Man or woman showing 'confusion' with hand gestures

3 mixed signals you can’t ignore

They are hot, then they are cold. One day you’re the air they breathe, the next day you suffocate them with your presence.

One day they are picking your calls, the next you can’t even get them to reply to a text. When you decide to move on, and break up, they return, crawling back like a cockroach and begging; Promising to change.

This on-and-off behavior becomes an addiction cycle, a bag of mixed signals. So, what do you do when you can’t tell whether they are playing you?

  1. You’re always priority number 37 on their list

    Do you ever feel that your needs are never prioritized? Is he/she inconsistent?  

    They may tell you they are going here, but when you call them later, they tell you they are somewhere else. Or they set up a date with you then cancel at the last minute for some vague reason. Your partner’s words and actions should be consistent and predictable to a certain extent. You need to feel that you are a priority in their lives.

  2. Blah, Blah, Blah!

    Are you dating someone who loves to hear themselves talk yet say nothing?

    Mixed signals can be when a person is expressing interest in you while also expressing a lack of interest thus causing confusion. There is no clear and direct communication which is essential in relationships. This means you’re struggling to understand their intentions and thus hard to predict where they stand. Be open about the problem as this can help you both address the problem together.  

  3. Walking on eggshells?

    You find yourself going through every single one of your exchanges: Did I talk too much? Did I accidentally insult him? Was I too needy? Resist the urge to overthink every witty text you could send to get a response. Chances are, if you both liked each other, they will get back to you. Eventually. If not, is he really worth chasing?

    Bottom line? If you find yourself walking on eggshells, all is not well.

What can you do?

  1. You deserve a soft life

    Make it clear that you are made for soft life. That confused relationships are not your portion. This is an ultimatum, they either get their act together or you’re out. State your needs clearly and firmly. Set the record straight and state what your needs are.

    For instance, you can tell them something like this:

    ‘I value consistent communication when dating someone. I love to feel valued. It is a deal-breaker if this lacks.’

    Let the other person decide what they want or if they can meet your expectations, if they don’t it’s time to strap your boots and head to the streets. Don’t give mixed signals on this, if you say you’re out don’t keep coming back to see whether they’ve changed.

  2. Hit the streets!

    Don’t be afraid to get back to the streets! Meet and date other people. Behold there is plenty of fish in the sea. Good fish!

  3. Refocus your attention

    Do sit down waiting for them to call, text, or confirm your date. Get a life! Get busy!

    Start a project. Distract yourself by studying for something you wanted to do. Get to the gym or hang out with friends. Call those friends you’ve neglected because of bae and apologize.

  4. It’s not your fault

    It’s tempting to internalize people’s behavior and blame yourself for them not calling back or following up after an awesome date. But mostly, it has nothing to do with you. Rather than let their mixed signals get you down, focus on being your authentic self and going out with people that make you feel supported and appreciated.

The bottom line?

It’s important to remember that you only have control over your actions, by not trying to change and make a hot and cold person happy.

When you stop pinning your happiness on your partner, you realize it’s just you in the world. It’s hard work, but it’s rewarding and makes you fall in love with someone who also matters—you. Yes, you!

Whatever you do, go for what makes you happy!

Over to you, have you ever given or received mixed signals? Talk to us in the comments section.

did you find this useful?

Tell us what you think

LoveMatters Africa

Blush-free facts and stories about love, sex, and relationships