My FWB thinks I’m sleeping with my ex. We’re not exclusive, so why does he care?

justmeandyouustwo asks:

I’m a 22F, dating a 27M. I met this guy back in August on OKC and we went on a few dates, I really liked him, but he ended things because he claimed we didn’t have the “right kind of connection.” Then a little over a month ago in November, he contacted me again, saying he made a mistake, but then 3 days later changed his mind again and now we have a FWB relationship. We have really great sexual chemistry, so I’m fine with this for now, but I do have feelings for him.

I broke up with my longtime boyfriend a few months ago (right before I started seeing this guy) but due to financial reasons, he and I still live together. I told my FWB about this before we even starting dating the last time, and there was full disclosure, and he didn’t seem to have a problem with it. When we started seeing each other again, we asked about having had other sexual partners, and he hadn’t slept with anyone else, but I was honest and told him that I had slept with my ex a couple of times.

For some reason, my FWB keeps making off-hand comments about my situation. When we’re together and I get a text (but don’t check my phone cause that would be rude) he says stuff like, “is that your boyfriend wondering where you are?” or the other day, we had just had wild crazy sex and I was saying that I wanted to have him over to my place at some point when my ex is out-of-town, and he said something like, “yeah, your weird fuck buddy living situation.” So far, since I’ve been seeing this guy, I haven’t slept with my ex again, not because we’re exclusive but just because I haven’t wanted to. I haven’t told him that yet, because I didn’t want to seem attached, etc., but should I?

Why is he being like this? He says that he doesn’t want a relationship with me, and that this is just sex, and (my feelings aside) I don’t want this to get awkward. Why does he care when he wants the freedom to date other people? Does he care?


Demetrius says:

Friends with Benefits are great in a lot of way, and bad in quite a few others. Namely, when it comes to disclosure. Disclosure in a relationship is usually pretty simple, especially a strictly monogamous relationship. If you’re in a monogamous relationship that is actually monogamous (i.e. no cheating), you really only need to do any sort of disclosures around sex and sexual history at the beginning of the relationship. If you’re in an open or monogamish relationshipyou’ll do a bit more disclosures during the lifetime of your relationship, with varying degrees of details. With friends with benefits though, it gets a bit tricky. What you disclose, what should be disclosed, how often you disclose information, and so on, can get pretty tricky depending on your situation. I only bring it up because that’s literally the only good reason why a FWB would have this much interest in who you are sleeping with and why, but I don’t think it’s why your sex buddy is asking. I think the reason why he keeps asking about your living situation is because he’s jealous, possessive, and you’ve wounded his ego.

Your FWB seems like the sort of guy that wants what he wants, when he wants, and how he wants it. He knows that you wanted to be in a relationship with him when you were dating but he dumped you, then changed his mind, then changed his mind again and decided that you should be his sex friend. A little weird (and inconsistent) but if you’re fine with it, cool. He’s probably really into the fact that he can decide on a whim exactly what sort of relationship you have together. The fact that his freedom to decide what you are could change at any moment (in his mind) because you’re living with your ex must be eating him alive. It’s why he wont let the situation go. It’s why he texts passive aggressive comments, makes off-hand comments when you receive texts, and gets all passive aggressive about your living situation. The root of his problem is his ego. He thought that he had you wrapped around his finger, and the idea of someone else getting in your pants threatens his ego so much, that he’s acting like a child. It’s a pretty classic behavior to be honest. Think of children and their toys, specifically the type of spoiled child who wont let another kid play with their toys, even if you aren’t currently playing with them. Your FWB is that kind of guy. He wants you, and by you I’m sure he really only means “Your Vagina“, up on a shelf for him to play with when he so chooses. He does not want to share.

So now you know why he is the way he is, which sounds terrible by the way, so where do you go from here. First, decide if sleeping with this guy is really worth all his catty garbage behavior. If you decide that it’s worth it, I wont begrudge you. Really great sexual chemistry is hard to find and if dealing with a manbaby sounds good to you, you do you. Now, here’s what I suggest that you do to at least make your situation more agreeable. In all relationships, boundaries need to be established and reestablished. You can set boundaries at any point in your relationship, no matter the type of relationship, at any point. Whether or not someone decides to stay in that relationship is up to them, but you can say that you don’t want to deal with certain  behaviors a month, a year, or two days into any sort of relationship. And yes, I am including Sex Buddies/FWBs as a relationship type.

Your FWB constantly bringing up your ex and your living situation clearly bothers you, so you need to figure out what boundaries to establish and enforce these boundaries. To what level you have an issue and what you tolerate is a personal preference, but if I was in your shoes, here’s two boundaries I’d establish:

  1. We can discuss any activity outside of our FWB arrangement that puts either of us at risk for STDs/STIs
  2. We do not discuss my living situation

That first one is important, and I would encourage anyone engaged in a sexual relationship of any kind to adopt that boundary, monogamous or otherwise. If he’s doing anything that would put you at risk for STDs or STIs, he needs to tell you, and vice versa. That includes oral sex, and penetrative sex of any kind, especially anything done without protection (That includes performing oral sex on a woman without dental dam, btw). The level of detail you want to discuss or share is up to you, but that is a good rule of thumb for just about everybody. The second part is important because it sounds to me like you’re fed up with his passive aggressive behavior. I know I’m already done with him and I’m not even banging him.  If you’re doing nothing at home with your ex, which would come up with boundary #1, then why do you need to deal with him talking about your living situation. You’re living with your ex out of necessity and if he can’t understand that, you need to drop him.

Unless he’s paying your rent, or is your committed partner, it does not matter who you live with as long as his health is not put at risk. Simple as that.

Good Luck Out There.

Demetrius Figueroa

Demetrius is a sex, dating, and relationship writer based in Brooklyn.

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