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Wayne and Wanda: He's couch-surfing at his ex's place; should I be alarmed?

  • Author: Wayne , Wanda
  • Updated: April 29, 2016
  • Published July 23, 2014

Dear Wayne and Wanda,

I work with "Joe" at a local bar/restaurant, and after several weeks of flirting on the job, he finally asked me out. On our first two dates, he paid for everything. I also noticed he generously bought things for others and tipped really well, which is important to me, as I am in the service industry and know how much we rely on tips. On the third date, he came over and stayed the night, and it was awesome. We have gone out several more times. He always pays, drives, tips big -- and while we don't make tons at our jobs, we do OK and it isn't like we were at super fancy expensive places, so none of this seemed odd.

But I still hadn't seen his place and I felt like he was avoiding that. He finally told me he still lives with his ex. He says he hasn't been able to get enough money together to move since they broke up. He promises that he sleeps on the couch only (it's a one-bedroom apartment!) and that he really wants to move, but he just hasn't been able to scrape up a deposit and doesn't have the income level to get the kind of place he's looking for, but he's "working on it." I asked how long they've been broken up and he said seven months. Seven months?!

I am completely weirded out by all this. I thought Joe had his life together, or at least was on the same level as me, but staying on his girlfriend's couch for seven months after they broke up seems totally strange. If he wants to move out so bad, why is he burning all this money on the bars and gas and tips? Oh, and I looked her up on Facebook, and she's hot.

What should I do?

-- Tipped off

Wanda says:

What should you do? Run! Over to you, Wayne!

No, I'm kidding. Well, kind of. Joe sounds like tons of fun. I imagine a charming man who is as good at earning tips as he is at doling them out. Joe also sounds like someone who's rather happy living couch to couch, dollar to dollar, beer to beer, without any serious plan for the future.

But what about you? If you are ready to get serious, maybe find a life mate and start focusing on a future that includes a serious relationship, marriage and kids, then I'm sorry to say, Joe is not your man. He is a boy-man who still hasn't figured out how to save enough money to live on his own, and likewise hasn't figured out how to edit his desires to suit his income level. (We can't all afford a condo in Bootlegger Cove, bro!) Add to that the fact that he's living with a woman who also happens to be his ex and that he hasn't had the motivation to move on in months and I just don't see how this guy gets a pass to be anything but a booty call.

Bottom line: If you stay with Joe, you'll find yourself frustrated, unhappy and stalking his ex on Facebook.

Wayne says:

Living carefree, rent-free and commitment-free -- this is not your average Joe! He is, however, a run-of-the-mill player and you're getting gamed.

Joe seems like a perfectly fun and charming guy, but Wanda is right -- he's the kind that's always going to come with headaches.

Like living with his ex. Oh, isn't that quaint? As a foundation for a relationship, this scenario is literally worse than if he was living with his parents. You wouldn't lose (as much) sleep over that, would you? And you certainly wouldn't cyberstalk Mr. and Mrs. Joe.

But why lose sleep or cyberstalk? You sound like fun. And as a server, you must meet dozens of fun people (customers, fellow staff and great-tipping servers all over town) just like you every single day. Dump the allegedly couch-surfing charmer and keep working hard, playing hard and tipping well. You'll find a keeper before you know it.

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