To Fling Or Not To Fling?

Jennifer Anastasi, BounceBack Editorial Staff

As we celebrate Labor Day by rewarding ourselves with a break from our day to day jobs, shouldn't we give ourselves a break from the all of the hard work and effort that goes into finding and hanging onto Mr. Right? Don't we deserve a break from all of the time and energy spent over-analyzing our last relationship and where it went wrong? Could a carefree fling be just the thing we need to forget about that bitter relationship breakup or broken heart? It depends.

A fling, defined as a "casual or brief love affair" or a "brief sexual or romantic relationship," certainly has its benefits when it comes to moving on from a relationship breakup. With its no-strings-attached policy and simple philosophy, it can be a welcome diversion as long as both parties are aware there's an expiration date, and both are cool with it. A soothing balm for the bruised ego, a fabulous fling can help boost your self-esteem and get you back out on the dating scene. A fling can even help you break the mold and experience something, or rather, someone new, especially if you continually seek out the same type of person for your long-term relationships.

If you're about to embark on a fling, however, it's crucial to determine that you're not engaging in REBOUND SEX. A fling that occurs too quickly post-breakup can easily be redefined as rebound sex -- which is sex for all the wrong reasons. While it may seem at the time that the sex will be worth it, the detriments most likely outweigh the benefits. Here are 4 things to consider before you proceed:

Your judgment is still cloudy. If you're still spinning from your breakup, don't even think about a fling. Give yourself a chance to heal emotionally and wait until you can trust your instincts again.

Rebound sex won't help you forget your ex or heal your pain. A one night stand with a bartender after a boozy night may temporarily numb the sting of your broken heart - but he's not going to make it go away.

You could suffer "post-orgasm regret." Some experts say the female orgasm releases oxytocin, also known as the "cuddle hormone" which promotes a sense of attachment. When there's no emotional attachment, the orgasm could potentially lead to pangs of sadness and anger - which is certainly not something you need more of!

You may end up breaking someone's heart. If you're seeking out a casual hook-up in an attempt to make your ex jealous or to validate your own self-worth, you may be hurting not just yourself. Luring an unsuspecting person who may be seeking something more meaningful into your emotional trap is just plain selfish.

So, while a fling can be a fun and well-deserved break from the serious work of relationships - beware of the pitfalls. Be sure to have an open and honest dialogue about expectations and play it safe.

Jennifer produces daytime television programming with a strong emphasis on relationship issues.

BounceBack is helping people find happiness after heartbreak from a relationship breakup or divorce. It's a place to tell your story, get advice from experts, and share what you've learned with others in similar situations. Heartbreaks happen to everyone. And we believe everyone has the potential to bounce back to life and move forward.

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