I might have scared my boyfriend off with a hint at moving in together and now he’s seeing someone new. What should I do?

Dear Wayne and Wanda,

My boyfriend and I had been together a year and recently I brought up moving in together. He said he needed a break to think about it. Neither of us have lived with anyone before and I knew it was a big step so I said I understood him needing time. It sounded like if he just had some space, he’d be ready.

Almost right away, he started dating someone new. Now he won’t return my calls or texts. We still follow each other on social media and he is posting lots of pics with her. They look happy and I’m miserable. I don’t understand what happened. Up until a few weeks ago we were talking about moving in together and now he’s already with someone new and ghosting me.

Most of my friends say it’s obvious he was already talking to this girl if they got together so quickly. I simply can’t bring myself to think that’s true. I feel like he just panicked because I pushed moving in together. Maybe if I suggest we hang out again but not take things so seriously, he would want to give it another a shot? I am trying to figure out how to fix this.

Wanda says:

You’re spending a lot of energy playing detective trying to figure out what this guy wants — a guy who is refusing to talk to you, by the way. A guy who also is the one that initiated the breakup, and a guy who made pretty fast work of finding a new girlfriend. And why exactly are you willing to compromise what you want for this dude?

The question to pursue here is not what does he need to be lured back, or what does he need to stay, or what does he need to not be scared off? Rather, what do you really need to be happy? Too often, women push back their own requests for happiness because we’re worried we’ll scare off our partner — seem too pushy, too fast, too serious. Well guess what: sometimes we know what we want and we’re ready to get on with it already and we’re tired of playing around. Call it pushy, fast and serious if you want — or call it determined, bold and confident.

So stop fixating on how to modify your own well-deserved desires, and definitely stop focusing on this guy who will not satisfy them for you. Don’t burn time wondering about this new woman — in fact, unfriend and unfollow him while you’re at it, seeing his social content is doing you no favors. No matter what his motives or how he wound up where he’s at, it’s clear he wasn’t honest with you about his feelings or intentions, and no one has time for that.

Wayne says:

Since your ex is living rent-free in your head these days, allow me to crash on the couch for a few nights. Sorry to break it to you, but he was looking for an easy out and you gave it to him on a platonic platter. Instead of finally working up the guts to actually talk to you face-to-face and tell you that things weren’t working for him, you presented something that really wouldn’t work for him in the relationship and something that really worked for his flaky tendencies: moving in together. And he pounced — not on the moving in part, but in the “I need some space to think about this” part.

I’m pretty sure he was thinking about things with you, and other people, for a long time. Your pitch was the escape clause he needed to avoid any confrontation or even conversation.

So, be a responsible homeowner of the real estate of your life: evict him from your thoughts, your social media and your phone forever. No deposit return or key exchange. No opportunities to move back in if things don’t work out with whoever he’s running with now. I know it isn’t easy — it’s really hard — but it’s for the best and you know, there are no answers he can give you that you’ll understand anyway. Your mental and emotional health, your confidence, your future are the most important things now.

Wayne and Wanda

Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at