Your on-off fuck buddy entering a new relationship is equivalent to a punch in the dick – it’s painful, no matter how strong your feelings were for them.

Take Vanna’s recent experience, for example. She’d been seeing a guy on-off for 18 months before she found out through Instagram that he’d met someone. “It’s been heartbreaking… They have been together for six months and it’s still as painful as the day I found out.”

“It’s really hard to not blame myself because the only thing he ever told me was that he wasn’t ready for a relationship, but he literally cancelled me to be in one.” 

It’s so true – they’re always like, ‘I’m just not ready’, and then they dive into one. Alas, let’s continue…

In the past, when fuck buddies of mine found someone else who they wanted to pursue things with, it was always hard for me to see beyond the fact that they didn’t want me. Then, for a brief moment, I felt jealousy, as if being in a relationship automatically made them more successful than I (even though it obviously didn’t).

This leads to the first stage of ex-fuck buddy grief…

It sucks

Pain and rejection are both inevitable side-effects. Regardless of whether you liked them or just enjoyed their company – or even if it was purely just sex – there was obviously something that kept you around for a considerable period of time, so their departure is bound to inevitably sting a little bit.

When your love buddy moves on to someone else, it can make you really self-critical, which isn’t healthy, rational or reflective of your true worth – a common initial reaction is to pick the situation apart, compare yourself to the new partner and subsequently blame yourself for not being them… or good enough in general.

It’s not me, it’s you

A divorce from your fuck-buddy can lead to you facing some uncomfortable truths. 

Let’s talk about the whole ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ rhetoric, for example. When a situation-ship ends, it’s common for your mates to say something along the lines of, “It’s not you, it’s them.” While this may be partly true, it can also be a painful thing to realise that, in some respects, it is you. 

As much as we’d like to be desired by everyone, that’s impossible.

You’re not going to be everyone’s cuppa tea, and that’s the tea. 

I mean, there was obviously a reason they didn’t want to be with you, and there’s obviously something you don’t have that their new partner does. 

Sitting with this realisation isn’t a pleasant feeling at all, but it’s a necessary one in order to move forward – in acknowledging that nobody’s perfect, and that we all look for different things in each other, we can start to think of this mini-rejection as something that’s part and parcel with dating and less of a personal attack.

Besides, as much as we want to hold onto the idea that we can change them, or that they’ll come back to us and realise how great we are, to paraphrase Billie Eilish, ‘if it was meant to be, it would have been by now’.

Gimme answers

Sometimes the hardest part is recognising that you’ll probably never get the answers you deserve. 

Expecting finite answers that’ll resolve your questions might be expecting too much from your on-off fuck buddy, particularly if said on-off fuck buddy wasn’t very good at communicating to begin with. 

We can’t always expect a chapter to be closed neatly – there’s often some loose strings and grey-area shrapnel that remains. I’m not saying that we need to be comfortable with those grey areas, but it’s important to acknowledge that they’re a part of life – as much as we’d want a situation-ship to end like a scene from The Hills, they often end in a really dissatisfying way.

Are they really that good?

At the end of the day, we obviously want to be around people who reaffirm our self-worth and makes us feel all the warm-and-fuzzies.

Why would we want to be with someone who doesn’t want us and inadvertently makes us feel unworthy? 

If someone makes you doubt your ability to be loved, they obviously don’t care about your happiness and therefore aren’t a healthy or beneficial presence in your life. Straight facts.

thank u, next

Take some time to reflect on the situation-ship. What did it teach you? What would you do differently next time?

Be patient with yourself. If you think you’d benefit from taking a step back from the dating game in order to regroup and focus on your own stuff, take that independent step back. Conversely, if you feel like getting under someone to get over ex-bae, then jump on those apps, slide into those DMs and live your goddamn truth. (Personally, I found that I’d constantly be thinking about the last person – AKA. ex-bae – until I got under someone else.)

Self-love, binch

In trying to be palatable for everyone, and in an attempt to be attractive to those who don’t deserve our time, we start to dilute our true selves. And literally fuck that. (I’m listening to Lizzo and feeling really empowered right now.)

It’s important to be actively practicing that good ol’ self-love and reminding yourself that you are 100% That Bitch.

Yes, there are qualities your ex-fuck buddy’s new partner has that you don’t, but you also have qualities that they could never mirror either… And there’s someone out there who’s waiting for those exact, undiluted qualities.

Yes, you may not be everyone’s tea but, to one person, you’ll be the most exquisite and refreshing cup of Jasmine that ever existed. 

In the meantime, your self-love, happiness and independence is something no fuckboy (oop – I meant fuck buddy) can provide.