A study published this week in the Archives of Sexual Behavior concluded that at the very least, a post-breakup hook-up with your ex-lover likely won't hinder your emotional recovery and could very well help it.
"This research suggests that societal handwringing regarding trying to have sex with an ex may not be warranted," wrote principal author Dr. Stephanie Spielmann of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, in a press release about the paper Wednesday. "The fact that sex with an ex is found to be most eagerly pursued by those having difficulty moving on, suggests that we should perhaps instead more critically evaluate people's motivations behind pursuing sex with an ex."
Spellman performed two studies. In the first, 113 people whose relationships had recently ended filled out daily questionnaires for two months about their emotional progress, including whether they'd tried to contact or have sex with their ex. In the other, 372 people who'd broken up with their partner in the previous four months were asked similar questions in a single questionnaire.
What the researchers found bucked the standard take on the subject. "These findings suggest that for those experiencing a breakup, pursuing sex with an ex may actually have positive outcomes in terms of boosts to positive affect during an otherwise trying period of time," they wrote in the study.
"While the present research does not necessarily advocate for pursuing sex with an ex following the breakup — and indeed, we do not know what the longer-term implications could be of continued sexual pursuit of ex-partners, particularly once one or both partners seek out new relationships or among those who continue to pine after ex-partners for an extended period of time — there may in fact be some benefits to continued sexual pursuit in the short-term."
So in other words, go ahead. Give her a call.