10 Types of mixed signals from boys – and what you can do about it!5 minute
The word ‘mixed’ only sounds nice as a prefix to ‘fruit jam’. Placed before ‘signals’ or ‘feelings’, it’s every romantic’s worst nightmare. When you’re stuck in limbo for several weeks, it’s hard to stay calm. You start to feel like you need answers. You start wishing for superpowers that would allow you to read minds. What does he mean when he’s always checking on you? Is he interested in you, but just as a friend? Why’s he looking at his phone screen every other minute? What does that lingering gaze mean? Does he want me to initiate exclusivity first? Ladies, if your man doesn’t have the answers you’re looking for, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
1. He says he’s not ready for a relationship but acts like your boyfriend
If you and your partner always have a good time, you go to dinners, hang out at the movies and in cafes, and are a couple in every sense; and he still insists that he’s not ready for a ‘real relationship’, then this could be quite complex for you to comprehend. A) He really means it and just likes your company, and is indeed not looking for anything serious. B) He wants all the attention, is afraid to let go of it and is plausibly “pretense-dating” you, so you don’t slip away. Either way, if you’re looking for something more serious, this is not the guy for you.
2. He doesn’t follow up after a (pretty good) date
Ever been on a first date that felt really good but you still didn’t hear from them after? Being in this situation blows. You don’t quite know WHY they didn’t call back and start replaying every single thing you said or did on that date, to figure what you did wrong. If this guy walked into the date with the impression that it was a “one-time thing, in all honesty, there’s nothing you could’ve done right that would make him call you back. And that’s okay. You’re clearly in a different headspace than he is, move on. If you still feel like you had a real connection there, call him! Why should boys always have to suffer the jitters of a follow-up? You’re a boss, girl; you do it.
3. He doesn’t show interest in getting physical (even after a couple of dates)
A man that doesn’t want to get physical? Doesn’t exist, right? Wrong. Believe it or not, several guys consider sex to be an intimate act. However, look out for clear signs of disinterest. Most guys can’t hide their affection. If he’s instantly holding your hand, flirting and getting ‘friendly physical’ with you, you have nothing to worry about. He’ll come around when the time is right.
4. He asks you out on a date but cancels last minute
Okay, I’m just going to say it. If anyone, let alone a potential love interest, cancels on you more than twice (and does this last-minute nonetheless), they don't value your time. You’d only be wasting all that effort you could spend in a fruitful relationship if you continue to indulge in this equation, that quite frankly, isn’t going anywhere.
5. You’re in a serious relationship, but he likes other women’s post
This one is dicey. It’s not uncommon for people in our generation to spend hours scrolling through Instagram posts and engage in mindless double-tapping. So how do you figure out if it means anything? Just FYI, it probably doesn’t. But if you see these double taps complemented with flirty texts and notifications at inappropriate hours - that’s something that you ought to confront right away.
6. He’s uncomfortable with PDA (Public Display of Affection)
It’s perfectly normal for people to have the kind of personality that doesn’t allow them to be comfortable with public displays of attention. Besides, statistics show that guys who aren’t comfortable with PDA are just as uncomfortable with arguments in public, attention-seeking behaviour and the like. So in a way, this could be a blessing, really. On the other hand, if the guy only has a problem with PDA when it comes to you, and happens to have an extroverted personality that shows, run sis. You don’t deserve less than anyone who is proud to show you off and feels lucky to have you around.
7. He’s still friends with his ex
This doesn’t necessarily have to be the worst thing. Hear me out. The fact that he still maintains a friendship with his ex could solely be out of mutual respect. Moreover, in a situation like this, you always have the right to set limitations as to what you deem appropriate. Either way, there isn’t much you can (or should even try to) do to prevent your partner from speaking to his ex. Since you have set your limitations of what you can and cannot tolerate, you can always choose to talk to your partner when you’re bothered about line-crossing. If he still decides to indulge in the equation (in the same manner), I’m sorry, but you’ll have to let him go.
8. They say they cannot wait to see you again but are always “too busy” when you make plans
It’s 2020; no one is THAT busy. Sure, juggling priorities are complicated AF, but if a man wants to spend time with you, he’ll make it happen. Alternatively, If he’s in a place in his life where he’s not able to prioritise a relationship, he might not be able to give you a commitment, no matter how much you vibe or how much chemistry there is. If you haven’t learned this already, well, better late than never!
9. He flirts with other people
It’s confusing to know whether someone is actually interested in you or only wants you around in case other “options” don’t work out. When you bring it up, see if they get defensive (a clear sign to leave) or if they try to and understand where you’re coming from. It’s one thing not to be ready for exclusivity, but if they're really that into you, they shouldn't have a problem toning down any kind of behaviour that makes you truly uncomfortable.
10. He hasn’t had the “What are we” conversation with you yet
The transition from casual dating to being exclusive is quite the trip. Just when you start to assume that things are progressing, he dodges any conversation that hints towards a commitment, or worse, ghost you for a while. Watch out for non-committal responses when you nudge him to hang out again, like “that sounds fun” without throwing out an actual date or time. If you’re the only one making any effort to reach out, you could be more interested in him than he is in you.
Ladies, there’s only so much you can try and understand about a man and his higgledy-piggledy mixed signals. A word of advice: don’t spend a minute racking your brains trying to figure out what they mean. Ask, and if you’re skeptical about asking, consider that a sign, big enough to know he’s not the one for you.