It wouldn't be inappropriate to say that physical intimacy is a binding factor in a relationship. In fact, the emotional and physical aspects are almost intangible, which is why, when two individuals decide to part ways, the situation is shattering for both. Two possible circumstances measure up here – a consensual break-up, the decision for which is usually a practical one or a painfully heartbreaking affair for either the boy or the girl, whosoever did not expect the blow. The reasons for break-up may vary but the embers of passion remain in all hearts, veiled and often disregarded as "past is past". So what happens when these embers turn into sparks again?
The sex was great!
Some relationships blossom at the sheer thrill of sex. Emotional bonding is usually absent in these cases and the futileness of continuing the relationship is realized sooner or later. But the passionate encounters are simply hard to forget and the craving exists. For 25-year-old Pooja, a flight attendant, sex was the most exciting part of her 5-year long relationship. Says she, "More than anything, I miss the sex. It was the only thing that connected us because otherwise there was nothing in common between us." When asked if she would consider getting back with her ex for the sake of sex only, she replied in affirmative. "There was hardly any emotional connection and I think it would be fun to experience the amazing feeling once again" she said.
A bitter break-up
The thought of a sexual encounter with an ex-lover is a sore spot for many men. Unlike women, they are not quite comfortable at the thought of backtracking into the boulevards of their turbulent past. Even if the general perception about them is that they treat sex far more casually than women, their hesitation manifests loud and clear when confronted with their ex-affairs. 26-year-old Manish, a sports journalist says, "A break-up is always bitter and hurtful. When two people decide to end the relationship, there's no question of getting back together, be it for sex or anything." Of course, there are others who do not concur with this attitude. However, there are those that make no bones about enjoying sex with ex for old times' sake. "If my ex is comfortable with the 'no strings attached' idea, then I am in", says 22-year-old Rahul, an MBA student.
Love's labour regained
The emotional bonding and physical intimacy are two sides of the same coin and a sudden or planned sexual encounter with an ex can sprout hopes of reviving the lost love. A slight nudge on the arm or a soft kiss can do wonders. 27-year-old Neha, a software professional, agrees. "My boyfriend and I weren't seeing anyone for a long time post the break-up. Recently we met at a common friend's party, got drunk and made out. Since then our love has found a new meaning and has grown manifold. It has actually healed the differences and brought us closer."
While it may seem a somewhat acceptable trend, having sex with an ex-lover certainly does not go down well with the ones who've endured a hurtful break-up. Their inhibition and inability to divulge their vulnerability to a new person prevents them from falling in love once again. Subsequently, it lures them to believe that such an encounter might recreate the magic of unrequited love.
Dr Deepak Raheja, senior psychiatrist & psychotherapist feels that such temptations primarily emanate from insecurity. The biggest fear of urbanization is loneliness and hence people fear abandonment. Another reason could simply be 'kink'. Monotony could lead to an urge to re-explore the sparks of the past relationship. And how does it affect the people involved? "It depends on the intensity of the present relationship. Complications are bound to occur – comparisons of the past with the present, guilt of cheating on your partner which escorts ambivalence." He sums it up by saying, "If you play with fire, you will burn your hands. So either be very careful or avoid it because it's difficult to rekindle the past."
The world seems to agree as well as disagree, and the perspectives are, without a doubt, subjective. While some chicken out at the thought of an intimate encounter without wanting anymore emotional turmoil, others start the game on a clean slate. This decision to run the risk of stroking the dormant feelings is indeed a tricky one and its fairness depends exclusively on the situation one is in. Staying in touch with your ex means no harm and meeting up over a coffee occasionally is fine too. Make sure you don't end up jeopardizing your mental peace at the cost of a one-time temptation and you're good to go.
"Only by acceptance of the past, can you alter it" – T S Eliot.