Is it possible to become just friends after a one night stand?
October 18, 2014 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Do you think two mature adults can transition into friends after a night of passion/have you ever done it?

My ex boyfriend and I split up about 6 months ago and I haven't dated at all since. It was a bad break up and he hurt me very badly.

So basically I met this guy who I was immediately attracted to and liked. We ended up separating from the rest of the group and spending the whole night hanging out (and drinking) together. This lead to hanging out in his bed for the next 12 hours. The next morning, we went for it again, then chatted and spooned. All in all it was very good and rather nice.

However after reflecting I realised I'm not completely over my last relationship. It's still kind of sore. So I met this guy again through friends about two weeks later. He said that while it was very good, he doesn't usually have one night stands outside of a relationship and felt a little awkward about it. I said the same, and discovered that he was also not long out of a relationship either/also still hurting a bit. So then I asked him to be friends! And now we are going to meet for a drink next week which he said he is really looking forward to. However I spoke to his friend/our mutual friend, who said he didn't think this was possible. We seem to have things in common and feel comfortable enough to confide in the other, so why not? Has anyone done this successfully?
posted by Kat_Dubs to Human Relations (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have a friend who I met first in a hooking-up capacity. We decided that we liked each others' company more than we liked hooking up with each other, and now we are friends and it's great!

However... it does sound like you both might LIKE-like each other and just aren't ready to date. That's also totally fine, but not exactly the same situation.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:20 AM on October 18, 2014 [7 favorites]

You are saying "friends" but from what you've written I would be he is expecting a "Friends with benefits" relationship and probably thinks this is what you are looking for too. If it isn't that is something you probably need to be clearer about.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 10:20 AM on October 18, 2014 [4 favorites]

Please don't ask his friends about how he feels or what he is like as a person.

(I'm going leave that there and let others more eloquent explain why this is bad juju on your part.)

Of course you can be friends!

That said, you're bringing alcohol to the next meet-up with this guy? You know that's pretty much a recipe for ending up in bed together, right?

Decide what you want without consulting other people who are not you and this (awesoming sounding) guy that you are getting to know. Let things unfold. Talk to him when you have questions.

Enjoy this new adventure.
posted by jbenben at 10:21 AM on October 18, 2014 [5 favorites]

It's totally possible. I've done it. My spouse has done it. (Obviously, we failed to do that with each other but we didn't try that hard.) If you're cool with it, it pretty much hinges on his ability to get cool with it, and of course you can't control that bit.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:22 AM on October 18, 2014

Is it really important to you to fit your relationship into a concise definition like "friends"?

You guys like each other and you're both single free agents? Go hang out and drink, fuck, cook, garden, watch television, change the water in your aquarium, whatever.

In my experience it's rare to find oneself with this kind of freedom. Enjoy it.
posted by doctor tough love at 10:45 AM on October 18, 2014 [14 favorites]

it is absolutely possible. some of the best friendships come from that.
posted by bruce at 10:47 AM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yes, I've done it; to be embarrassingly honest, I've made some of my best friends that way! However, I'm not sure if it would have worked if i were still highly attracted to the other person. It would be hard to see someone in that situation without one thing leading to another, so if you're very serious about not wanting to date, be aware of that. I suspect though that letting one thing lead to another again would not be the worst thing anyway.
posted by metasarah at 10:50 AM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yes, but also what showbiz_liz says.
posted by deludingmyself at 10:59 AM on October 18, 2014

Very possible! Enjoy it and don't worry too much.
posted by magdalemon at 11:35 AM on October 18, 2014

Definitely possible.

Also, if you're both in a bit of a transition state and not quite ready to DATE-date but do LIKE-like each other and hook up occasionally, alternating between feeling great about and sometimes feeling weird about it, that's fine and healthy too. It's even possible to maintain a friendship to whatever degree you both feel comfortable when you eventually meet other people to hook up/start relationships with.

It doesn't sound like you two have a lot of history together so there's not a ton at stake. Navigating life after a big break up can be very tricky. There's a lot of narratives about how sex permanently damages any hopes for nice and healthy platonic relationships, as if sex is somehow this point of no return, but those are mostly bullshit if the people involved are reasonable, intelligent adults. If you're having fun with this guy, enjoy yourself.
posted by AtoBtoA at 12:03 PM on October 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by wutangclan at 12:42 PM on October 18, 2014

While I don't believe that it's not possible, I've tried this a couple of times with not great results. In the one case, the person felt that it was okay for them to comment on my later relationships in a way they would have not done if we had not slept together. In the other, my 'be friends', to them meant an ongoing FWB relationship where we would never hang out unless we were going to have sex. But, hey, all kinds of things happen between people and this does not sound impossible to me, if both parties are pretty clear about the friendship and don't end up falling into bed together again. If sex is ongoing, it's FWB, not BFF.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 1:50 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Do you think two mature adults can transition into friends after a night of passion/have you ever done it?

Yes and yes.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:06 PM on October 18, 2014

Hell, if it's possible for me to have become for realz "just friends" with two guys who I dated, it's certainly possible to become for realz "just friends" with someone you just hooked up with.

It will take self-reflection on both your parts (to not trick yourself into "no, I totally don't want to get involved" when you actually kinda do), a LOT of honesty and checking in with boundaries (so you can be open enough to say "look, I get that we're not dating, but I may kinda dig you still so I feel weird when you bring that other chick around without letting me know she's coming first", and you can also be patient enough to respect it if he says something like that to you), and the ability to still find fun stuff to do nevertheless (so you get regular reminders "oh, yeah, this isn't all just a walking-on-eggshells-around-our-boundaries thing, you're also cool to play golf with" or whatever).

But the rewards, in my case, have been a pair of decades-long friendships, which in one case even has become an on-and-off working partnership.

Good luck.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:12 PM on October 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

these things are different for everyone. have that drink and see what happens.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:56 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is it possible? Of course.

Is it possible for the two of you? Who knows? Maybe, if you are both on the same page. If you like the meeting up and having sex with no other commitment, then yeah, I think that's a perfect situation for both of you.
posted by inturnaround at 5:02 PM on October 18, 2014

I think it IS possible, but if I were trying to do it, I would have made the next get-together something much more platonic. Meeting up at night to have a drink would be unlikely to end platonically were I in your shoes - once you're disinhibited, you're not going to remember why not getting it on with this guy seemed so important in the sober light of day. If you're not overly worried about it, continue with the plan, but if you REALLY want to make sure your friend relationship starts off on the right foot, I'd call him and tell him afternoon coffee or a walk in the park works better with my schedule.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:36 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yep, seconding it's possibility. My best friend and I first met in a chaotic night involving champaign, graffiti, and us having sex in front of a writer while he was furiously hammering away at a typewriter. We never had sex again, but we developed a close friendship that each year grows stronger.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 12:45 AM on October 19, 2014

quintupling or whatever "yes absolutely, but that doesn't necessarily sound like it's what you want".

It's fine to just hang out as friends now, and keep fucking, and maybe have it turn in to something or maybe just kinda stop fucking and become friends.

This isn't some either-or thing where it has to fit in some neat box. You can fuck, you can be friends and fuck, you can stop fucking and be friends, you can do any mixture of those things and switch to another category at any time or start dating. Deciding to not have sex is fine, but it doesn't make it a "purer" friendship or anything.

If you actually kind of like him there's nothing wrong with taking it slow until you're both more open to the idea of it being more.

Fucking him isn't automatically ruining your chances to have a legitimate friendship or more, unless either of you are bringing weird preloaded ideas to the table about what can or can't happen and how that can or cant work(which i wouldn't blame you for! society loads people up with tons of weird baggage about this shit)

Some of my best friends are people who i've had sex with. Some people i met in kind of this way, some people i knew for ages and then we boned and then later decided "yea, nah, let's not do that" and kept being friends. As i said, it's not an either-or thing :)
posted by emptythought at 4:38 AM on October 19, 2014

Yes. Friends with benefits is also possible. Being a couple is also possible when you want to be... You can also just be acquaintances, 'married for the party', or assuming he's not a jerk he could become your reference stick with whom you size up all the guys you actually date...

Do one night stands generally turn into friends? No. Don't kid yourself. But, if he's up for it - and you are up for it then you go where you go. It may work. It may not. You may cry. He may tragically chase after you until you file a restraining order (although it doesn't sound like that is in his cards).

Make the most of it. Enjoy it.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:17 AM on October 19, 2014

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