Dear Wayne and Wanda,
I need to know if I'm being paranoid or if I am right to be a little worried. I have been seeing my girlfriend -- we'll call her Jessica -- for about a year now. When we first started hanging out, we went out together almost every weekend. This was our pattern for many months.
Things have changed the last few months. Jessica has several girlfriends who are single. Lately, she has been going out with them at night almost every weekend. They stay out until the bars close and then come home wasted.
I am worried she's hooking up with other guys. She says she's just out having fun. What do you think?
Wanda says: It would be one thing if Jessica had been a party girl all along, and if it was normal for her to go out without you, trolling the town with her single gal pals. Sounds like that's not the case. She has shifted from doting wing-woman to solo flyer. The fact that this behavior is relatively new could be cause for concern. What has changed? Why has she suddenly decided she'd rather go run around with the ladies?
As her boyfriend of a year, it's your right to ask these questions. If she's bored with the relationship, seize the opportunity to spice things up. If she's done with dating you, it's your opportunity to cut your losses.
Is she cheating on you? Maybe. If she isn't, she is certainly positioning herself to do so. I love my lady friends and I'm all about girl time. But a happily coupled-up woman does not go out until 3 a.m. every week with a pack of single ladies. Here's a metaphor a man can relate to: Someone on a diet doesn't hang out at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Time to have a talk. Tell her you're concerned about her boozy late-night outings and see where it goes from there.
Wayne says: So Wanda, you're saying men think with their stomachs? Totally true! You done with those fries?
Not to channel my inner grandma, but nothing good ever happens after midnight. Even the best plate of 2 a.m. chicken and waffles shared with a sexy girl you met an hour earlier on a sweaty dance floor is going to carry some sticky consequences. At best, syrup stains on your party pants. But occasionally it's a little more dramatic and dangerous, like catching a maple syrup bottle upside your head from sexy girl's crazy ex.
Look, even if she isn't cheating on you, she is hitting the streets without you every weekend instead of making her relationship a priority. Like Wanda said, women in happy, healthy relationships don't need weekly girls' nights out. Since every night is girls' night with your lady, it's a clear message that she'd rather spend time with her homegirls and the late-night fun/mess/men that follow them than with her boyfriend.
If you want to keep her, you'd better freshen up your Affliction T-shirt collection and start hitting the clubs with her. She's clearly a disco inferno who is totally fine with the fact that the roof -- and her relationship -- is on fire. She don't need no water.
• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and believes in retail therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.