Inconsistent men send mixed signals that can drive you crazy. You wonder, “Why does he ignore me if he likes me?” Maybe he calls, texts or even asks you out sporadically. Find out what it all means.
Mixed Signals & Confusing Male Behavior
Dear Love 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. This is such confusing male behavior!
Why does he ignore me if he likes me? 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 or Not?
Dear Texting Gal,
I realize this is confusing male behavior since he is so inconsistent. You don’t know if he’s into you or not because he’s so on and off again. Any woman would find his mixed signals confusing.
The tendency for most women is to look at his actions that show he DOES like you and rely on them rather than look at the big picture of his overall behavior. Unfortunately, that’s not the best strategy and can easily lead you astray.
That’s why initially, you should let the man lead, just like in ballroom dancing. In other words, don’t initiate anything for the first several (5-8) dates – let him do all the work.
Using this strategy is the ONLY way you can know how interested a man really is. When he makes the effort to get to know you, stay in touch and see you without your prompting, that’s the true test of his interest.
Inconsistent men tend to be flaky and won’t put in this kind of effort.
Why Does He Ignore Me If He Likes Me?
Why would a man who seems interested choose to ignore you, not respond or delay response? It sure isn’t a sign of true love! Don’t struggle trying to figure out his mixed signals. That’s a big waste of your time.
Instead, I recommend letting him run the show and watch what he does. When you sit back to observe his behavior and notice what he does to be with you, that will make it a lot more obvious what he’s up to. If he’s not consistently pursuing you, he’s not that into you.
What should you do in a case like this?
Do nothing! Don’t text, email, call him, or ask him out. Your job at the start of dating is to respond to his efforts, but that is it. When you hold back on reaching out, inconsistent men show their true colors.
His Silence Sends a Message!
If you’re still wondering why does he ignore me if he likes me, keep in mind: His silence is a form of communication. He’s telling you through his lack of action that he’s not that into you. He absolutely does not care about you the way you do for him. This is NOT a relationship of balanced attraction or interest.
Signs He Cares But Is Scared
Many of my clients are so busy looking for the signs he cares but is scared, they miss the point entirely. He may act like he cares some of the time.
But if he doesn’t initiate and you always text first or suggest getting together, he’s not into you or the right man for you. These are more examples of confusing male behavior.
He doesn’t care ENOUGH to pursue you consistently, so he’s NOT serious. You know this because his efforts of inconsistent men to see you are sorely lacking.
So, even if he says the sweetest things, sends texts with heart emojis, or tells you he thinks he’s falling for you, it’s all smoke and mirrors if he doesn’t take you on a date at least once a week.
Gain a Better Understanding of Men
These are not signs of being scared, but of insincerity. Maybe he wants attention or to build his ego. He might not be capable of a relationship or he’s cheating on his current woman.
That’s why he’s the wrong man. Inconsistent men leave you hanging with their confusing male behavior. The right man doesn’t send mixed signals!
At the start of dating, following the man’s lead will help you gather important information about him. How often does he text or email? And more importantly, how often does he schedule a date? Inconsistent men just don’t have lasting potential as a mate, regardless of what they say or the attraction you feel.
He’ll Show His True Intentions
That’s why I recommend you hold back from contacting a man. Give him a chance to show you and demonstrate what his true intentions are. Follow this advice so you NEVER WASTE YOUR TIME again.
Observing a man’s actions is much better than relying on his sweet words to find out how he really feels. This is how you outfox inconsistent men and their confusing male behavior.
However, in your situation, you’ve already been interacting and dating for a few months. You can’t really start over which makes things 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.
Inconsistent Men & What You Need to Know
A man’s on again off again efforts to see you and build a strong relationship can be a symptom of several undesirable aspects of his long-term potential. Inconsistent men send mixed signals because they might be:
- Dating lots of women
- Not emotionally available
- Not sure what they want
- Keeping you “on the line” as a time filler until he finds a better woman
- Thinking you are better than nothing
- Wanting to sleep with you without investing much time or effort
He’s Not Serious about You
In this case I’m sorry to say he’s not serious about you. And when a man isn’t seriously interested, you have no leverage or power to change things. So, please listen to my advice and don’t keep trying.
Make it a point to go out and flirt with new guys to find a man who will consistently call, text and date you. You deserve so much more from a romantic partner.
Don’t put up with this nonsense thinking it’s going to change. If you find yourself wondering “Is he into me?” that’s a sure sign HE’S NOT.
This isn’t a matter of holding out and being patient long enough for him to suddenly get serious and become consistent. Either he is or he isn’t.
No matter how much you like a guy or how good you feel when you are with him, that has nothing to do with his own dating agenda. So many women get caught up in how a man feels vs. what his actions are to win you over. This is where your heart gets broken.
The best thing you can do if you are serious about finding lasting love, is let go of inconsistent men as soon as you see this pattern emerge.
How to Recognize a Relationship Ready Man
On the other hand, there are ways to recognize a man who is relationship ready. It’s time to move on to find a man that wants the same lasting love that you do. Here’s what to watch for to see he might be ready:
- 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
- Introduces you to friends and family (within 2 months or sooner)
- 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!
P.S. Ready for more “straight talk” dating advice?
209 thoughts on “Inconsistent Men – What His Mixed Signals Tell You About His Intentions”
Iv been seeing a man for about 8 weeks now we live in about 1&half hours from each other. We tend to see each other for a night or two but not planning anything after. He texts morning (morning babe, have a great day) the next text would be at night (night babe xx) there seems to be not much in between. When we do see each other we have great time together, he talks about living together which is lovely, I feel there’s something missing in between….. am I reading too much into this?
I’m 55 and his 56.
Hi Ms. S, What’s missing is effort on his part to deepen into the relationship. He’s casual, not planning anything. His texts are meaningless and can’t be considered real communication where you are getting to know each other.
Have you tried to call him to connect? Try once and see if he picks up on this. You can also tell him you’d like to talk more and make plans. If he doesn’t make an effort, then you know he’s not the right man, because he doesn’t want the same kind of relationship.
Talk about the future like living together is typical sweet talk, since he shows no attempt to spend more time with you. He strikes me as a casual guy wanting no strings attached and no expectations on your part of him. Sounds like that won’t make you happy since you want more.
Hello Ronnie, I am in my 50’s. I just met a gentleman we have been talking for about 2 1/2 months, he txts everyday we have gone out once every couple weeks on 6 dates. Problem he is so busy with one of his businesses which has consumed his time and he can never make plans to see me, it’s always spur of the moment. He tells me he understands if I want to move on, and he says he is trying by making contact with me everyday, he states he just doesn’t know when this will even out with his business so he can give all his attention to me. My question is should I just be patient or move on?
Hi Ms. J, Sadly neither love, nor you are his priority and he’s honest saying he doesn’t know when that will change. Waiting will not improve the situation. A man who is seriously interested finds a way and makes time. I’ve seen this happen often. His behavior is demonstrating that he cannot deliver the kind of relationship you want. And texting should be supplementary, not a replacement for seeing each other. Whether he really has no time, doesn’t feel the need to make time, or has another woman and this is his cover story, he’s not the man for you. I’d walk away now and then seek a man who wants the same thing you do because we cannot change anyone.
I love your blog posts. I 100% agree that men should pursue for the first 1-2 months. What do you think of this scenario: you’ve been on 4-5 dates with someone over the course of about 1 month and they have initiated texting 90% of the time in between dates (usually consisting of small talk or planning the next date) but it has slowly been tapering. After the 4th/5th date, woman initiated text and man reciprocated – he was the last to reply but no more texting for 48 hours, then suddenly man sends a check-in text during the night that the woman replied with a question about 12 hours later during waking hours. No answer for 12 hours, and then when he does finally respond, no question or hints at planning the next date.
Hi Anonymous, Sadly, and for some unknown reason, he has lost interest. It happens. The best thing you can do is nothing. Let him go and know that if he was the right man, he’d never disappear on you.
But why did he even bother initiating after 48 hours? The previous conversation would have been a natural place to end communication.
I’ve been dating this guy for 3 years now. We’ve known one another for 19 years. It all started out great. Two valentines 2 years. He got sick? over his mom house. I decided to ride by he was pulling in as I was leaving. He did not see me. I called him he said he could barely hold his head up. I ask why not go out and get some air his response was he was too sick. After that date he would not leave his cell phone at all. If he stayed over he always had to leave before 9:00 or 9:30 and I would catch him outside texting on the phone. When I catch him on the phone texting he’s always sneaking doing it if I don’t say anything he then wanna cuddle up promise me we’re gonna do this and that and it never happens. The cell phone has been the issue and I told him it’s not the phone it’s the operator. When I ask about our future he said he never looks that far into the future he just takes life as it comes. We worked together every day. We talk every evening after work. What’s wrong with this entire situation????
Hi Chantelier, I hate to say this but you already know. He’s lying to you about something. So you need to decide, is a man who is not being honest about something in his life, hiding who he is talking to, worthy of your love? That is up to you. He’s not the only man but I know it can be hard to let go. So give it some serious thought. You can simply say to him, “Until you are ready to be honest with me, I have to put our romance aside.” You could offer friendship since you work together and that is not easy with tension. Hopefully, if you decide to do this, you both will be civil. Please be true to yourself and good luck with this.
I stumbled on this post and I have to say I absolutely LOVE your advice. It confirmed my feelings about dropping this guy that I’ve been seeing for the past 2 months. He went from being attentive and communicative to barely a text in day. Although I’ve addressed it twice, nothing has changed. I’m of the opinion that if I have to say it more than once, I’m begging and I don’t beg. Thanks for confirming my feelings.
Hey Angela – you are most welcome! Good for you for knowing your value as a woman and not putting up with inconsistency. There’s a better man out there for you.
I met a man in 2020 who was handsome, charming and came on to strong. He’s the first man I was ever attracted to. We talked for a few months and when I asked if he would be interested in me he said “No, you’re not my type.” He then stared at me for months 7. I fell for him so quickly and have never done that before. He’d talk to me then he wouldn’t. This man wants nothing to do with me now so I yelled at him. He said let’s talk and see if we can get along. Then I heard he told co-workers I was bothering him. I’m the one that looks crazy and this has broken my heart. I never had a good man and never went through this before. Please help, is it me? What type of man would do this to a woman?
Hi Kelly, I’m sorry this has happened – he sounds horrible. Who knows why he did this. One thing I do know is that if a man is interested, he will want to take you on dates. Sounds like that didn’t happen but that’s your clue a man is selfishly taking up your time. Then you asked if he was interested and he responded cruelly. What kind of man would do this? A selfish, mean man.
Now, it’s time to take responsibility for yourself. Stop talking to him or about him. Put this in your past and start your healing process. You might want to work with a therapist, especially if you have a habit of attracting abusive men. Learning about boundaries and how to treat yourself well can turn this around for you.
Dearest Ronnie, Much of what you read online, as well as the dating coaches on YouTube are geared for younger people. Dating in your -fifties present other problems. After dating a man for six months, he fell off the planet. Did he ghost me, yes and no. After a couple of days, I texted him (it was the only time I texted him first). Much to my surprise he had prostate cancer surgery. I was devastated that he didn’t tell me. After speaking with a prostate cancer caregivers group, it seems men feel less of a man if they can’t perform and will only talk about it when ready. It took him 11 months before he contacted me. His text was about something we shared in common. I responded, but didn’t hear back for two weeks. I responded. Two weeks later I received the next text, read it, deleted it and never replied. That was four months ago and haven’t heard from him since. He watches me on social media and comments, but he will not pickup the phone. Either he’s really not interested in me, thinks I rejected and ghosted him, or found someone new. I don’t know what to do.
Hi Missy, Thank you for the acknowledgement of my work! Sorry you are going through this. Regardless of his health, it’s sad to say your guy is not emotionally available. Whether he pulled away because of his health and is isolating, or has found someone else, neither works for you. And, given his behavior, I doubt he feels rejected by you not responding to his minimal efforts. Not knowing is hard, but in the end the reason doesn’t matter – only the outcome which is he has exited your life.
To protect yourself, heal and move on, do what you can to let go. My advice is to block him on social media so his presence doesn’t drag you down. You may also want to block him on your phone unless you want to continue getting worthless texts. There are other men out there – he is not the only one, and doesn’t need to be your last. You can find love again when you feel ready.