Can you stay mates with a FWB when you’re in a new relationship? A serious investigation
Nah nah, he’s just a friend I shagged several times when we were talking xoxo
Fuckbuddies truly are the artificial plants of dating: All the sex, banter, and fun without the commitment of having to water it or send a happy birthday message. You can have your cake and never meet their mum.
The age-old question of "can you be friends with your ex" remains supposedly answered "yes" (you smug liars), but what about ex-fuckbuddies? You may not have loved them but you definitely saw them naked. Can we be friends with ex-fuckbuddies, when one person enters a committed relationship?
Armed with this conundrum, I did what any self-respecting journalist would do and went to speak to the expert: My ex-fuckbuddy.
Archie* and I were fuckbuddies for around nine months (on and off dependent on when one of us started dating someone else). We were pretty good friends and could always have a laugh, especially when he tagged me in a post on Facebook asking "what's the weirdest thing you've brought home from a night out?" He graduated in July and around that time I entered a long-term relationship.
I asked him if he thought ex-fuckbuddies could be friends once the fuckbuddy arrangement ends: "Absolutely! I'm friends with several [fuckbuddies]. I find if you're doing fuckbuddies properly, it's just something you do together like go to the pub, or playing mini golf, then all you have to do is remove the sex and everything else is the same. It's only an issue if one of you wants to carry on." Trying to heal my wounds after having my sex life compared to playing mini golf, I continued my line of questioning.
So would a new partner be justified in asking you to end a friendship with a fuckbuddy? "I'd think it would be justified to feel uncomfortable for a while, but then it just boils down to trust, and if you can't trust them with that then why are you bothering?
"And that depends on a few things, like how good a friend is this fuckbuddy, how often you see them, how long you'd been with your partner and whether you were convinced it was a long term thing."
Despite all this sensible behaviour, he did then ask me if i was going out that weekend as he's back at uni. I declined.
I then asked one of my best friends, Sam*, who I slept with about a year and a half ago after we both went through break ups. We still hang out together in our friendship group (accompanied by a few jokes) and go on wholesome dog walks together. I asked him if friendships can stay the same after you've slept together, "Oh absolutely 100 per cent".
He too would come clean about a previous rendezvous with a pal: "I feel like honesty is the best policy in that regard. [I'd tell the new girlfriend] probably pretty soon after the first instance of the friend I slept with being brought up in conversation.
"I would react poorly and probably wouldn't terminate the friendship as in most regards the friendship has existed longer than the relationship."
He also told me he couldn't possibly end our friendship, as I was always on hand to vet his dates.
For me personally, it's been a no-brainer with staying friends with ex-fuckbuddies, given that both my boyfriend and I have slept with our close mates.
But I wasn't satisfied with the answers from the boys. I'd have to speak to a higher power. The girls group chat.
"I was seeing someone really casually over summer and he ended up literally falling in love with me whoops but the guy I was seeing after didn't care tbh, and I ended up having to cut off the friend for a bit so he could get over me, and now we're back to being besties."
"I think it very much depends on how casual it is too. Like if it reaches feelings territory probs not easy. But I was seeing this guy v casually and then it ended and we're really good mates now, made easier by the fact he has a boyfriend."
Like any ex, the issue seems to arise when feelings interfere, whether it's a friend with benefits catching feelings or a new partner hurt by exes of past.
And let's be honest, anyone who can't shag a friend and laugh it off has a poor sense of humour.
*not their real names, I'd like to stay friends after all