Q&A: Having Intercourse Again After Ending A Long Relationship

E-mail Email Icon Print Print Icon
Reddit Digg StumbleUpon Delicious Bookmark

QUESTION: If a woman has been in a long sexual relationship, how likely is she to engage in intercourse with other men once she has ended her relationship? What if the woman has only had one partner before?

Subscribe to the Kinsey Confidential Podcast: iTunes | RSS

I’m not certain if you’re asking how likely it is that a woman will have intercourse with other people at any point in her life after a relationship ends or how likely it is that she will have intercourse with other men within a relatively short period of time after her long-term relationship ends.

Of course, women vary and one answer will not be accurate for all women. It is true that some women – like some men – have one and only love, or one and only sexual partnership, and never have another. This was particularly true among older generations.

New Partnerships

But even among older women and men now, whose spouses die after a marriage that may have spanned several decades, some people do begin new romantic or sexual relationships. Some begin these new partnerships soon after their partner dies, or soon after they divorce or separate, and others may take longer to begin a new partnership.

With younger people, there is also some variation. However, most young people – if their relationship ends for whatever reason – will likely have another romantic or sexual relationship in their lives.

After all, for most people, life is quite long and is full of opportunities for meeting people and experiencing attraction or love. Also, most people want to spend large portions of their lives engaged in loving, intimate and/or sexual relationships with another person.

Many Factors

That said, there are many factors that influence how long a person may wait before they enter a sexual relationship with someone after a relationship has ended.

Some people jump rather quickly into a new sexual partnership perhaps because they miss being sexual with another person, or maybe because they’ve simply met someone who they feel very comfortable with or attracted to.

Other people take a longer time to begin a new sexual partnership. They may do this consciously, by deciding to wait a certain number of weeks or months before dating again or getting involved with someone. Or they may do this unconsciously – they may, for example, find that they feel too hurt, sad, depressed or uncomfortable about being sexual with someone new.

Recommended Reading

To learn more about how to move on emotionally and physically following the end of a relationship, check out How to Survive the Loss of a Love.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
More posts by this author »

Comments