Throughout my career as a Christian relationship coach, I have spoken to many women who initially believed it was positive to stay emotionally close and from time to time, physically involved with a former spouse or boyfriend. The mind easily rationalizes that friendship part of the relationship is genuine and something that would be even more heartbreaking to lose.
The motivation, if one is honest, is usually the desire to stay on his radar so he realizes:
More from YourTango: Should You Walk Down The Aisle With 'Cold Feet'?
- How good he had it with you.
- No one can love him as much as you did.
- No one will put up with his idiosyncrasies like you did.
- You really get him.
A recent article from Medical Daily reports that researchers in a study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, found sleeping with an ex spouse gave women in particular closure to the relationship.
While familiarity is the draw to continuing intimacy or some form of regular communication with an ex, it is always a bad idea, especially for women. The research suggests a sense of closure happens, but in my experience as a relationship coach, it makes the heart pain even greater.
You cannot open the door to new love. You will not meet the man who will treat you with the love, respect and honor you deserve if you are still running back to the past. Those men will not be attracted to you and vice versa. Subconsciously you will throw up barriers to love and remain in the past until you take a step of faith and courage by stopping this behavior and treating yourself with dignity. If you truly want to change your relationship pattern, you need to create your own closure and take proactive steps toward preparing for an emotionally healthy, loving relationship that will lead to the commitment you have in your heart. You cannot see the pattern that is not leading you to your goals in love when the past is still in the present.
Solutions are never found in the bedroom. There is nothing casual about sex, regardless of the social norms being pushed in the media. Protecting yourself emotionally, spiritually and physically is a decision you have complete control over. There is no reason to believe a few moments of passion will fix the real issues that developed over the course of a broken marriage or committed relationship. Placing yourself in this position is like keeping a big slice of the most delicious dessert on the kitchen counter every day while you are eager to lose weight. Eventually, you will give in to the temptation because of its easy access. If the dessert wasn't in the house, you probably would have not taken the bait.
It makes you a little crazy. You are together intimately, but not really a couple. He dates and you get jealous. He shares about his love life and your feelings are hurt. You encourage him to be open about everything but shut it down when it does happen because your heart just can't take it. The past is for learning about why you attracted that particular relationship and resolving those issues that ultimately led to the end of love with that person. This discovery only happens when you have taken a step away and can see with a clear-mind.
The right relationship will happen for you when you prepare for it. Part of that process does require reflection on former relationships and the patterns you create in love. As heartbreaking as it is to completely let go of the hopes and dreams you had for the future with your significant other, it is an imperative step. Once you are ready, the door for attracting a man of character, good morals and values and unwavering love and commitment to you will open.
Nancy Pina is a highly recognized author, relationship coach and speaker. She is dedicated to helping individuals attract emotionally healthy relationships through her practical, Christian-based advice. Visit here for articles, a free report, Is He the Right One? exercises, coaching options and recent books.
More from YourTango: Is He Marriage Material? Are You? 10 Qualities To Review
More breakup advice from YourTango: