When is having sex after divorce too soon? How do I feel less anxious about having sex for the first time after divorce?
Closing the curtain on your marriage can be a scary moment for some women, as well as an exciting change for others. If you have spent a long time being the one half of a married and monogamous duo, it might feel a little weird exploring the dating world again and having sex after divorce with someone new (or multiple new partners).
There is often a mix bag of emotions as you wrap up the legal stuff, come to terms that the marriage has ended, and step into a new dating and sex life – even if it has been years in the making.
Here’s all you need to know about becoming comfortable with sex after divorce with new partners, and how to be ready to be intimate again.
Sex after divorce: Tips on having sex for the first time after divorce
Feeling guilty about having sex after divorce with someone new
It is normal as a recent divorcee to feel like you need time to feel comfortable being intimate with someone new after a marriage ends. For many women experiencing guilt over having sex after divorce, it is often a result of not wanting to hurt the former spouse.
You might also feel guilty about being intimate with someone new if sex during your marriage was mostly about commitment, reproduction or the values held by the both of you within the marriage.
Just because the marriage has ended doesn’t mean that the years of emotional bond ends immediately upon signing the divorce papers. Very often, it might take some women weeks or months or even longer to feel comfortable moving on and being intimate with someone new.
Performance anxiety after divorce
If your ex spouse was the only person you have had sex with, or one of the few people you have had sex with, then you might be feeling nervous about how sex would work with someone else.
Or perhaps you were in a sexless marriage and you’ve been made to feel not enough or not good enough by your ex spouse, then it is natural to build up anxiety around sex.
A sexless marriage can make you second-guess your attractiveness and desirability, but the lack of sex in a marriage was likely a result of a loss of connection between you and your ex spouse, rather than a reflection of your attractiveness and desirability.
It is important, though, to remember that you are not defined by who you were during your marriage or before your marriage, and you can reinvent yourself sexually after a divorce.
If you are trying to build up self-confidence and awake your sexuality, then look into doing inner work. Sexiness is a mindset, and doing anything that gives you more confidence about yourself will help you feel more sexy.
Try a a dance class or get a boudoir photo shoot, or anything else that speaks to you even if it is not around sexual awakening. Make yourself the centerpiece of your life and take back the narrative around your pleasure – starting with masturbation and being comfortable with self-pleasure.
How to know if you are ready for sex after divorce?
Here are some ways to know if you are ready for sex after a divorce:
- You no longer find yourself hurting over the end of your marriage
- You and your ex spouse are no longer having angst-fueled conversations
- You are not compulsively stalking them on social media
- Sex with someone new is not about taking revenge on your ex spouse
- You are already making life plans to do the things you’ve always wanted to do, or go to places you’ve always wanted to travel to
- You are excited at the idea of going on dates
Sex after divorce in your 50s
Many women in the 50 and up crowd often experience another layer of disorientation after getting a divorce. When you are divorcing at an older age, you might feel like you are not the sexual being you once were.
This is a major misconception in society because sexuality never ages. Research shows that 53% to 79% of older adults who have a partner are sexually active! You can be in your 50s, newly divorced, and highly sexual!
Sex does not end when you become older, and you can most definitely have the steamiest sex of your life post-divorce. You no longer have to worry about getting pregnant, and you are also more confident of what you want and who you are.
Irregardless of your age, give yourself permission to create a new narrative about who you are sexually, and the details of your sex life. Allow yourself to form new ideas around sex, what you like or think you like, and what new things or positions you are willing to try.
Is it common for ex spouses to have sex?
Sometimes sex with a familiar person can be difficult to give up, even if you both have ended the marriage. That is especially true if both you and your ex spouse are still attracted to each other, and the marriage ended for reasons other than sexual compatibility.
After a divorce, all that tension and fighting slowly fades away and your ex spouse can feel so familiar. Yet sex with an ex spouse can turn into something problematic, if someone in the divorce is not ready to let go and sex is seen as a way of getting both comfort and a way back together.
How do you have casual sex after divorce?
If you have been stuck in a sexless marriage for a long time, the idea of singledom and having casual sex after divorce can be very tempting.
Having casual sex can be part of your healing process if you are still grieving over the end of your marriage, or it can also be a very liberating moment if the divorce was long overdue. Just make sure that you have emotionally processed the divorce first before jumping into casual sex, to avoid adding more hurt or stress to an already emotional-heightened period.
What you don’t want happening is trying to numb your emotions through hooking up, because you cannot heal from one relationship through casual sex and intimacy with someone new.
How long should you stay single after a divorce?
You get to decide how long you should stay single after a divorce. Your decision can depend on a number of factors, such as the type of relationship you are looking for (casual or something serious), and what you need to feel safe and comfortable during sex.
As you work on fine-tuning what your reinvented life should look like, think about rewriting your sexual values as well. Get clear on what you are looking for, and what your boundaries are – are you looking for a monogamous relationship? How would you feel about dating someone who is polyamorous? How do you feel about casual sex?
If you are exiting a marriage that left you with emotional baggage from infidelity, frequent conflict, or even abuse, then know that it requires you to be kind and patient with yourself as you navigate life as a newly single person.
Since grief is processed in stages and healing is not linear, allow yourself time to process all the stages of grief and slowly work on getting your confidence back to feel sexually ready.