Inconsistent Men – What His Mixed Signals Tell You About His Intentions

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.

inconsistent menMixed 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!

why does he ignore me if he likes meIf 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

why does he ignore me if he likes me - man on benchThese 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

inconsistent menThat’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

why does he ignore me if he likes me 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!

Wishing you love,
mixed signals


P.S. Ready for more “straight talk” dating advice? 

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony,, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

202 thoughts on “Inconsistent Men – What His Mixed Signals Tell You About His Intentions”

  1. Hello Ronnie,
    My situation is a bit different. I am currently still married. The man I’ve been seeing was okay with this from the very beginning because I was honest about it. Anyway, on our first meet, he love bombed me. Already started talking about a future with me and how much he liked me. We’ve met a few other times. He is always the one reaching out first. He mentioned that it bothered him that I never initiate love. He wants to take me away on trips, he wants a more mature relationship, and wants to spend more time with me. He said him being inconsistent was because of my situation, that I am not available. I’m confused, does he really like me? Should I believe the sweet things he says?

    • Hey Samantha, I must admit I don’t know a thing about other kinds of relationships except monogamous and hetero. But regardless of whether or not your are married, sweet words without the consistent actions you want in a man are always empty and worthless.

  2. There’s this guy who said he wanted to pursue me. We met online and it’s long distance, we’re both living in different countries. He said he’ll come here once this pandemic is over to prove that he is serious, saying sweet things all the time. Also, he said that he already told his family about me(which I’m not sure if true).He always tells me his future plans like coming here and “our” future. He texts me everyday, but we don’t talk for long, I constantly reply right away but then sometimes he replies after several hours and would take a snooze again after. We also talked through facetime for few times. By the way I am 8 years older than him. Do you think I should continue talking to this guy?

    • Hi Dorothea, Talk all you want, but I don’t think he’s honest or serious. Why do you need a boyfriend in another country? Long distance rarely works out – to discover my dating advice about distance love read this post. And this guy is barely making an effort beyond texting. I think he enjoys you wanting him and keeps you going with plenty of sweet talk. If you are serious about finding love, please look locally.

  3. Hi ronnie I have been talking to this guy for almost 5 months now he is always the first to initiate contact like we chat every single day sometimes more and sometimes not sometimes he is quick to reply and sometimes takes time even when active on fb, and I must mention that he is a gamer.he cancels plans most of the time and I am just not sure if he really wants something serious in the beginning we both had similar goals but as time goes by that doesnt seem to be the case am just in the wind what your thoughts

    • Hey MJ, After 5 months (even one month) if you can’t count on a man’s word, you can be sure he’s not serious. A man who is serious about love and building a relationship, wants to spend time with you and follows through on what he says, versus being unreliable and cancelling frequently. This man’s inconsistent behavior let’s you know he answers to no one but his own whims. My question to you is why you would hang around so long when he treats you this way? It’s time to strengthen your worthiness and self-confidence so in the future, you’ll easily walk away from any man who shows this kind of inconsistency and disrespect. A quality guy is consistent, does what he says he will, keeps his word, can be counted on and never leaves you guessing how he feels about you.

  4. Hi Ronnie, So I met this guy during the peak of covid but we were in different locations. We started talking March and we never stopped. Fast forward to sometime in July, he came to my city and he asked for us to meet. We did, had fun and kissed only. He went back to his city and we didn’t meet again till after sometime. Fast forward to now, he still texts but sometimes he doesn’t. His reason being he’s always texting me first and it’s starting to seem like he’s bothering me and also he calls me quite often but only at night? Which is quite confusing. I asked him what we are doing and his response was he likes me but he’s taking it slow cause he is making some observations. Weird right? He also replies late sometimes and just quite inconsistent sometimes. I don’t get it. Wdy think?

    • Hey Miley, When a man is inconsistent like this and says he’s “taking things slow”, that means he’s not serious. He’s probably lonely or needs a lot of attention. So he enjoys talking/texting with you but isn’t planning on anything serious like a real relationship. This is long distance too which makes things even harder. What do you need him for? He’s not really acting like your boyfriend. You can do better than him. It’s time to value yourself and have standards for how you want to be treated. If you are serious about having a healthy, loving relationship, move on and look for love locally.

  5. A few guys was giving me mixed messages from the dating site. They send me winks to indicate they were interested but they ignore my winks when I was indicating that I wanted to have a conversation. 2 Asians guys ignored my messages after they send me a wink to indicate they were interested.

    • Hi Khim, Winks are meaningless. Winks are lazy and I recommend not bothering with men who send them. They are making almost no effort to connect. You want men who reach out to start a conversation and them consistently build to ask you out and start dating within a short time.

  6. 60 yr old man at work, single, intensely private. Seeks me out when we’re both at work, flirts and is nervous, clears his throat as he approaches so I always know he’s coming. Tries to get me to go to the pub after events, but with others. Hints he wants to go out with me but never asks. He found out all about me from work colleagues.

    We had a falling out but I put things right. I asked him out. He said “I don’t think so”. I gathered he was still upset. I left things alone. I’m a widow -the other day he asked if I still visit my husbands grave -I thought was odd because of course I do.

    Makes excuses to see me and even caught him watching me from behind a pillar once. When I talk to other men at work he doesn’t like it and gives me the cold shoulder for the rest of the day. What is going on? I am confused. I’ve been out of the dating game for 25 years..

    • Hi Julie, This man is emotional stunted. I’m sure he likes you, but he’s not capable of the real relationship you want. He’s manipulative and controlling, giving you the cold shoulder. Who is he to be mad if you talk to other men? Count yourself lucky he said no to your invitation. You don’t need a man like this. I would slowly ease away from time spent with him and look elsewhere for romance. Sadly, he’s not a normal man with a healthy genuine interest.

  7. Hi ,for the past 6 months my b,f has been going hot and cold with me for a few weeks he can’t get enough of me in the bedroom then for months he won’t come anywhere near me ,he doesn’t even get hard if I try to touch him ,he’s always got his head stuck in his phone he’s always jumps to his phone when it peeps ,could he be screwing around

    • Hi Ang, Sure does sound like a possibility doesn’t it? If he’s tied to his phone – he’s likely tied to someone else. When a man does the hot and cold thing – he’s being inconsistent which means he doesn’t know what he wants. And you are likely to be a casualty of this indecision. It might be time to boot him out and move on to find a man who KNOWS what he WANTS – hopefully that’s YOU!

  8. Hello Ronnie, I’ve been dating a guy on and off for 1-1/2 years (he broke up with me for 5 months last year). He introduced me to his family and friends. He says I am his girlfriend but never said that he loves me and never planned a trip with me. He calls me every night but when he is done with his day is getting ready for bed. We used to go out 3-4 times a week until coronavirus. Now he says he’s practicing social distancing. In the last 5 weeks I’ve only seen him once in person and twice on zoom. But he makes plans with friends to play golf and attend video zoom parties, goes for walks and bicycling but never invites m. I have suggested this several times while keeping 6 feet distance. Last month I moved to a new house and he did not help me. I am having a hard time reading him and understanding what he wants from this relationship. I feel he does not really care much about me as it seems I’ve not a top priority. I realize we live in unprecedented times but I feel something is not right and he might not really care that much. Am I asking for too much? Should I give it more time until things get back to a more normal pace and social distancing rules are relaxed?

    • Hi Rosie, Trust your gut on this one. Since he has no problem “socializing” with others, but not you – I agree that’s a big red flag. He only has time when HE is ready at the end of the day. This is NOT how a man in love behaves. You are not asking for too much. I recommend letting him go and moving on. If you want to ask him about it- I doubt he’ll give you a straight answer. He probably appreciates your kindness, femininity and likes to know you care about him. That’s what he could be getting out of this. But you want and should have and expect more. So don’t put up with his “Crumbs” or lame excuses which he’ll likely offer if you ask what’s going on.

  9. This dating is so boring and difficult. I always find that the guys I’m interested in never like me. I never text guys now, ask them out on dates etc. Still, I’m not having any luck. Another guy I liked has gone silent on me once more. He was an old, chubby guy and still he wasn’t interested. However, he was funny and was a decent looking chap. I really give up. Trying to date is the worst adult experience to me. Nothing beats it!

    • Hi Rita, I suspect that your heart might not be as open as you think. That’s often what is happening when you aren’t connecting with decent men and also when the men you like don’t like you. That can also be a sign of going after the wrong men. This is a time to look within and discover what may have happened in your past that is getting in the way. Dating is actually one of the hardest personal development opportunities going. If you are willing to look within to find out how you might be contributing to the difficulties, you open the door to healing and finding love.

  10. Hi Ronnie,
    I’ve been talking to this guy who seems inconsistent. He used to message me all the time (which I appreciate, a lot) and we met up once over coffee. We had sex the same week which got me into trouble as I live with my sister. He said he values me but I sometimes feel otherwise as he can never make a proper plan for our date. He once said that I can just move out and he will live with me and says he likes me and wants me to be his girl. The problem is, he has this pattern where he’s sweet and attentive some days and others he can’t bother texting me. He shared his streaming account even though I didn’t asked for it. I get confused with his intentions and block him, but he keeps coming back. Last thing that annoyed me – I saw him he was online on WhatsApp but he didn’t bother replying. His excuse is he fell asleep or he was busy. Is he just stringing me along or is he actually serious about being in a relationship with me? (he always says that I’m his only girl but I’m not sure if I should trust his words as I saw a girl messaged him while we were together)

    • Hi Bernie, Honestly, you know he’s NOT serious because you gave me examples. Why don’t you trust yourself? If a man is relationship ready, he is NOT inconsistent. He doesn’t ignore your texts, text other women in front of you or otherwise. He doesn’t sleep with you once and never make another proper date! Here’s what is really going on – this man’s words do not match his actions. That is your biggest RED FLAG he’s not honest or true to his word! How can you live with him if he can’t even set a date?

      It’s time to shore up your self-esteem and self-worth, and create firm boundaries. Be the kind of high quality woman who doesn’t put up with poor treatment because a man says things you want to hear. It’s up to you to keep him blocked and not let him back into your life. This is a game he is playing! A high quality confident woman keeps to her convictions and moves on to find a man whose actions are consistent and treats her right. I hope you walk away for good because he has nothing of value to offer.

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