Confused or Stringing You Along?: What’s Behind The Mixed Signals

July 18, 2011  |  

One minute he acts as if he wants to be with you. The next minute he acts as if he barely knows you. The mixed signals are driving you one step away from turning into a Lifetime movie character. Why is he so confused? You consider all the reasons in your head (and with a little social network snooping) why he’s acting different. Is he really confused or is there someone else?  What’s really behind the mixed signals?

‘They really don’t know what they want’ one of my girlfriends would often say in reference to the men she was dating. Each time she would make the statement, I would quickly respond with my usual ‘nope they don’t’; and let’s not forget the shake of the head in disgust that was usually accompanied by this response.

‘One minute they act as if they want to be in a relationship the next minute they’re not sure’,” she would add. I thought I agreed with this statement, until recently. All men are not confused, all the time when it comes to dating and pursuing a woman. Sometimes the mixed signals have little to do with confusion and a lot to do with stringing you along for selfish reasons. This behavior is not restricted to men. Some women also use men for temporary periods knowing that he is not Mr.Right, despite his interest in becoming so.

“I know if I want to be with a girl after spending time with her after a few dates. If we’ve been talking for months and I say I’m not sure, it’s probably because I don’t want a relationship with her.  I mean, I might like kicking it with you but that’s it. If you don’t have what I’m looking for after a few months, you won’t have it in a few years,” a guy friend said to me after I blatantly asked him ‘what’s up with guys and the mixed signals?” (Sidebar:  I think it’s important on my behalf to note that he was not referring to me but answering a general question as a friend). Still, that question was all I had to say to generate a response. He knew exactly what I meant, as he was guilty of committing the ‘stringing someone along’ crime. Of course this is not a male bashing article, because in retrospect, he had also been a victim before.

So how do you know if he is really confused and isn’t stringing you along until his ‘Ms. Right’ comes along?  I’ve often heard, if a man wants to be with you he will be with you. While I agree to a certain extent with this statement, I don’t think it’s always that simple. Sometimes there really are other factors preventing him from being with you despite the fact that he actually wants to; but most times if a man feels you are the one, he won’t be so confused and his actions won’t change so frequently.

He will do what needs to be done to form a relationship with you; and honestly if he’s that confused do you want a relationship with him anyway? Letting go of a confused man within the first few months of dating is much easier than being left by a confused man after a few years of dating.

Sometimes those mixed signals have nothing to do with the fact that you have been nagging a tad bit too much lately, that you feel your shape is unflattering a few days out of each month, or that he is attempting to ‘get his life together’; instead he may not feel that extra connection that allows him to pursue anything more than being your friend with benefits. It’s important to make sure you both are on the same page with your feelings and expectations. If he says ‘I could see myself with you,’ that doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to be with you.

‘I’ve told women, I could see myself with them before,” said another guy friend after I asked him had he ever spoken those somewhat deceitful words to a woman. “But it definitely didn’t mean I wanted to be with her; just didn’t want to hurt her feelings’.

Relationships can be tricky. Yes, sometimes a man is confused about what he wants; but as a woman, how long do you wait around for him to figure it out? It’s a thin line between a man being confused and him stringing you along; make it your business to find out early on, which is which. Your feelings will thank you in the long run.

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