Let’s cut to the chase: all of us divorced adults have had sex and most of us still want sex. The problem is that we may not want the ‘strings’ of a full-on relationship; we just aren’t ready. And, as much as masturbation gives our bodies something to ‘snack on,’ we know what we really want is the Full-Meal Deal.
The question of whether sex without strings is “bad” or “good” ultimately comes down to you, the person deciding. You’re the one who has to live inside your head and body, you’re the one who holds the gavel. To help you decide when or if you want to cross that line, here are six questions you may want to ask yourself.
Are you being honest with yourself about what you want?
The last thing you need after walking through the bowels of Divorce Hell is to start emotionally reeling again. And if you think your yearning for sex is actually a yearning for a new relationship, you’ll be headed for heartache all over.
Be as clear and honest with yourself as possible. And at the very least, if you decide to go ahead and take the leap, promise yourself you won’t beat yourself up it doesn’t turn out as planned.
Do you feel a sense of value in who you are, regardless of what any other man/woman may think?
In casual sex relationships, partners often don’t know, or want to know, everything about each other. This means you shouldn’t feel a need to ‘prove’ who you are and seek validation for your magnificence through his/her eyes – you should KNOW it. You may not TOTALLY be in a place where you believe in yourself, but you must have some strong feelings of self-worth before beginning a no-strings attached relationship.
Are you OK with the possibility of being rejected?
At any given time, your sexual relationship may come to an end. Your ‘friend who gave you benefits’ might suddenly meet someone he/she wants to date seriously. An intermittent lover may suddenly replace you or lose interest. Or, a one-night stand may never call for round two. Can you imagine yourself handling such scenarios without plummeting to the badlands of self-deprecation? Can you appreciate your casual relationship for what it was in the moment?
Are you prepared to be honest with your sex partner?
You both need to clearly understand that your relationship is primarily sexual. You don’t want to feel any guilty if he/she should suddenly decide he/she wants ‘more.’ Use your intuition and your gut to gage if you think he/she is getting attached and you aren’t. Reiterate your boundaries if need be. And, be ready to exit the relationship to save his/her feelings and avoid any potential drama.
Are you OK with having protected sex?
Like I emphasized in my article, Always Carry Latex Condoms & Play Safe, newbies to divorce and the dating/ sex scene may be more inclined to take risks around protected sex; they’re accustomed to having sex without, AND they may automatically take their new partner at face value.
You simply can NOT take the risk, even if he/she says they’ve only had sex with four people in their whole life, even if they says they’re not sexually active with anyone but you. The last thing you want out of this ‘time of exploration’ is a painful, possibly lifelong, STD.
What crosses the line as being too casual for you?
Yes, it’s very possible for two people to have two different ideas as to what constitutes sex without strings. For some, it may entail no real conversation outside the bedroom. For others, some ‘friendship time’ may be essential. For me, a sense of respect AND good intentions are a key requirements. Only you can decide what feels right and acceptable to you. So make sure you feel entitled to either communicate what you think/feel, or strong enough to exit the arrangement.