Please Advise: How can I start sleeping around again, without devastating my ex?

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A Nerve reader enjoys her newfound single-dom, but worries about her ex-boyfriend.

Wise Readers, 

Each week, the inbox of our venerable advice columnist, Miss Information, is flooded with queries. And although she makes a valiant effort, she cannot answer them all. To deal with the surplus, we've decided to turn to you. So, don your spectacles and help this woman out. You can give her advice in the comments below, or, if you'd like to share what you wrote with your friends, on our Facebook page


Dear Nerve, 

Six months ago, my boyfriend of seven years and I broke up. We had been living together for five years. Though the breakup was mostly mutual, I was devastated. I was eighteen and he was nineteen when we met, and we broke up partly because we both felt we were in a quarter-life rut, and decided that we need to experience adulthood outside of the context of our relationship. We tried very hard to be caring and supportive of one another throughout the breakup and neither of us wanted to hurt each other. He left town for three months after we moved out of our place, and he just recently returned.  

About three weeks ago, while he was still gone, I had drunken sex with one of my platonic male friends who I have known for over ten years. This friend also knows my ex, and we are all close. My friend and I are both single now, and the sex was really great — it feels so good to have casual, hot, no-strings sex after seven years in a long-term-relationship! We hooked up again about a week and a half ago for another booty call. I have been feeling less depressed and much better about myself since I slept with my friend, and it's really helped me to start to let go of my ex and imagine a future with other men. 

The problem is, now that my ex is back in town, I am racked with guilt over sleeping with my friend. I'm terrified that my ex is going to find out and that it will really hurt him. At the same time, my sex life is none of his business anymore, and I really want to keep a casual thing going with my friend since I feel like it is helping me move on. It's also keeping my sexual appetite satisfied without the complications of another relationship, which I'm really not ready for yet. Do you think I can keep sleeping with my friend without hurting my ex? I feel so torn between my loyalty to my ex and my desire to be selfish and enjoy my new single-dom. Part of me thinks I need to just cut off contact with both of them and work on myself.

— Do I Need A Man-Cation?

Help her out in the comments below. Got a question of your own? Email