Dear Wayne and Wanda,
Readers got rowdy over Wayne and Wanda's recent response to "Confused With Good Intentions," a woman unsure whether to keep casually connecting with a guy who claimed to be "emotionally unavailable" and not ready to for commitment.
First, there were the empowered Wayne and Wanda peeps, who basically said the guy was using "Confused" for sex. As the commentator known as "maggiepeesoutdoors" said, "You are being USED, sister. You sound sweet. There is a lot of great sex and conversations waiting for you with YOUR special someone. Find someone who thinks you're wonderful, worth the effort, become his girlfriend, talk about the future, then decide if he's sex worthy." Maggie also shared her "three-month" rule: No sex for the first three months, no exceptions.
The reader known as "try the truth" was more succinct: "'Confused,' You've been playing house with 'Mr. Wonderful' for 3 months, and you need to suggest he consider you his girlfriend? Since the advice team didn't tell you, I will: stop sleeping with him and see how long he hangs around."
Wanda: You know, I never considered this guy was flat-out using her. Maybe I was thrown by all the relationship-like activity occurring -- movies, dinner, etc. But it's absolutely possible that he's just in it for the hook-ups. And there is more than one way to use someone. You can use them for sex, and you can also use them for emotional support. In retrospect, "Confused" talked about supporting this guy through a rocky time in his life. That's sweet. But who's supporting her? In any relationship, while the scales may tip from time to time, emotional and physical support needs to come from both players.
Wayne: Or perhaps she's the player -- using her new guy as a fun distraction, stringing along her ex to regain the power in their relationship. Look, we could play the who's playing who guessing game all night, and even then we might not know the real truth. It sounded like our writer was enjoying being wanted, but genuinely tired of games. I'm going to stick to my advice and tell her to let it all play out a little longer until either her heart gives her clarity on her the next move or one (or both) of her beaus fumbles the ball.
Readers: Moniquesmom offered a couple perspectives. First, she suggested the guy was testing "Confused." She wrote, "He has given you the red flags and the warning signs so if you choose to ignore them then you have no one to blame but yourself if you get hurt." She said in a similar relationship she realized ultimately that she was being used. "I think you are wasting your time to be honest but if you feel a need to stick with this guy because you feel sorry for him or you feel he will change his mind at some point just know this, you are taking a HUGE RISK with your heart," Moniquesmom said. "If you're okay with doing that then good luck with this guy but don't blame him if he hurts you."
Mrsamylou also suggested "Confused" cut her losses: "Listen: what women need to realize is that men will sleep with you, and happily so, and men will not commit to you, and happily so. Sometimes it pays to say 'no.' I think the sexual revolution has proven itself to be a losing and lonely proposition. Take what he is telling you to heart! Dump him! Move on!"
Wayne: Mrsamylou is wise to the ways of men. Yes, there's nothing we love more than no-strings-attached sex and nothing we loath more than commitment! Look, I know men who won't sleep with someone without making a relationship official. I also know a few women who are hit-and-run heartbreakers with stomachs that turn at the thought of one of their FWBs turning into anything more. We're all different and to paint these two prospects as dirty dogs and Confused as a dim damsel is off the mark.
Wanda: Let's go back to what Moniquesmom said, that "Confused" may in part be motivated by the hope that her man will change his ways. This is an easy trap for people who are driven by giving others the benefit of the doubt and offering people second, third and fourth chances. It's easy to get stuck waiting for things to change. After all, we want our return on investment: "I've already spent four months with this guy, it's too late to give up now!" Word of advice to the ladies: Relationships are not Lifetime movies, where we know in the first five minutes the acting's bad and the writing sucks, but we keep watching in hopes it will improve by the end. Relationships take energy and time, and every moment you are with Mr. Wrong is time you're missing with a person who could make you happy.
Readers: Finally, Squidly 1 points out the obvious: This guy isn't a great mystery. He's told "Confused" that he's depressed, unavailable, and probably leaving the state. "Being bed buddies can be fun for a while but if you're looking for more, this probably isn't the guy," Squidly 1 said. "He's already giving you hints that you aren't in his long term plans. What he's telling you is, 'Hey you're a fun distraction from my problems, but don't count on me; you'll only be disappointed.'"
The bright side? Since this man doesn't want commitment, "Confused" is free to keep looking. Squidly 1 encouraged her to accept the invites from some of other interested gentleman and "see what else is out there. You're young so take the time to shop around."
Wanda: What he said! Whether you cut and run or continue to hang out with your faux-boyfriend, keep your eyes open!
Wayne: Don't have sex! Keep having sex! Now I'm the one who's confused!
Readers: We'll give the last word to Adventurer, who had some inspired advice for "Confused." Adventurer wrote, "Live now, stop worrying about your future with this guy or without. Learn to enjoy NOW."
• If you want to respond to a recent column, point out a dating trend or ask Wanda and Wayne for wisdom on your love life, give them a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.