One day you might be married so why not allow yourself a little fun? Oh, that guy is super good-looking and he’s into you? Go after him! Be spontaneous. But what happens after all the excitement? Many women are left with regret. Sure, there are well known consequences from having sex such as pregnancy or STDs but too often the way hook-up sex affects our mental health is overlooked.
According to research, women are more likely to experience regret after premarital sex at a much higher rate than men.
It’s basically due to two different factors:
Standards set for women by society
Women are looked down on if they are having premarital sex or too many partners before marriage. Yet, if they’re not having sex they may be called a prude or boring. It’s conflicting and it’s confusing.
Then there’s pregnancy. An unplanned pregnancy that results in an abortion often becomes a problem only for her to deal with. Aside from the possible medical complications, she’s left to deal with mental health complications all on her own. Women after abortion report higher rates of depression, lower self worth, and even thoughts of suicide. Yes, men may also experience these issues too but not even close to the rate at which women experience it.
So, women have more issues to deal with when it comes to hooking up or premarital sex which is why they often regret it more than men.
Casual sex or hooking up is often seen as no big deal and just something people just do. But it is a big deal given the results that can happen. So, if you’re experiencing regret that’s okay. That’s normal. It’s important to realize you don’t have to hookup or have casual sex because you think that’s just what you’re suppose to do. Is that hookup really worth it, if you’re dealing with regret now or maybe sometime in the future?
If you’re experiencing regret after sex the first step is to forgive yourself.
Step 1: Forgive yourself
Once you have sex with someone it’s not something you can take back. But you can grow from it. You deserve respect. You deserve to be loved and to be happy. You also don’t need to fall into pressure from anyone else by having meaningless hookups.
Realize you made a mistake, know that you don’t have to make the same mistake again, and then forgive yourself.
Step 2: Find the influence
The second step in getting over regret from a hookup is to know why it happened so that you don’t find yourself in the same situation next time. First, find out what influenced you to have sex? It may be something simple like “I drank too much” or it could be more complicated like having underlying relationship issues. Maybe you’re seeking a connection and sex seems like it’s the easiest, quickest way to get that.
Whatever the influence is you may be able to find it on your own through thinking or journaling about it or you may need some assistance. You can talk to someone you trust or find a counselor through school (your high school or college campus). If that’s not an option many local health centers may offer help and if they don’t offer help they’ll likely know where to refer you.
Step 3: Establish your boundaries
Once you’ve discovered the influence, establish your boundaries. Boundaries are as simple as making promises to yourself and setting straight-forward rules to avoid situations where you may be led to hookup with someone.
What if you really like sex?
Maybe you like sex. That’s fine, we are biologically made to enjoy it. But after the act if you’re not prepared for the consequences, is it worth it?