Q: I started talking to this guy about two months ago and things were going great. We would talk every day and we had a lot in common. We’ve slept together several times and it’s been amazing, but he’s been very distant since we first started. When asked about where this was headed, he would say that he really wanted to date me, but because of my circumstances (age, living with parents, etc.) he didn’t think it would work out. We agreed to stay friends, although I wanted more, and we have been sleeping together on occasion.
He recently told me that he doesn’t like the idea of me having sex with other guys because he really likes me. This is my first time dealing with this kind of issue, and I’m not sure if he’s just using me, or if he’s genuinely into me. What should I do?
A: The easiest way to find out if someone is using you for sex is to just stop sleeping with them. I suggest you employ that method immediately. The next time he wants to hang out, tell him you’ve got other plans but you’ll call him tomorrow because you really want to see that new horror movie everyone’s talking about. I have a feeling he’ll pass on the flick but invite you over for a quiet night in, which is a good indicator he’s only in it for the sex.
Here’s a quick checklist of ways to tell someone’s using you for sex:
• You don’t go out on regular dates. Dining out, record shopping, going to concerts or other things couples do in public together should be the norm if there’s more to your relationship than sex.
• You have sex every time you see each other, without exception. As in, it’s the sole reason he ever wants to hang out with you, and he quickly initiates it every time.
• You don’t know anyone else with whom he spends his time. Have you met his inner circle, his brother or sister or his co-workers? If he’s not introducing you to his friends and family, he has no serious plans for you.
• You’re a weeknight option. Weekends are the best opportunities for going out and meeting new people, specifically other women. The occasional text on a Tuesday night is a good indicator that you’re just filling space.
• You’re a drunk option. A 3 a.m. phone call is fine if you work at a bar and that’s when your shift ends. It’s not fine if that’s the most attention you get from him all week, even if it is on a Friday. A booty call is just that: the minimum amount of effort required to get laid.
Now to Big Sister Mode for a moment, so I can drop some knowledge that I wish had been dropped on me when I was 18. Some men manipulate the emotions of others to bolster their own self-esteem. They compensate for their own insecurities by trying to make people feel insignificant in their absence. That works particularly well on younger women.
He cited your age as a reason for not getting serious. That likely prompted you to think that if you wait long enough, he’ll come around. He said he doesn’t want you having sex with other guys, which translates to, “I want all of your attention on me.” He probably threw in something about hurting his feelings for added effect.
He’s holding you captive, emotionally and physically, to suit his own needs. You have to step away from this guy for a while and spend time with people who don’t make you question their intentions. If you really have to ask yourself whether or not someone is using you, then you should already know the answer.