partners are free to decide if those boundaries work for them or not.
So lay it all out there. Tell potential partners from the start what you want from the relationship and, perhaps more importantly, what you don’t want.
3. Check In With Yourself Often
Introspection is key to living a healthy post-divorce lifestyle. That is true for any decisions you make, but especially those with such high emotional stakes.
So how can you know if the sexual choices you’re making are coming from a healthy place?
- “How do I feel before an encounter?”
- “How do I feel after an encounter?”
- “Do I feel like there is something missing in my encounters?”
There are no right or wrong answers. There is no judgment. You need to be honest with yourself so you can evaluate your choices and make informed decisions as you go forward.
4. Communicate Openly With Your Partner(s)
Who knows better that communication is the key to a healthy relationship than a divorcee?
This is crucial for sexual satisfaction, as well as mental and emotional well-being.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some simple fill-in-the-blanks to get you started:
- “I liked it when you ___.”
- “I loved it when you let me ___.”
- “I like ___ better than ___.”
- “Can you do ___ instead next time?”
If you’re not used to expressing your likes and dislikes, it can take some getting used to. I can assure you that any emotionally healthy partner will be open to hearing your feedback, and they’ll be glad to give you some in return.
Sex is a healthy, normal part of the human condition. It’s an emotional and physical outlet, and you don’t need to deny yourself over feelings of guilt, shame, or fears of intimacy.
There are many ways to have healthy sexual relationships. And as long as you’re honest with yourself and your partner(s), you can have fun exploring your post-divorce sexuality.