I just broke up with someone. And it really, truly sucks, even though I’m the one who did the breaking up. Catchy title aside, don’t get me wrong: I didn’t just have incredible sex with him. I still love the guy. Personally, I can’t have really great sex without a somewhat deeper bond, so for me, these things go hand in hand more often than not. All of that said, however, love is not all I need, and even when fantastic sex is thrown into the mix, it still may not be enough for the discerning and the deep-feeling among us. I mean, there’s the question of day-to-day compatibility, for example. Or irreconcilable communication issues. Or any number of habits our partners may have that we may not be able to live with, am I right? 

Even though someone may check a bunch of the boxes—especially those really hard-to-check boxes—we are sometimes forced nonetheless to do the tragic work of letting them go. I think everyone owes it to themselves to avoid settling for anything that renders them unfulfilled, chronically anxious, or frustrated. That said, it can be easier to drag that shit out when the sex is on the money and the chemistry is real. 


Here are 3 tips for moving on regardless—because you deserve to be happy, in spite of the brutality that is biology. And so does the person you’re with.

1. Ask yourself if you would still be with this person if sex wasn’t in the picture 

When I asked myself this question recently, I came face to face with the fact that I love him, but that without the sex, there probably wouldn’t be enough diffusion of tension between us for me to last very long in the relationship. Why? Because I was always annoyed at our differences in lifestyle, our different ways of interacting with time, different eating, sleeping, and exercising habits, etc. And I found it difficult to stay healthy in his presence. Whether you feel you love your partner or not, this question is very worth considering. If the answer is no (and you’ll know it, even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself), it is probably time to move it along. 

2. Try not to panic about never finding great sex again 

I wish I could follow my own advice, I do. I’m getting there. The range of human emotion is so vast and so profound—and so fleeting—that I can barely fathom it some days. When we break up, we grieve, and many of us also panic. The worst possible feeling, in my book, is self-doubt or second-guessing yourself. Did I make the right decision? you may ask your tired heart. Am I really ever going to find anybody better for me than the person I’m with? Shouldn’t I just be satisfied? Am I being unreasonable? Am I asking too much? What is wrong with me?

Try to calm that rushing river, that incessant gurgle of unpleasant, self-negating thought. Believe it or not, it will pass. If you made the decision to leave, there was a good reason (or 10) for it. You will come back to yourself, and your mojo will be restored once again, assuaging any lingering panic once and for all. When you take difficult actions like these, you are acting out of self-love, and self-respect—very hard work that pays off. Something even hotter and more real is on the horizon when you stay true to yourself. 

3. Cold turkey, no break-up sex 

Again, hard work. Break-up sex has never really been my style (with a couple of exceptions, I admit). But it’s not the best idea, especially if the sex is what’s got you hooked against your better judgment. Don’t fall into the oh-so-common trap known as dickmatization. It may be a made-up word, but being dickmatized is no laughing matter, friends. Chemical bonds are real, and so is quality dick. And if you’re not with a someone who has a dick, the same concept still applies. It’s about being under someone’s spell because they make your body sing, and letting everything else (like leaving them) slide. So I repeat, no break-up sex. Make a clean break if you can. It’ll be a lot easier for both of you. Compare that potential last romp in the hay to letting a swamp monster try to pull you back into the—well, swamp. 

Out of the swamp, and into the sun, lovelies. Nobody said it was easy, but you’ve got this.