Mixed Signals – What His Inconsistency Tells You

When a man sends mixed signals it can drive you over the edge. Find out what this means and what you can do about it.

Mixed Signals

Mixed Signals

Mixed Signals from Men Are So Confusing


Dear Dating Coach Ronnie,

I’ve been talking to this cute guy for three months. We have gone out a few times and it’s been a blast. But, he keeps giving me different signals so I feel confused about us. Sometimes he acts like he likes me and sometimes he acts like he doesn’t.

Most of the time I contact him first, usually by text. He does respond, but doesn’t really initiate. What do you think I should do? What’s your professional opinion on this guy? Thanks, Texting Gal


Is He Into Me? How Do I Know?

Dear TG,

Initially, the best thing to do is let the man lead – that’s the only way you can know if he is really interested. What does that mean? Don’t text, email or call him, UNLESS he does so FIRST.

During the beginning of dating, letting the man lead will help you gather important information about your date. How often does he text or email? More importantly, how often does he call and want to see you? Some men are happy to text quickly, but don’t really spend the necessary time connecting to build a solid relationship. This can be a sign of lacking interest, laziness, casualness, etc.

That’s why I recommend that all my dating coaching clients who are dating over 40 or dating after divorce hold off on contacting the guy. Give him a chance to show you  what his intentions are. Observing a man’s actions is so much better than his words to find out if a guy is really into you.

However, you’ve already been interacting and sort of dating for a few months. So you can’t really start over which makes things a bit more difficult for you.

I’m going to take a risk and be really honest and direct with you since you did ask for my professional opinion.

What His Inconsistency Says About Him

A man who is inconsistent can be a symptom of several unwanted dating behaviors. He might be sending mixed signals because he’s:

  • Dating lots of women
  • Not emotionally available
  • Not sure what he wants
  • Keeping you “on the line” as a time filler
  • Wanting a source for intimacy that doesn’t require much effort

However, one thing I am most certain of and I’m sorry to say this, he’s not seriously interested in you. And when a man isn’t seriously interested, you have very little leverage or power to change things. So, please heed my advice and don’t bother trying.

Make it a point to go out and flirt with some new guys to find a man who will consistently call, text and see you. You deserve so much more from a romantic partner. Don’t put up with this nonsense thinking its going any where. If you find yourself wondering “Is he into me?”, that’s  a sign.

How to Recognize a Relationship Ready Man

I suggest that you move on to find a man who wants a relationship with you. In case you need help recognizing that in a man, here’s what to watch for:

  • Calls at least once a week or more
  • Takes you on dates  at least once a week
  • Texts in between and stays in touch
  • Wants to get to know you
  • Tries to please you and win you over
  • Introduce you to friends and family
  • Asks you to be exclusive (this can take a couple of months)

If you meet enough men, you’ll find a good one and the right one for you!

Wishing you love,
mixed signals


P.S. Want more savvy dating advice?

Photo Credit: Andreanna Moya Photography

123 responses on “Mixed Signals – What His Inconsistency Tells You

  1. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    What great news Karen! Thanks so much for sharing that with my blog readers and me. I”m so happy for you and you are showing the world finding love is truly possible!

  2. Karen

    Hello Ronnie, I have been following up your blog for a while. I also read your book. And I would like to say that you are really insightful! I had been using online dating for 2-3 years and kept meeting guys who were inconsistent and sending mixed signals. At first, it was very hard for me to move on, but I learned from my mistakes. After countless frustrations and rejections (I probably met about 60+ men through the online dating websites or through friends, but somehow most men were not interested in me), I finally met a man who cares about me. He is so considerate and so loving. After 3 months of seeing each other a few times a week, we are now officially together! I am glad that I ignore those men who tried to string me along! So now I found a guy who really takes me seriously!

  3. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Charlie, Since he has been showing sings of being more into you, introducing you to friends and wanting you to meet his family, it makes sense to me to request exclusivity. How many years do you want to go on like this? Time flies by and sometimes you look back to wish you had done more to have a full relationship. Just be aware, for whatever reason he might not want to be exclusive. But before I went off to meet his parents, I’d want that settled. Everyone is different and this kind of casual relationship might work for you. But it sounds to me like you are leaning to get something more serious. You might as well know if he’s willing. If not you can keep things light and date others. But, be honest with yourself because 3 years is a LONG TIME to be casual and you may be more attached than you realize.

  4. Charlie

    I have been seeing this guy on and of for the last 3 years. It’s casual and we see other people. We’ve never talked about exclusivity. We met online and see each other once every 3-4 weeks. We never talk on the phone but he texts. He’s a man of few words, we are both reserved and share many interests. My family deson’t know about him and I’m not ready to tell. We haven’t been intimate yet. Lately. he’s been making an effort to see me and wants us to be a couple. He asked me to go away with him to his parent’s – his mum is a reflexologist who can help this pain in my neck. He has recently started introducing me to his friends. I really like him and I feel safe with him. He is still active online. Is it time to talk about being exclusive? I would hate to see him with someone else. I feel he has to really be there for me to get my full attention.

  5. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Tihonor, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this but he wanted to get you into bed and now he’s done. That’s why men make excuses – easier than saying something that sounds mean like, “Slept with you already, looking for someone new now.” So he avoids you. I realize this might be hurtful and make you sad. What I recommend is not sleeping with men until maybe 6 dates – then you can see he really wants to get to know you and spend time with you. That will help weed out these other men who aren’t serious.

  6. Tihonor

    Hey Ronnie! This Actually spoke to me because I’m talking to a guy and went out a few times. He is funny,kind, charming spontaneous, likes to have fun not with all the drama and laid back. But one day he decided to come over my house just to watch tv. But we ended up drinking and having sex. The next day we did communicate – everything was fine but now I just feel like he’s not into anymore. Like we used to text each other good morning everyday. Now I don’t receive anything or if I say I miss him he said he miss me too a lil bit. But he’s not missing me to see come me. His favorite excuse is, “You live far” but I told him we could meet half way. So I just don’t know am I over thinking the situation?

  7. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Shivani, Who knows what he is up to? Maybe he doesn’t want anything serious so you passed that test. He might not want to get married or feel any pressure so he was checking to see what you are hoping for from a relationship. It’s good to know what you want even if you aren’t sure if the man you are seeing is the right man. When you know what you want, you won’t get stuck with men who doesn’t want a relationship. Be honest with yourself. If you are hoping for lasting love, admit that to yourself and answer men that way as well. The point of dating is to weed out the wrong men to find the right one so never fear speaking your truth. If you scare a man away – good! He was the wrong man.

  8. Shivani

    I met a guy on dating app. He says he is very glad to meet me and seems to like me a lot. We went out on two dates. First date was amazing and we used to text each other everyday, he asked me on a second date but right before second date he asked me what I was looking for out of this, he said he enjoys talking to me and can see something growing but would like to know my end goal. He just wanted to ensure if I had end goal and he didn’t want me to feel like he is leading up and it doesn’t lead to anything. It was very vague but I said I don’t really think about where this is going and asked him to chill. We had a great but short second date and now the conversation kind of faded though he asked me for a third date while we were on third date. Guy is very decent and nice but I’m not able to figure out what is going on in his mind.

  9. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Cath, Your situation is one I often caution my clients about because you are building a virtual relationship, bonding over the telephone by sharing details of your life. This is a friendship of sorts. But it is not a true romantic relationship because you have not met and do not go on dates. I recommend “talking” for no more than 7-10 days straight without a date (and no hour long calls) and then end it if you haven’t met so you don’t get attached. Unfortunately, you have invested HOURS on the phone. A lot of women fall into this trap and it’s so easy to happen.

    I know this is tough because he’s nice, caring and you are both busy. Yet, he shows no signs of meeting you. The trouble is, this phone only suits his needs perfectly. He gets a woman who cares about him and lend a caring ear and you get the same. So (like so many women) you put up with it HOPING he’ll start dating you. At this point it is highly unlikely.

    The best thing you can do is stop talking to him. Or, you can tell him that while he’s a nice guy, you want a man available for real dates at least once a week to build a lasting relationship. Say a phone relationship doesn’t meet your needs so you are moving on. He will try to talk you out of it and might make promises but I doubt anything will change. At least you can say you told him why rather than ghosting on him.

  10. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Janet, That is a mystery! But we can also agree something is a bit off about this situation. He might have performance anxiety or issues or maybe his sexuality is in question. To me in this kind of situation, I would say that since he isn’t taking you on dates, these are booty calls without booty. That makes no sense since there’s no relationship building here. It’s spontaneous and he uses purchasing products from you as his reason to contact you? I think it’s safe to say something is missing and he’s not the right man for you. Don’t you want a man to take you on dates? I’d jump ship and move on.

  11. Janet

    Hey Ronnie
    I am way so totally confused,I met this one guy on tinder and comparing from the rest he became one of my best,invited me on a first date in a restaurant to get to know each other while taking dinner,later went home.A few weeks later he invited me to his place to pick up some inspirations which turned out to be a sleep over ,we never did anything at all not even kiss,got to know each other more and in the morning I left for work ..a few weeks later he purchased one of my products ,and had to take it to his place back again which I found weird but I loved his company and how maturely he treats me than my past relationship,which added to another sleep over with nothing happening,again.in the morning he left me in his house and went to work ,and I left Abit later,what’s buzzing me is I can’t figure out what this is all about…am confused…we do talk in chats and rarely or no calls…the chatting is not everyday though…what do you think I should do I feel am falling for him.

  12. Cath

    Hi Ronnie,
    I have been talking to this man from a dating site for 3 weeks now. He’s been consistently calling at least once a week and we would talk for more than an hour, sometimes 2-3 hours about everything – life, kids, job, even his ex wife. He asks me questions about my day, my life, my job. He remembers if I had meetings and asked how it went, etc. He’s been divorced for a few years and have 4 kids he is very closed to. However, We haven’t met yet. We are both busy sometimes his kids stay with him even when it’s not his weekend. So, I’m questioning if he’s interested and just super busy juggling everything or just stringing me along? I don’t want to get too attached but it’s hard not to after talking for a while and it’s been really nice getting to know each other. Should I take it day by day and see what happens? Thank you!

  13. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Jenn, A med student is not your best bet. They do study like crazy. He doesn’t sound ready for a relationship. It might be different if you were closer. But three hours away and studying hard doesn’t sound too realistic for a long distance relationship. Sorry I’m just being practical.

  14. Jenn

    Hey Ronnie,
    So I met a man on a dating app and initially everything was going well. We met up within a week and hit it off. He asked to see me again but he is in med school so we didn’t get a chance to meet up again for a month (he lives 3 hours away). Within this month he would text everyday but then it slowly stopped and I would receive a few texts here and there. We then talked on the phone for 2 hours 3 nights in a row a week leading up to our second date. Our second date was okay and we kissed at the end of it. Now he’ll text/call maybe once a week. I’ve initiated a few text conversations and he’s been polite and responded but they don’t ever go anywhere. He is busy studying for school and told me he is someone who studies all day. I saw that he recently updated his dating profile but he still called me the following day and we talked for a half hour. We do not have any plans as of yet for a 3rd date. Should I assume he’s not interested because he updated his profile and our conversations have been getting shorter? It’s only been 2 months so I don’t want to talk to him about it if I’m just over analyzing. Thanks!

  15. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Sandra, Well it certainly doesn’t mean he’s really into you if a month went by. He’s been thinking about you – that’s why he asked if you had a boyfriend yet. But most likely he feels the distance will make things too difficult so he doesn’t keep up with you. That’s what’s going on. Read this post on why he texts out of the blue for more info. But your best option is to stop thinking about him and move on. A man genuinely interested doesn’t disappear or fall out of touch. Confusing signals mean he doesn’t know what he wants or isn’t serious, Either way its not good for you.

  16. Sandra

    Hello Ronnie,
    I was casually dating this guy as we both new he was leaving the state. However, I began to have feelings for him but too short of time to really tell. He seemed to be going through the same, but since he was moving why put ourselves through that. However, we he had mentioned he’d be back for the holidays and the summer to visit family. The entire time I felt mixed signals —was he into me or not. He moved, we touched base a bit, but as I saw I was the one usually reaching out I stopped. We saw each other for about a month, touched base for two, and now a month and half later he texts me out of the blue, “So do you have a boyfriend yet?” Is he trying to see if I’m availabile to hook up or does he have interest? I’m not sure if this is a sweet approach or a douchy thing to do. Why not see how I’ve been first? Maybe he’s shy and bad at approaching the situation. I responded with, “Hi stranger, how are you?” And he didn’t reply. What does this all mean?

  17. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Liz, Actually it seems you already know the answer – even though he obviously really likes you, he doesn’t want to get close. He thinks that’s bad so he’s guarding his heart. And let me tell you – THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO FIX THIS. It’s the classic emotionally unavailable man. Enjoy your company is not motivating enough for him to let you into his heart. So if you want more and he won’t give it to you, then you’re best bet is looking for a man who wants to be in a relationship with you. This guy is happy as is, every few weeks and nothing more.

  18. Liz

    Help! I’ve been working at the same job with a man for years. He’s older and I’m younger. Now that I’m older he asked me to hang out the first time (he’s asked many times -I kept saying no). When I finally said yes we hit it off. Now I’m confused and feel like I am getting mixed signals because he doesn’t ask to hangout often – yet whenever we do, we have (both of us, I know he does too) an absolutely incredible time. He always pays, never makes me lift a finger, literally won’t leave my side, acts like he’s my boyfriend, total PDA!

    I’m confused why we barely hangout, he doesn’t barely text at all either. If you had fun with someone wouldn’t you want to see them more? He once said he started to fall for me but pulled back because it’s not good to be really into someone. Wtf does that mean? I just want to see him more instead of just once every few weeks. I hate feeling this way! What do you think? LBC

  19. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Sounds like he hasn’t gotten any better at communicating. Perhaps he thinks your mixed signals are because he does all the initiating – but I agree with your thought process on that. However, this situation is a little different. Since you dated him before and have been seeing him for regularly for 2 months, it’s OK to initiate sometimes.

    To clear this confusion up, the best thing to do is just ask him. You dated before so it’s not like a brand new two month relationship. Say something like, “I am interested in dating you exclusively to see where this goes and that’s the only way I’ll be intimate with you. What do you think?” This way you are clearly stating what you want and how it needs to work. Then stay quiet until he says something. Don’t say another word until he speaks. If he hesitates or makes excuses, then you know he’s not serious. If he says OK let’s try it – why not?

    It’s good to be cautious and smart to avoid heartbreak, but at some point you have to take a risk of some kind to see if things can work. I don’t think it’s too late in this case. Just talk to him and see what he says. But, be prepared, in case he actually doesn’t want to get serious or be exclusive with you.

  20. Anonymous

    Hi Ronnie,
    I met this guy 3 years ago, went on a few dates over a month, and lost touch because I assumed he wasn’t interested. He wasn’t good communicating via text when I left for a 3 week trip. Since then, we both had a serious relationship but he would check on me once in a while to see how I was. I was weary of his intentions as his relationship was very on and off. Now we’re both single and I felt he was taking our newfound friendship slowly, getting to know me and taking me on dates, etc. But then he wanted to more intimacy. We’ve gotten to know each other in a very deep way but, once in a while he’ll ask why I don’t date others.

    After 2 months of mixed signals like this, I told him either I’m with someone that I’m serious about to be intimate or I’m single. What is with his mixed signals? It’s obvious he likes me but he says he doesn’t like anyone right now. He said I give him mixed signals too. He initiates almost all our dates because I am fresh out of my relationship and don’t want to get hurt by a guy I had to convince to date me. I never got to ask what he meant by my mixed signals, but if both parties feel mixed signals, how is that even workable?

  21. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Shmaira, I’m not sure if you can get him back and not sure if he’s the right man for you either. You have to be able to talk to each other without ending up in a fight so that’s a sing he might not be a good husband or boyfriend really. Then you pushed him away in anger by saying you didn’t want to be in a relationship so he immediately starts dating someone new? He can’t be that into you if he did this. Even though this is upsetting, it might be better for you. If you are not ready to marry and he is – then you do not want the same thing. Since he doesn’t want to drop the other woman it’s time to move on and find someone new and hopefully a man who you can discuss things with – so necessary for a loving marriage.

  22. Shmaira

    Hi Ronnie,

    I dated a guy for 2 months but not seriously. We fell for each other, he is protective, but not good with handling discussions or my anger and we end up fighting. Four days back we were out and he said I look at guys who look at me and this is not proper for women. I was offended and got quiet. Then he said to stay in relationship that reaction will not work. Out of anger I said that am not dying to be in a relationship with you and that I don’t care. He got angry and dropped me home. Later he told me that he has said yes to a girl introduced to him by his parents since I said I don’t care about relationship. He took it seriously. He said he’s feeling bad about me but his family is pressuring him now. He is not ending things with her. What shall I do now? PS :- I am not ready to marry now, I want to see how things work with him but I love him and can’t stop myself from thinking about him. Please help!

  23. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Sorry to tell you this but he’s messing with your head. He doesn’t love you or want to marry you. A man who wants to marry you wants to talk with you, see you, kiss you etc. This guy won’t even talk on the phone. Block him on FB and move on to meet new men who want to meet who will go on weekly dates. You deserve to be with a man who treats you well and spends time with you. Please value yourself and stop putting up with unacceptable behavior from men like this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *