Ten People Share Their Thoughts On Casual Sex With An Ex

Sure, it sounds alluring to be in the arms of someone you once shared everything with. There will always be an inherent bond with an ex because of the shared history and familiarity.

But is an ex encounter worth it? Is it possible for casual sex with an ex to remain just that? Here, 10 people share their thoughts on casual sex with an ex. And if you’re struggling to get over an ex, be sure to check out our tried-and-true 60-day Ex Detox, which is available in Mend.

1. Complete Sense Of Relief

“For me, having sex with my ex was one of the best decisions I made for myself emotionally. It did much more for me than I expected. Obviously, it was an ego boost, lots of fun and let me recharge and regroup. It was almost like a time out because I wasn’t exactly moving backward, but I definitely wasn’t moving forward either. But what I didn’t expect was the complete sense of relief I felt the next day. Our relationship ended so badly and there was so much resentment and hurt feelings, it was very difficult, for me anyway, to view that relationship as anything but a total mistake. But having that one night reminded me of how great he can be and how much fun we did have. It was a nice commemoration to the time that we shared.”

—Olga shares how sleeping with her ex helped clean her slate. (xojane.com)

2. Things Will Go Nowhere

“While a no-strings-attached relationship sounds good in theory, it is a dead-end solution that closes off your options. On one hand, it doesn’t allow you to move on and find a partner with whom there is both sexual chemistry and also emotional compatibility. You deserve both. Why should you have only half the cake? And on the other hand, since you are in a no-strings-attached relationship, it stops you from addressing the emotional difficulties between you in any meaningful way. So things can go nowhere.”

—Sharadha explains how sleeping with an ex leaves one with no room for progression and stifled feelings. (dearsharadha.com)

3. Establish Rules

“If you’re happy that you’re both on the same page, and your break-up was wholesome enough to avoid significant pain, then you need to establish rules. Why? Because otherwise you’re gonna slip right back into that relationship thing all over again, and before you know it, you’ll be using passive-aggressive emoji because they’re late to your aunt’s wedding. And we don’t want that, do we? Remember that book: ‘It’s Called A Break-Up Because It’s Broken.'”

—This beginner’s guide on how to have sex with your ex explains that both parties must agree on a set of expectations. (thedebrief.co.uk)

4. Have A Back-up Plan

“A friend once told me, ‘You should never break up with someone without a back-up plan.’ I took her advice to heart. It just made sense. You wouldn’t leave an apartment without finding a new place to live first, so why would you leave a relationship without a solid plan of where to get your orgasms and feelings going forward? Still, there are times when one unexpectedly finds oneself in a period of sexual vagrancy—maybe you got dumped, or a bad fight ended your relationship abruptly, or your back-up plan just fell through. It happens to the best of us. It’s during this delicate and lonely state that we find ourselves doing what one should never do: sleeping with the ex.”

—Slutever’s Karley Sciortino warns that sleeping with an ex can become a “cock block.” (Vogue.com)

5. Recipe For Disaster

“I went through this phase for quite a while with my ex and it was a recipe for disaster. It’s great in the moment, but it is ultimately the equivalent of an emotional seppuku for at least one of the parties involved.”

—Reddit user on how they felt horrible after sleeping with an ex. (Reddit.com)

6. Keep An Eye On Emotions

“Generally speaking, I wouldn’t advise sleeping with an ex with whom you had a serious relationship. That just opens up old wounds and sparks drama. But, if there’s someone you dated briefly with whom you totally sparked sexually, if not romantically, why wouldn’t you have a little fun together, at least from time to time? Make sure to keep a close eye on your emotions; if you start to catch feelings, stop.”

—Editor-in-chief of ‘The Frisky,’ Amelia McDonell-Parry, advises to watch out for catching feelings again. (Refinery29.com)

7. A Beautiful Realization

“I was calling the shots, as I had sex with a man I used to love to prove to myself that I was over him, and I absolutely was. I knew then there would be no more tears shed at his memory, and I also realized that all the great sex I thought I was having with him, was actually pretty mediocre. It was a beautiful realization.”

—Amanda shares how sleeping with her ex finally provided her with the closure she needed to move on. (ThoughtCatalog.com)

8. Just Sleep With Your Ex

“Normal dates—with the requisite mani-pedis, barbershop shaves, drinks, and movie tickets—can easily add up to more than $200. But just because you’re single and can’t afford big nights out doesn’t mean you need to forgo sex altogether. Just sleep with your ex. Booty-calling an ex, at least one you’re on good terms with, is a low-risk, high-yield investment. You’re familiar with each other’s flaws already, so no need to mask them with pricey beautification or elaborate mating rituals. Just order in Chinese—or better yet, nuke some Ramen, then get busy. Bonus perk: Your ex knows his or her way around your body, and vice versa, which means a guaranteed good time for all.”

—A guide to the joys (and savings) of sleeping with an ex. (NYMag.com)

9. Sexy And Free

“There’s also a certain fun naughtiness in having sex with a former spouse. It’s like the sex you had when you were dating. There’s the flirting, a feeling of seduction, the thrilling idea of having a fling or pseudo-affair. An attitude of, ‘we’re not married, we’re just having great sex’ prevails and you feel both sexy and free.”

—Kristen explains how sex with an ex is becoming the new form of monogamy. (HuffingtonPost.com)

10. It’ll Set You Back

“If you want to hijack and dismantle all the grieving and healing work you’ve done up to this point, by all means, go sleep with your ex. But if you want to continue to move forward into healing with your head held high, refrain. Do not let a few moments of passion undo all the hard work you’ve done. It is not worth it. It will send you reeling and send you back months and months healing-wise.”

—Elisabeth explains how having sex with an ex will only set one back while on their road to healing. (ElisabethKlein.com)

Seeing Your Ex at School: How To Deal

For many, the possibility of running into an ex on campus is very real. During my last year of undergrad, I remember running into my ex all the time!

I was a college student during the rise of the hookup, and although my ex was never was my ‘boyfriend’ per se, we did share one invigorating summer together while we lived only a few rooms from each other in our dorm complex.

It’s been 5 years since I graduated and, in hindsight, there are definitely things I would change if I could turn back time. Since I don’t have the power to change time, I want to offer some advice in hopes that you’ll make fewer mistakes than I did.

1. Create space for yourself if you need it

If the breakup is fresh and you are still in a very vulnerable place, I recommend exploring different routes when moving around campus. If you know your ex hangs out at a specific coffee shop, try another one. It’s fairly easy to consciously create space so that there is less of a chance of running into your ex.

2. If you run into them, don’t feel pressure to do a “stop and chat”

Avoiding your ex, however, is not always possible. Know that seeing them may catch you very off-guard, and know that they are likely going to feel just as surprised and awkward as you. Whenever I saw my ex in the dining hall or in passing on campus, we always exchanged an awkward smile and continued on our way. These interactions were brief because I was always so nervous! You don’t need to exchange words.

Today, if I run into an ex, things are easier. Engaging in conversation with them is amusing and there are no hard feelings on either side. No need to be nervous. You’re bound to have many more relationships. Each one will be meaningful in its own way and will serve a purpose. So if you can strike a brief and cordial conversation with your ex, then great. If not (totally understandable), a smile and continuing on your way is fine.

3. Sit in the front row 

If you have a class together, go ahead and take a seat in the front row. Sitting in the front row allows for less distraction. If your ex is in your peripheral view, it’s easier for thoughts of them to cloud your mind and take your attention away from what’s important: everything but your ex!

4. Don’t create drama

Try not to make the breakup and your ex all you talk about. In school, word can spread easily and can also be misinterpreted or misconstrued and it will only keep you stuck. So do your best to focus on other more positive things. The more you handle the situation with grace, the less it will become a big deal and the sooner you’ll be able to move on.

5. Think carefully about “hanging out”

If your ex asks to hang out, make sure you know what their intentions are and be transparent with yours. I remember my ex invited me to see his new apartment a year after we’d broken up, and I naively and eagerly accepted because I missed him. When I got there, he made it clear to me that he expected to hook up. My feelings were hurt and it only reminded me of why we parted ways in the first place.

6. Be careful about combining alcohol + exes

If you see an ex at a party and/or bar, it’s helpful to be self-aware and know beforehand how alcohol affects you. The combination of nighttime and alcohol can make people and things seem like better ideas than they are – this is especially true when it comes to exes.

If you’re still harboring feelings for an ex, vacating the party and moving on to the next one may be the best action to take. I’ve definitely been guilty of drunk texting and even calling an ex (yikes!) after running into him at a party. A lack of self control is not a good look.

And even if your ex does respond favorably to your texts, what are you going to get out of it? A hookup fueled by nostalgia? Rain check.

7. Out with the old. Embrace the new!

Even though the idea of seeing your ex around can be scary, actually seeing them isn’t so bad, and may even help you mend. The start of a new school year or semester represents new opportunity, fun, growth and the chance to make new memories. So commit to these things and enjoy the thought of a new page and new start. There will be plenty of events, classes, friends, clubs, organizations, and goals for you to embrace rather than just seeing school as a place where your ex will be. You got this!

8. Take time to breathe beforehand

While it isn’t possible to completely eliminate the nerves and anxiety you’re bound to feel, by doing some simple and long ‘in’ and ‘out’ breaths for a couple of minutes before you head into school or before you know you’re going to see your ex, this will get your body into a place of calm instead of panic. Try and make the out breath longer than the inhale. This will really help prepare and relax your body and mind.

9. Know that it’s bound to be awkward

For all the fears that you have, your ex is probably having these too, or at least in their own way. So just know that it’s going to be tricky for the both of you. When you see each other it’s going to be awkward at first, as there is no way around that. Try and make peace with that, know that it will be over soon and then it doesn’t have to become too much of a big deal.

10. Know that you have control over how much you want to engage

Don’t feel pressured to engage in conversation with your ex. If it’s necessary, while being polite usually creates more calm around the situation and shows that you can hold your head high, don’t feel like you have to have to have any type of conversation beyond that with your ex. Have your boundaries and don’t be afraid to stay true to them.

11. Don’t create drama

Try not to make the breakup and your ex all you talk about. In school, word can spread easily and can also be misinterpreted or misconstrued and it will only keep you stuck. So do your best to focus on other more positive things. The more you handle the situation with grace, the less it will become a big deal and the sooner you’ll be able to move on.

12. Embrace this new chapter

Even though your ex is around, the start of a new school year also represents new opportunity, fun, growth and the chance to make new memories. So commit to these things and enjoy the thought of a new page and new start. There will be plenty of other events, classes, friends and goals for you to embrace rather than just seeing school as a place where your ex will be.

Finally, know it will get easier in time. School offers so many distractions and you’ll very likely surprise yourself at how much easier moving on will get once those first few moments of awkwardness have been dealt with. So just trust that the way you feel now, will soon be a distant memory.

Knowing you’re going to have to see your ex at school is definitely something that weighs on your mind after going through a breakup over the summer. These tips will help you deal with the situation with as much grace, ease, and calm as possible.

I Built A Home For Two And Then We Broke Up

A few years ago, I met a man who ended up changing my life in ways I never could have imagined. The more time we spent together, the more I got hooked, all without even realizing it. It was as if one day I woke up and my physical body craved the mere presence of his. Just his company sent me into happiness-overload. 

He was the only man, who I saw romantically, who created a desire within myself for self-improvement. His love for what he did made me want to better myself. I wanted to be impressive. For myself. And for him. I remember wanting so badly to be amazing in all facets so he would fall head-over-heels for me.

Fueled by that desire, I packed up my belongings and moved out of my parent’s home. I wanted to show him that I was an independent woman who could support herself. I wanted to show him how sexy I was by being able to hold my own. While unloading supplies in my new kitchen, I fantasized about the meals I would cook him, despite the fact that I abhorred cooking. I even went so far as to purchase the most adorable apron I could find. I left specifically chosen nooks in my home empty, leaving those spaces reserved for him to one day add his own touches. I wanted him to make my home just as much his as it was mine. Everything I did, I did for him.

And things were great while they lasted. I loved him. My only fault was not telling him. I was the most selfless of lovers, but I loved in an inauthentic way; never opening up meant I never had to let myself become vulnerable. We never talked about our feelings or what intentions we had for one another. I enjoyed his company so much and I didn’t want to rock the boat by looking too interested or too available. I didn’t want him to feel as if the chase was over. So instead I played it cool, even a little cold, so that I wouldn’t blow my cover. So that he wouldn’t know just how exquisite I thought he was. 

One week before my birthday, we got into an argument. We had been dating each other for over a year and I was bothered about not having an official title. I brought the concern up while we were being playful, laying in bed, and his reaction was not what I had expected. With eyes rolled and evidently annoyed, he shut down my proposal. “I hate titles Jessica. I don’t see anyone but you. I’m a good guy. I don’t do anything. Titles complicate things.” His adamance for not being boyfriend and girlfriend confused me. Shouldn’t he want to call me his girlfriend? Isn’t he proud of me? Am I wasting my time? Am I getting played by the man I love? I should have confronted him and asked these questions, but I was afraid of them being true so I suppressed my feelings of disappointment and betrayal and remained silent. He assured me I’d feel better after dinner. At the restaurant, we ordered for one because I didn’t have an appetite. On our way back to the car, he stopped me in my tracks and hugged me long and hard, but I was already detached by then and his touch left me devoid of feelings.

The painful truth was that I wanted to be with him, but his intention was to remain casual. I felt like nothing more than a glorified booty call. While he slept that night, I laid wide-eyed, knowing I had to take some type of action. I got dressed and left his house without saying goodbye or kissing his forehead as I always did before leaving. My disappointment had turned into anger and I didn’t know how to handle the situation other than in a passive-aggressive way. On my way home, I remember feeling as if I hated him. Before falling asleep, I was relieved to be in my own bed and glad to be away from him. I slept peacefully, feeling triumphant even. 

And the next morning, he never came after me. He never did. Not one call. Not even a birthday wish. He quickly moved on and I made the decision that I was not going to let that kill me despite the deep pain I felt. I was to move on with my life and hoped that one day I would be able to look back at my time with him as a period of growth instead of one of regret.

I suddenly found myself home alone. I no longer had him around to share my dinners and nights with. The home I had built for him – for us – was now just mine. And instead of a home, it felt more like a parasite, sucking the life out of me. I thought that he would be the great love of my life, but my bare walls reminded me that I was wrong. Every day I woke to him not by my side, I’d cry. I’d cry that loud, ugly-faced cry. I was worried for myself and prayed that the day I was able to find peace would come quickly. Shortly after, the tears would dry, I would get out of bed and carry on with my day.

Concerned about my wellbeing, my dearest of friends forced me to go with her to yoga, in the hopes I’d find solace in the practice, or that it would take my mind off of my heartbreak. One day at the end of a rather emotional yoga class, while laying in savasana, my teacher instructed that everyone rest their palms up for receiving. She asked that we imagine that our palms were cups being filled with grace sprinkling down from all around us and then said, “Whatever the present is, accept it as if you had chosen it.” I nearly cried out loud with desperation. How was I to believe that all the pain I was enduring from his absence was what I wanted? How was I to believe that this was happening for me and not to me? How was I going to end up a stronger person? Impossible, I initially thought. 

And then a switched turned on: this heartbreak wasn’t going anywhere. I could either sulk in sadness or I could accept it and trust that things will work out – that things will be better. I had never been a keen believer in the idea of fate, but suddenly I found myself hoping that maybe this was all supposed to happen. Maybe there was a reason for everything.

I’m always amazed by the ways in which the body can heal. Whether it be a deep gash or burn or tear, the body, given enough time, heals itself. I believe that goes for our minds as well. And in order for my emotional health to improve, I began to take care of it. I had been trying so hard to win the affection of another, I had ignored myself. I didn’t even know myself. 

It took me going through that very low low to realize that I needed to care for myself. So with the same adoration and attention I had given him, I began to bestow care upon myself. And the first step was to make my home mine. I got rid of my old bedding and went on a home goods shopping spree. I added my own decor and made my space lively. I added more books to my shelves. Fresh flowers. Candles. I filled in the empty spaces I had left for him. That apron, tag still attached, is collecting dust who knows where. I still don’t cook. I upgraded my sound system and sometimes, at night, I turn up the music and have a dance party of my own. And that makes me happy. I’ve finally welcomed myself home with very loving arms.

Why You Must Learn to Let Go

“The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.” – Ralph Blum

About a year ago, I remember feeling very distraught over the relationship I was in because I knew it was going awry. I had sworn to myself that that relationship was what I wanted, but I spent most of my days unhappy. One day, during a particularly emotional yoga session, I excused myself to use the restroom, and there on the walls of that restroom, painted in a big beautiful font were the words, “Just Let Go.”

As strange as it may sound, I felt as if I had found myself in the exact place I was supposed to be, reading the exact words I needed. I listened to the words and immediately felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. I was ready to let go of the unhappiness I had willingly allowed to burden me for so long.

And sometimes, thats all we really need: the strength and courage to just let go. To be light. And to be open to all of the good life has to offer.

Here are some helpful thoughts on letting go . . . 

“All pain passes eventually. It will be easier if I help them pass by being mindful. I can’t always control what happens to me, but I can control how I respond to it.” 

– 10 Steps on moving on from a past relationship peacefully. (tinybuddha.com)

“You can’t change the past; you can only learn and grow from it. Dwelling in the “coulda-woulda-shoulda” world is like staying on the same page of the same chapter in your book, afraid of what the next chapter may bring.”

– Yoga instructor Kathryn talks on how change after a relationship is a good thing. (mindbodygreen.com)

“Moving on is sometimes the only way to develop new, empowering relationships. Starting anew, empty-handed and full-hearted, you can build fresher, stronger, more supportive relationships—important relationships that allow you to have fun and be happy and contribute beyond yourself. These are the meaningful relationships we all need.”

– Authors Joshua and Ryan of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life discuss the importance of letting go of a relationship that doesn’t serve you. (theminimalists.com)

How Rituals Can Help When You Don’t Get Closure

After a breakup, sometimes all we crave is closure. My last breakup was so difficult because I never had any closure afterward. We didn’t speak at all; in fact, we still haven’t since that last day I saw him. I was left with so many unanswered questions and I remember thinking, if only we could talk and get everything out on the table, at least I would know why our relationship went south. 

That didn’t happen, so I took things into my own hands and adopted rituals to help move on with my life. I took myself out on walks, practiced yoga daily, and started working from coffee shops rather than at home alone. Questions remained unanswered, but now, the unknown details of our relationship don’t matter to me anymore. What I do know, and what I learned on my walks, and during yoga and at coffee shops is that I don’t want to be with someone I can’t communicate with and who doesn’t respect me enough to give me that time. I did so much growing through my rituals and those activities will always have a special place in my heart.

Here are five great reads on how rituals may be able to help you too.

“When it comes to grief and our experience of loss, even a short ritual can diffuse our feelings of upset, anger, and grief by providing a greater sense of control…If you feel like there are losses that you are hanging on to or not able to properly mourn, create a ritual.”

-Research on why simple rituals can help you feel better. (psychologytoday.com)

“I looked for all the pictures we took together during the time we dated. I then destroyed them into small pieces (even the ones I really liked!), and then burnt them in the park where we first kissed.”

-People perform mourning rituals in an effort to alleviate their grief and they are proving to be effective. (scientificamerican.com)

“Relationships are complicated, and there are usually legitimate reasons you cared about the commitment that’s now over. It’s important to give ourselves permission to acknowledge that we are sad about what happened and it’s going to be hard for a while and it’s okay. Relationship bereavement leave from work should be a thing: it is incredibly hard to focus when you are managing any kind of grief.”

-Julie explains the importance of giving a broken relationship a funeral. (elephantjournal.com)

“You can also combine your post-breakup detritus with that of others: The performance artist Nate Hill created a character called Death Bear who would show up at your doors (at your request) in a freaky black PVC bear costume to “take things from you that trigger painful memories and stow them away in his cave, where they [would] remain forever, allowing you to move on with your life.” I was inspired by Death Bear’s story, and since 2004 I’ve hosted my own and my friends’ painful romantic memories on my bookshelf in this improvised ‘No No! Bad Thoughts! Box.'”

– Tips on what to do with an ex’s old belongings. (rookiemag.com)

Last but not least: make yourself a cup of tea and watch this conversation with Harvard behavioral scientist Francesca Gino and Slate’s Human Nature correspondent William Saletan about the role of ritual in human life. (npr.org)

3 People Share How They Coped with Depression After a Breakup

Breakups affect everyone differently. Not everyone bounces back with finesse and a newly optimistic outlook on life. Sometimes it’s the complete opposite. Sometimes we shut down and close off. Sometimes we have ill-natured thoughts of our ex and of ourselves, or feel hopeless and unworthy of love (and life).

It can be a very dark place, but having faith in our ability to pull ourselves out of depression is a powerful antidote. Is does get better, but it starts with finding love for yourself and being proactive in taking the steps you need to mend. Today we’ve rounded up some of our favorite stories from people who’ve fallen to the breaking point and made it back.

Going To Meetups

“There were nights I woke up screaming and days where I wished that the plane would crash, that I would die in my sleep, that I would get in a terrible car accident…Depression really is like living under a rock. Everything is dark. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, and it really is a crippling sensation. Sleep is perhaps the only relief, but even that’s temporary.”

Clarissa shares how she became tired of being depressed and how she used Meet Up to pull herself out of it. (xojane.com)

Having Affirmations

“When I’m feeling anxious, insecure, and upset, I’m experiencing a drop in my brain’s dopamine and serotonin levels. These drops undermine my feelings of optimism and confidence, and drive me to seek out the false reward of reassurance and closeness with my ex-lover.”

One of 22 affirmations to help you get out of your breakup slump. (psychologytoday.com)

Creating A 30-Day Bucket List

“The first three months of the breakup were particularly difficult. I was crying every day. It was hard to make it through the week. To make matters worse, I found out that my ex started seeing someone from work a few weeks after our breakup. This was particularly painful and made me question our entire relationship and breakup. I’m a shy person and I realized I could spend the next several months or even years coming home from work, doing nothing, and getting into a funk. A friend told me of a 30-day list — do one new thing every day for 30 days.”

Alison shares how making a bucket list after her 9-year relationship ended helped her find a way out of depression (huffingtonpost.com)

Last of all: bucket lists, affirmations, and meetups are excellent tools, but sometimes we just need to talk it out. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your feelings or hopeless, make sure you ask for help or talk to someone one-on-one. You don’t need to go through this alone. You can also download the Mend app for virtual support and community.

All Your Friends Are Getting Married. Now What?

If it seems as if people all around you are getting engaged or married, allow me to assure you that you are not alone. Everyone is feeling it! I even have a friend that refuses to log into her Facebook because she, quite frankly, is tired of looking at photos of wedding rings, bridesmaids and first bites of wedding cakes. Here are tips from 5 unmarried women noticing everyone around them getting hitched. 

“At just 25, I found I had exactly zero single girlfriends left.” 

– Jillian offers down right frank survival tips for those who have RSVPd to what seems like a wedding every weekend. (Glamour) 

“When you focus too much on what you don’t have, whether it’s a diamond ring, a boyfriend, or a Barbie Dream House, you don’t get to enjoy the other stuff you have, like a cute apartment, an interesting job, and friends who don’t judge you when you drink way too much bubbly at their engagement party.” 

– Catherine explains why she is genuinely ecsatic for her friends that are getting married. (thefrisky.com) 

“Seeing how other people’s lives completely change when they get married and have children makes me cling to my own life. I appreciate it the way it is – filled with mundane experiences that belong to me.” 

– Stacey used to feel like a failed woman for not getting hitched. It wasn’t until her friends started creating their own families, that she realized she was happy with her life. (psychcentral.com) 

“I still have places I want to go, degrees to obtain, a career to enjoy, but, most importantly, I’m not at the point in my life where I’m ready to share a life.” 

– Caity Mae admits that even though her friends are getting married, she’s not ready to share a life with someone else just yet. (thoughtcatalog.com) 

“I remember when we’d all been stuck in loving and losing. And now they’d loved and won. Yet somehow I missed that memo. I love my friends. I am happy for my friends. But was I jealous of my friends?” 

– Dee, the last in her group of girlfriends to be single, comforts herself by reminding herself that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. (madamenoire.com)

Am I Being Too Picky?

I used to wonder if the idea of finding a partner who embodies all the traits that I hold most important to me was a realistic expectation. Or had I been a real-world person living on fairytale terms? Was the idea of finding my perfect partner asking too much from the universe? Was I setting myself up for disappointment? And were compromises something I’d have to consider for the sake of companionship?

I have always been a romantic at my very core. I waited incredibly late in my adolescence to have my first kiss because I was adamant about it being special. I studied literature in college because that allowed me to indulge in all the great works on love ever written. And ever since I was a young girl, I’ve strongly felt that the relationship between a couple is the most precious because it is a union made from choice. With so many people breathing on this earth today, to choose someone and stick with them is completely against the odds. Out of all those people, all those choices, to choose to mutually come together and be partners in crime – to be lovers and create a life together – is so special.

And because I’ve always viewed this union with so much awe, I’ve always wanted my partner to be exceptional. I’ve always wanted a love that would rock my world. And there are a handful of traits I’d want in this significant other. It is important to me that my life partner be creative; that this person is ambitious, hard-working, and goal orientated. An active seeker of knowledge and a mind-blowing conversationalist. Someone with a quirky sense of humor who doesn’t mind getting silly. An unabashed lover. Someone that will challenge and motivate me. Chemistry from the start. And I’ve always been content to wait for however long it took till I met this person. They are worth it, I smugly think.

But am I being too picky?

Just last week, while I was filling my mother in on my latest dating adventures, she asked me, “Do you know right away if you’ll like a person?”

“Yeah, I know immediately. It has the be an instant chemistry thing. I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone if I have to warm up to them.”

“But Jessica, sometimes feelings develop over time. You need to give people more of a chance.”

She ended that conversation by reminding me that I wasn’t quite the spring chicken anymore. I love the woman more than anything and I understand her concern for me – she doesn’t want to see me alone, but I’d rather roam the world single than with someone I felt lukewarmly for but grew into over time.

I know that that does happen and that there is nothing wrong with a steady progression into romance. But I can only speak from my own experience – the men I have had my most life-shaping relationships with, and whom I’ve felt the strongest for, are those with whom I felt an immediate connection. This enraptured chemistry is so important to me and I can only accredit it to me being hyper-mindful of my intuition. As I grow older, my intuition only speaks louder. When I think back on relationships in my past, I don’t view them as failures, but instead as delicious sneak-peeks of what’s to come. Each relationship was unique and exciting in its own way. Chemistry was the foundation and everything else just fell into place.

Recently I was invited to an intimate dinner party at a married couple’s home and upon my arrival, I asked the pair how they met. While listening to them recount the day, nearly a decade ago their paths first crossed, their faces alone spoke volumes of the love and admiration they held for each other. He was a photographer, she was an entrepreneur and they were each other’s biggest fans. Together, they had built the loveliest of homes. His photographs adorned the walls and she stood high and proud, watching guests admire the captured moments. They supported each other in their endeavors and truly believed in the talent and ability of the other to succeed. And their eyes widened every time the gaze of the other fell on them. Neither tried hiding their affection for one another. The passion between the two was unequivocal. I remember thinking, that’s what I want, and they were living proof that it can happen. A union rooted in evident chemistry and insurmountable interest. This is not to say that I believe this couple lives in perfect harmony. Without a doubt they butt heads. Surely he must get ticked by something she does and maybe she doesn’t agree with a belief he has. But those are the compromises they choose to make. Compromises they found worth it. Worth it so that they can exist together.

As for me, that nerdy bibliophile, undergrad who constantly interchanged “love” and “magic” still lives strongly within me. I prioritize love and grand, boisterous feelings because they make life better. I value chemistry with the utmost importance and won’t budge on that – it’s just too good to sacrifice.

10 Ways To Get Reacquainted With Yourself

In The Artist’s Way, author Julia Cameron talks of the necessary time artists must carve out to get reacquainted with themselves and to nurture their creative consciousness. She refers to this time spent alone as a “play date” – that is, a play date with yourself. She promises that committing to these play dates facilitates a sense of self-intimacy. To be intimate with one’s own self is so special and important for all – heartbroken and wholehearted.

If you’ve been finding yourself with a little more alone time lately, rest assured that there is no need to feel lonely. That only means that you have more time to get to know yourself better, to treat yourself and to pass time genuinely enjoying your own company. Here are fun ways you can take yourself on a play date.

1. Mix up your workout routine
“‘I really regret that workout I just had,’ said no one ever.” As cornball as that quote is, it’s completely true. Working out makes us feel great, empowered and ready the seize the day. Luckily, there are so many avenues of fitness to try out. ClassPass is a great way to sample a variety of fitness studios, so you’ll never have to worry about being bored during a workout.

2. Create a garden
Not only are gardens beautiful to look at, but research shows that they are also mood-boosting. Whether you have a yard full of plants, a couple pots of flowers on your desk, or even herbs growing on your kitchen window sill, tending to nature and being responsible for its growth is rewarding. Reap the benefits of what you sow. For starters, here is tutorial on how you can make your own succulent wall-garden (sunset.com).

3. Unleash your inner artist
Let the creative within shine. Ever have a passion project you thought of once but never got around to doing? Make it happen. I suggest taking a trip to your local art store and get lost in it. Here some DIY wall art ideas (buzzfeed.com).

4. Tidy up your life
Take care of the space you live in. I know this doesn’t sound like much of a play date, but you’ll be surprised of how transformed you’ll feel after organizing and loving your space. I recommend The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to help you get a jump-start (tidyingup.com).

5. Visit a museum
The magical thing about museums is their ability to transport you (for hours!) to what seems like another world. Can’t make it to a museum? Feast your eyes on these art related articles (livefastmag.com).

6. Try something new in the kitchen
Go to your local farmers market and go wild with the fresh stuff! Here are a ton delicious recipes to try out (smittenkitchen.com).

7. Journal in public
Journals have always been treasures of mine. I find that journaling in different places, around people, is very fresh and inspiring. Go ahead and people-watch and create stories!

8. Indulge in a spa day
We mustn’t forget to pamper ourselves and give every nook and cranny of our bodies some attention. Here are some tips on how to create the perfect bubble bath. If you’re feeling extra courageous, strip down at a nearby Jimjilbang spa. I promise you’ll leave feeling rejuvenated and with the most touchable skin – that’s right, give your own self a hug! (nymag.com)

9. Luxuriate in a scenic walk
Walks are severely underrated. Whenever I have free time, my initial thought is to take a walk and explore my neighborhood, taking note of all the little things around me that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. 

10. Go to the theaters
There is nothing more enjoyable than waking up on a Saturday, grabbing a coffee and your favorite pastry, and setting off to the theater to watch a matinee showing of the movie of your choice. This is a moment of absolute escapism, so make a nice moment out of it! And the best part? No need to share your movie snacks.

Real Advice for Managing Social Media During a Breakup

Social media after a hard breakup can be like pouring rubbing alcohol on an open wound. And if you’re not particularly pain tolerant, that has the potential to sting really badly. So what to we do? `How do we avoid something that is literally right at our fingertips? And if you’re anything like me, my phone is pretty much in my hands all day.

The most important thing is to recognize how seeing your ex on social media makes you feel and then assess your social media etiquette based off of what will serve you.

Here are some reads to help you decide what social media approach you should take when heartbroken.

“While most of us agree it’s perfectly acceptable to unfollow an ex on Instagram—“It feels unhealthy to be bombarded with photos,” says one editor—many were skeptical about completely removing an ex from Facebook. “For some reason, unfriending feels more extreme and aggressive,” explains one editor. “Thankfully there’s that feature where you can just ask not to be shown posts from that certain person,” she says. “No harm, no foul.””

– Editors at Vogue take on social media breakup etiquette and the tools social media platforms have implemented, making it a little easier to avoid an ex’s presence without having to unfriend. (vogue.com)

“In order to grieve and truly move on you need that time of separation, which includes social media separation as well,” she says.

“When you have finally moved on, you can refriend them.”

– Jennifer Wright discusses the importance of not pretending to be happy or over a breakup in spite of your ex. (nypost.com)

“Some people say that it’s immature to unfollow people, but it’s good to rid yourself of that person and focus on your own life instead.”

– Elizabeth Kiefer on why it’s okay, and sometimes necessary, to unfollow an ex. (teenvogue.com) 

“Rather than worrying about what’s going on in their lives, we need to focus on our own and give all of our attention to the people that matter in our lives, who will always be there. They’re the people that want to mention us on Twitter and comment on our fun photos on Facebook from the trendy club last weekend.

Those are the people who want to see us happy, who want to share in our joy. Eventually, we’ll realize that our world is better than ever without our ex in it, and in turn, our daily lives are much easier and enjoyable when our ex is out of site on social media, as well.”

– Samantha Surface reminds us of who really should be getting our attention on social media. (elitedaily.com)