Your Call: Do I Need to Sleep with Someone New to Get Over My Ex?

photo by Morning_theft

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your advice in the comments section below:

Dear Em & Lo,

I broke up with my boyfriend almost three months ago, the reason we broke up is because he was “scared” of having a commitment. I’m still trying to work out my feelings towards him and trying to move on. The thing is, I’m not sure how I can move on. One friend of mine said that the only way to truly get over a guy is to get with another guy. Do you think that is necessary true? I don’t think that is true. I haven’t been with another person since my ex, but I have never been the type of person to hook up with random guys. Yet, do you think it’s true that I need to be with someone else to finally get my ex out of my head?

— Hung Up

What should H.U. do?


  1. It helps if you hook up with someone (seemingly) awesome but not just a random one nighter. Even if the new dude ends up being yet another elusive lover, you’ll have someone new to obsess about.

  2. You don’t consider yourself the type for casual hookups, so maybe this approach isn’t for you–it could distract you, but is focusing on a sexual encounter you regret any better than focusing on the ex?

    On the other hand, if you approach it the right way, it could turn out well. You should never have sex with someone simply because you want to get over an ex, but if you have someone in mind and things develop naturally enough, it might be just the kick in the pants you need to get over the old boyfriend. A new beau will certainly remind you that you’re still hot and worth wanting (and that you’re also capable of desiring other people).

  3. If that is the sole reason for getting with someone else, then no. Maybe due to me being in many back to back relationships during my late teens, I find it to be very emotionally draining and confusing to the heart and mind.

  4. I had the most dreadful breakup and tried everything I could think of to get over it. Nothing worked and I was like this sad little shell – for TWO YEARS. Needless to say, I’m not the type to sleep around for the sake of it and I’m very, very picky about who I get with.

    I went on holiday, met this guy I got on well with and, while under normal circumstances I probably would have just been friends with him, something made me go for it. It was just what I needed and it lifted my mood like nothing else because:

    a) After all that time I REALLY needed to get laid – I’d just been too depressed to realise it.
    b) I knew I would never ever have to see the guy again.
    c) It gave me something/someone new to think/fantasise/talk about.
    d) It’s nice to know someone finds you attractive.

    I know other people who swear by it too – my beautician had a smiliar story where she got her heart broken, moped for a year and then slept with her neighbour. She said she burst into tears afterwards and couldn’t speak to him again – but she also calls that experience her ‘exorcism’. I dunno precisely why it works but it does.

    There are some provisos:

    a) It has to be sex – NOT a relationship.
    b) If you haven’t spent time figuring out your feelings/going though your grieving process etc, I don’t think it will help as much.

    You say you’re still figuring out your feelings, so maybe you aren’t quite ready yet. It’s not a fix, exactly, but an important and beneficial part of the process of getting over someone. You need to do the other stuff first. It’s boring but it works in the end and you’ll feel better for it. Good luck.

  5. Speaking 100% from my experience, it wasn’t true for me. We weren’t having commitment issues, we just weren’t totally on the same wave-length. I was madly, head over heels, singing in the rain in love with this guy for the longest time. I called it quits and spent a year away from him. I dated two guys and even slept with another woman during that time and all it did was make me feel guilty. I still thought about him, compared him to the new guys in my life, missed him terribly when something good – or bad – was going on in my life. I picked up the phone and expressed my feelings and we’ve been together ever since. That was seven years ago.

    However, when someone is afraid to be “tied” to another person I think it’s a different story. This woman should definitely find someone knew to play with and explore life with because he quite clearly is saying “I’m just not that into you” and in order to avoid becoming his “girl on the hook”, she should probably concentrate her time and affections elsewhere.

  6. I’ve always heard it as “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone.” And there’s an element of truth, I think – as visceral and powerful as your ex’s memory may feel, it can’t compete with a flesh-and-blood body under your hands.

    That said, you should only do it if you feel like you want to do it – it’s not a silver bullet, it’s a tool you can use to refocus and reignite desire, sure, but it won’t work if you feel squicked out by it.

    So consider the option, but also listen to your gut as you mull it over – and don’t force yourself into a situation that feels wrong.

  7. Going on a few casual dates with new people will probably help you move past the ex. If you have some sweet, happy new romance to think about, then the ex will start to fade. It doesn’t have to be serious and you certainly don’t have to have sex. But having coffee with a cute guy never hurts. Or, you could simply focus on exploring new things in general. Go out and try to make a new girl friend. Or just try something you have always wanted to try. New experiences will fill your ming with those thoughts instead of dwelling on old feelings. But, if all else fails, just go with your gut. You know yourself best.

  8. For me it helps and many times it’s turned out better than what I had before. Face it, the relationship is over. It’s okay to feel bad but sooner or later it’s time to move on.

  9. Em & Lo pose the question as being about having sex with someone else. Your question was a little more slippery since you said “get with.”

    If “get with” means the same thing as “have sex” then no, that’s probably not gonna cut it.

    I mean, having sex with another guy won’t hurt, but since it won’t help either the answer’s still no, you won’t get over your ex.

    What will help isn’t so much “getting with” someone else as getting together with someone else.

    It definitely doesn’t have to be someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. In fact, until you’re out of rebound it’s a very good idea to set that idea aside or you could really hurt someone else!

    But the key to getting to “male friends with benefits” is, of course, getting to “male friends” Whether you go any further than that: friends, or friend you flirt with, or friends you “benefit” with, the part that helps us get over an ex is the “friends” part.

    Get to that and the rest should take care of itself.

    Good luck!


  10. Time heals all wounds. New partners accelerate the process. Or at least give you something new to beat yourself up about.

  11. While I would love to tell you it’s absolutely not true, I recently went through a similar situation & this helped so much. After 6 months of not moving forward, I formed a FWB situation for a couple of weeks. After we broke things off, I found that I was more open to letting new people in & not as scared of getting my heart broken again. Again, I don’t agree it’s the best thing, but it did help!

  12. You should have sex because you want to have sex-not because someone else tells you should, or “that’s how it’s done,” or “it’s time.” If you’re not comfortable with a random hook-up, you’re going to feel worse after it’s over.

    Besides, if the only reason you’re sleeping with someone is to get your ex out of your head (as opposed to wanting to have sex, but your ex no longer being an option), then you’re probably going to be thinking about him before, during, and after. Doesn’t sound like an effective cure to me.

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