Dating After Divorce: His Mixed Signals Confuse Me!

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Dating After Divorce – His Mixed Signals Confuse Me

Are you dating after divorce and confused about the mixed signals men send? Read on to unravel the mystery of this woman’s dating experience and what the man’s mixed signals really mean.

Hi Ronnie – The Dating Coach,

I’m so confused. I had been seeing a guy who began pulling away and then “came around” and started pursuing me again. I didn’t ask why he’d been away, but also didn’t change in letting him see me when he wanted. I got angry the other evening because he neglected to respond to a message I sent asking when he could help me with something HE suggested he wanted to help me with. (DIY house stuff.) Basically I told him I was done. He replied by saying he had opened up to me 100% unfiltered (broke my heart as everything I’m reading says that’s the true way to tell he likes you and yes he had confided some stuff in me).

We used to be physically closer, kissing, cuddling, but I felt that I was the aggressor so I backed off. After that there wasn’t any close contact, but he continued to want to see me and we had deep conversations. The last time we saw each other (before I “lost it”) he actually began asking me more about me. :/

I realize a slow start to a relationship is definitely more likely to result in a true connection, but I felt we were going backwards. He sends mixed signals  and I was feeling used since we’ve never been out, he always comes to my house to hang out. He doesn’t try to get me in bed either. I’m a little older than he is and I feel more like a confidant or big sister type than a romantic interest.

What I need to know is if there’s any hope that he really does like me and what, if anything, I can do at this point to undue the unpleasant feelings I gave him by saying I was done? I know I shouldn’t chase him. I guess I just need to know if there is anything I can/should do to let him know that the door is open and it’s okay to contact me and that his interactions with me won’t be unpleasant vs just hoping he’ll miss me enough to contact me.

I finally “get it” about what I need to do – after all of these years – and I just hope it’s not too late for us. Until recently I hadn’t dated for 4 years. This guy is the only one I’ve dated since I started dating again that has held my interest.

Thanks!Mixed Signals in Massachusetts

Dear Mixed,

I think you are right about being his confidant and not a romantic interest. You can’t be “going slow at the start” since you are not at the beginning of dating with this guy. The “going backwards” comment you made is more accurate. He’s treating you like a friend, and not a very good one if he doesn’t follow through on his promises to help you.

Companionship Vs. Romance
Don’t be too hard on yourself for blowing up at him. Sometimes dating after divorce is hard. When you feel frustrated and confused like this, it happens. My question is what do you see in him and why do you want him back? Since there isn’t any romance, is it just about the companionship? Nothing wrong with that, but don’t expect things to turn around. He has no intention of being in a relationship with you or falling in love,  if he is even capable of that.

It’s All About Him
When a man confides in a woman, that does demonstrate a level of trust. But, without reliable communication, regular dates, romance or physical intimacy, I don’t think you should take this as a sign of interest. It’s all about him and his needs the way you describe it, since he doesn’t even take you out! No wonder you feel used.

This man benefits tremendously from your friendship and emotional support. But it’s all on his terms. Sometimes women offer emotional support in the hopes of getting love in return. You might want to read this other dating after divorce post for more details.

Keep That Door Shut
Since you already cut him off, my dating after divorce advice is to leave things be. He’s not the right man for you unless you want a self-centered man who lacks a generous spirit and doesn’t consider you a romantic interest. After four years, can that really be what you are seeking? I sure hope not.

Dating After Divorce? Let Men Pursue You
Please move on, heal, and then get back out there to find a man who is romantically interested in you. No hanging out with any new guys either  – that is casual dating at best. Go out on dates. Let men pursue you, call, text and ask you out. Let men do the initiating and then you won’t end up with a man like this who is taking advantage of your good nature and desire for love.

There are much better men out there who want a loving relationship with a woman like you. Make yourself available so they can find you.

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4 responses on “Dating After Divorce: His Mixed Signals Confuse Me!

  1. Lynn

    Well, I obviously have to learn things the hard way….. He’s coming over this evening to help with my project. I know you said that I needed to just leave him alone, but that’s easier said than done and I really do need his (or someone’s)help and he’s the only one I have right now who is willing to do it. I’m a little nervous, but hope to act somewhat indifferent towards him, while also being cheerful and happy and FUN and paying more attention to any non-verbal clues he may give me. I have been going out with other guys (most of them only once – my choice) and I hope that helps me to not seem “needy”. I would really appreciate any input you might have on this. Any suggestions on specific behaviors/words to avoid or include? I really appreciate your help.

  2. Ronnie Post author

    Hi Lynn, Honestly, there isn’t any advice because this man is not going to give you what you want. But if you need his help with a house project, go for it. Sadly, nothing you can do will make him change, be in a relationship with you or love you.

  3. Terri

    I too had this guy whom I’ve known for 25 years help me with a work project. I fell for him. We went to lunch had coffee many times over the past few months (he always paid). Went to a movie had dinner a few times he did tell me he liked me and I also told him the same. I see how he looks at me he even told me I have this sexiness about me! But now he says he’s been alone for too long. But in another breath asks me to go to a movie. Now he seems to be a ghost but if he sees me he always stops to chat with me. I just feel we have so much in common and he knows that too. There is this chemistry we have when we see each other but I guess it’s just not enough. I’m very attracted to him and when we see each other it’s not like we stand 10 feet away from each other. I guess it’s not the right timing for him but I can’t stop thinking about him. What to do?

  4. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Terri,

    One of the toughest things for a woman is when a man doesn’t know what he wants. Sounds like your guy is conflicted, but at least he told you that. There’s nothing you can do about this situation because it’s up to him.

    What I can tell you is that he’s not a good bet for love or a relationship. Take him at his word. Chemistry and liking you are not enough – you are right about that. He needs to want a relationship with you in order to move forward and have one. Don’t wait around for him – he might never come around. It’s sad but that’s the hard truth.

    I know you like him but he’s not the only possibility. Be open to someone new and get out to meet other men.

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