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He’s hot and he’s cold, he’s yes and he’s no. It’s super frustrating to deal with a man that you think is great, but you really can’t tell if he’s into you or not.
Here are some common examples of mixed signals from guys, what they mean, and what you can do about them.
What are Mixed Signals From A Guy?
Mixed signals are confusing actions that make you question whether or not a man is interested in you for a serious relationship.
Before we get into the examples of mixed signals from guys, it’s helpful to look at the male brain so we can see why men do this.
If you have been following my blog for, you know that men and women view intimacy and relationships differently.
There was a study done on college students that determined that humans fit into three categories:
- Committers – view intercourse as an act of love and trust and occurs after commitment is developed in a relationship.
- Flexibles – intercourse can hold deep personal meaning, but can also be purely for pleasure and isn’t always connected with commitment
- Recreationers – intercourse is a basic need purely for pleasure and not associated with commitment.
When studying the people that fell into the different groups, there were more women than men in group one and more men than women in groups two and three.
This means that in general, men are often going to view intercourse as more of a casual act, that doesn’t need to be tied to commitment.
What the study doesn’t mention is that if men want to get you in the bedroom, they know they have to be nice, friendly and even flirtatious in order to achieve that.
This means that if a man wants to get it on, he will act like a nice caring and loving person, but that doesn’t mean that he’s part of group 1. It doesn’t mean he wants to commit.
This results in women getting mixed signals. It’s because you think a man is interested in more than just intercourse, but the truth is, he may not be.
To make this even more complicated, men have different flirtation styles. There are multiple of them which you can learn about here, but in general, they fall into two major categories.
The obvious group flirt in a very forward way. They are funny, romantic, and over the top. You would think that a man acting in this way would be very interested in you romantically, but you’d be wrong.
These men are often the ones that just enjoy the act of flirting. They love doing it for fun and will do it often, with nearly anyone.
The “polite” kind of flirting is less obvious but proven to be more meaningful. These men flirt in a nice and polite way but may be shy to make the next move.
With these men, it can be harder to tell if they are interested in you, but they might be more serious about you if they are interested.
Learn about the flirtation styles here: How To Tell If A Man Is Attracted To You But Hiding It
How Do I Respond To Mixed Signals?
The answer to all this craziness is the middle ground. The middle ground is where the answers become clear as day and you know exactly how to respond.
The middle ground is a period of time. It’s the amount of time that a behaviour is acceptable. Once that period of time has passed, the behavior is no longer ok.
This helps you determine whether or not you can let it slide, or have to bring it up with him or let him go.
For example, let’s say you’ve been dating a man casually and he’s not ready to put a label on the relationship. If he’s been doing this for a few weeks, that’s totally acceptable.
But if he’s been doing this for a year. Then the time to make it “official” passed a long time ago.
The middle ground is that point in time where the line gets crossed.
We’ll go through that middle ground in a variety of examples of mixed signals from guys below.
Identifying Mixed Signals
The following is a list of mixed signals and how to identify what they mean and what you can do about them.
10. He doesn’t follow up after an awesome date
The two of you really hit it off on your date. You were laughing and you both said how much fun you had. At the end of the night, you part ways and you eagerly await his phone call or text saying that he had fun, but nothing happens.
The middle ground:
The middle ground in this situation is 3 days. If he’s interested in you and really had a great time, but is a little shy and unsure of making the next move, he might not want to text you right away.
He might be afraid that it is too much and doesn’t want to be too pushy.
So if it’s been a couple of days and he texts you on the third day, you’re still good, he’s worth it.
But if he leaves you hanging after a great date for four days or more. I wouldn’t bother following up with him again.
See, it’s one thing to be shy or too busy to go out on another date, but texting doesn’t take that much effort. High-quality men know that they have to make contact with you if they want to win you over. So if he leaves you hanging too long, cut him loose.
You should only be making time for men who are high-quality.
9. He sends a text, then doesn’t reply to your answer
He asks how your day is going, you send him an answer but then don’t hear back…
The middle ground:
If he does this to you every time he texts, that is really a dealbreaker and not worth your precious time at all.
But if he only does this once in a while, you can probably forgive this. He might just really be busy.
Texting conversations don’t really have an end or a beginning.
He might ask you how your day is going, receive your reply and then get busy at work. Or he might have been genuinely curious about your day and then didn’t want to continue a long conversation at that moment.
The more important thing to focus on here is how often he initiates conversations.
If he is starting a conversation with you every day or every couple of days, this is a good sign he’s interested in you.
8. He has no drive to do the dirty
This is a very confusing mixed signal because it goes against all of the normal generalizations of men.
Studies always show that men want to make things more intimate, quickly, so if you have a man who doesn’t want to, this can be very odd.
It can make you feel like he’s not attracted to you or doesn’t see you as more than a friend – but this isn’t necessarily the case.
In general, men who don’t want to take that step right away are likely part of the “committers” group that we saw above. This is the group that sees intimacy as an act of love and commitment.
Although there much fewer men in this category, there were still men in it.
If you’re seeing a man that doesn’t want to jump in the bedroom right away and wants to actually get to know you, this is great. It means he is interested in an emotional relationship before a physical one.
7. Says he’s not ready for a relationship but keeps asking you out
The two of you are having a great time. You go out to dinner, have drinks, are intimate, and watch TV. You’re acting like a couple in every way, but he says he’s not ready for a relationship…
The middle ground in this scenario is…
There is no middle ground.
If he actually said the words “I’m not ready for a relationship” it doesn’t matter that he’s giving you the mixed signals of taking you on dates and having fun.
If he was open in enough to actually tell you he doesn’t want a relationship, he’s going to expect you to listen to that and respect it.
Related: What “I Need Space” Really Means
6. You’re casually dating but he never makes it official
This one is a little different than the one above because he hasn’t actually said that he doesn’t want to have a relationship. In fact, he hasn’t actually said anything about it at all.
The middle ground:
2 months. This is plenty of time for him to date you, see how things are going and for him to look inward to see if he really wants a relationship.
You should never be in a casual relationship for longer than two months.
It must move to “boyfriend and girlfriend” territory after that.
5. He cancels plans
He finally asks you out on a date, but then he cancels last minute.
The middle ground:
The middle ground in this situation isn’t a time period. It is the follow up he uses after the date is canceled.
This means that he cancels the date, but then does all three of the following:
- Gives you a detailed reason for why he had to cancel
- Reschedules the date.
If he does all of those things, then it is acceptable and he is likely still interested in you.
Date cancellations often happen with high-quality men.
Plans change and things happen once in a while, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with cancelling a plan for a date.
As a dating coach, I have actually seen this happen a little more often with higher-quality men. It’s not because they are arrogant or don’t respect your time.
It is because they often have demanding work schedules that require them to be present at their job at a moment’s notice.
If you want to date a high-quality successful man, you will need to put up with a little bit of this.
Just make sure this doesn’t happen twice in a row. He can be busy sure, but he also has to respect your time and cancelling two dates in a row doesn’t respect your time.
4. Doesn’t want to make it official but is jealous of other men
He seems interested and asks you out on dates, but he hasn’t made it official. Then if you mention that you’ve been seeing other men or talk about another man, he gets jealous.
There is no middle ground for this one, it is totally unacceptable for him to be jealous if he hasn’t made a move to lock you down.
Him acting that way is like being a little child who is sad that his ice cream is gone after he ate it.
Jealousy is a major sign of immaturity and it is a red flag in my books. There are higher-quality men who are more emotionally stable for you to focus on.
If you need help figuring out jealousy in a man, check out: Signs of Jealousy In A Man – Cute or Unhealthy?
3. He’s still talking to his ex or other women
This is one of the examples of mixed signals from guys that is actually more on you than on him.
Relationships are all about “live and let live”.
This means that you don’t really have the right to tell anyone else what to do, you pretty much have to accept them for who they are.
If your new man is still talking to his ex, it’s up to you to decide if you’re ok with this.
Do you trust him enough to be honest with you about what he’s doing?
If the answer is no, it’s either that you have trust issues, or he has been showing signs e making you doubt him.
Either way, you can’t make him stop talking to other women. You wither have to accept it, or tells him it bothers you. If he doesn’t want to stop, then you’ll have to let him go.
2. He likes your social media posts
This one is so funny, I hear it all the time from clients and friends. You have a guy that you’re seeing but he doesn’t really ask you out or text. You can’t help but notice that even though he hasn’t reached out in a week, he is still liking all your latest Instagram posts.
There is no middle ground for this one because it’s totally irrelevant.
There’s absolutely no way we can begin to analyze his intentions by using his Instagram likes.
If he’s not texting you every few days and asking you out, he’s probably not interested, even if he likes your latest posts.
1. He doesn’t want to show affection in public
This is another example of mixed signals that doesn’t really tell us much. It could very well be that he is trying to hide your relationship. Or he could be in the “polite” and “nice” category of flirting and doesn’t want to make things too obvious.
That being said…
In my personal experience, I have found that men who are ready for a relationship and are emotionally stable are usually ok with a little bit of PDA.
This means holding hands, hugging or maybe putting a shoulder around you at the movies.
This doesn’t include making out or grabbing butts, or grinding. Those are a little too far and don’t really show signs of respecting you as a woman.
How To Attract A Man That Is High Quality
Now that you know the common examples of mixed signals from guys, you want to make sure that he’s a high-quality man.
To make things easier, I put all the traits of what attracts high-quality men into an easy to read checklist.
If you’re a confident and successful woman, you need a confident and successful man!
Check out my Free Checklist “How To Attract Higher-Quality Men”.
Thanks for checking out my post on examples of mixed signals from guys, I hope you found it helpful.
With love from your favourite dating coach,