Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Make-Up Sex: Bad for Relationships?

In romantic relationships, make-up sex can be unhealthy because it can reinforce fighting and drama. Think about it: If you have amazing sex after you have a huge fight, doesn't it make sense to fight again when the reward is so amazing?

On the one hand, two people can come together after a disagreement and share physical intimacy because they feel close. That's not the real reason that motivates most make-up sex. On the other hand, most make-up sex results from having felt and expressed extreme negative emotions during a heated argument. Because these individuals get sick of feeling the negative extreme end of the spectrum, they hunger to switch gears and jump to the opposite end of the spectrum - to feel the high of the positive end of the emotional spectrum. During make-up sex, couples often express extreme positive emotions and they reach a momentary state of bliss. They declare grand statements of love and feel, in that moment, that they are sure they belong together.

The problem: This often isn't real intimacy. Intimacy is about a mutual love and balance, while drama is about extremes and fantasies. Make-up sex often reflects the unconscious fantasy to be able to make everything better with sex. Sadly, it's often after couples have this heated sexual moment that they feel sadder and more lonely when the old feelings come back.

The reality is that when you find someone you truly belong with, you feel balanced because you sense that things are in the emotional order they are supposed to be in. The next time you have a fight with your partner and you later try to initiate make-up sex, sit with those feelings a little longer and make sure that you are having sex for the right reason.

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